– A convicted file-swapper is appealing her case to the U.S. Supreme Court,
arguing that her defense of being an "innocent infringer" should have
been accepted by an appeals court, and the damages amount reduced, according to
the Copyrights & Campaigns blog. Whitney Harper was 16 years old in 2004,
when she was sued by the recording industry for allegedly sharing songs on a
Harper’s innocent infringer defense rested on the idea
that she believed file-sharing was akin to Internet radio, and not a violation
The lower court accepted this defense and granted summary
judgment for the record labels, ordering her to pay $7,400 ($200 per song) for
sharing 37 songs.
The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed this ruling,
saying Harper should be liable for greater damages due to the copyright notices
on CDs, and ordered her to pay $27,500 ($750 per song).
In their petition for a
hearing before the Supreme Court, Harper’s attorneys note that the digital
files she was said to be sharing carried no copyright notice, as CDs do.
(Copyrights & Campaigns)