EFF Needles RIAA Once Again, Challenges “Making Available”

  • Save

The RIAA successfully barked back against the Washington Post last week, but fresh challenges now await.

Earlier this month, Post author Marc Fisher ripped the trade group for attempting to clamp down on the creation of digital copies for personal use.  The RIAA eventually won a retraction, and a careful read of the filing in Atlantic v. Howell shows little evidence of that approach.  Instead, the RIAA chased defendant Jeffrey Howell for digitizing files and making them available for download across file-sharing networks.

Sounds fair enough, or is it?  According to the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), that argument may not hold water.  “The record labels argue that simply having a song in a shared folder, even if no one ever downloaded it from you (i.e., “making available”), infringes the distribution right,” explained EFF senior staff attorney Fred von Lohmann in a recent blog.  “This essentially amounts to suing someone for attempted distribution, something the Copyright Act has never recognized.”  The EFF filed an amicus brief in  Atlantic v. Howell on Friday.