Ken Nicholds


Of the thousands of lawsuits brought by the Recording Industry Association of America against individuals for sharing music files over the Internet, the case of Jammie Thomas-Rasset was the first to complete a full jury trial. The judge vacated the intial judgment against Thomas-Rasset because he found, sua sponte, that he was mistaken when he instructed the jury that making a file available over a computer network for others to download is sufficient to find infringement of the exclusive distribution right of the copyright owner under 17 U. S. C. § 106(3). This Note argues that there is no making-available right, but that making-available may be considered as circumstantial evidence of distribution.

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