Washington – The U.S. Supreme Court has asked the Recording
Industry Association of America (RIAA) to respond to a request it received to
hear an appeal from a teenaged file-swapper using the "innocent
infringer" defense to combat copyright infringement litigation, according
to reports. The RIAA sued teenager Whitney Harper in 2004 for sharing 37 songs
on a file-sharing network.
A federal judge sided with Harper, who argued she
believed file-sharing was akin to Internet radio, and did not know she was
Harper was ordered to pay $200 per song in damages —
lower than the statutory minimum of $750 under the Copyright Act.
court overturned that ruling, saying Harper did not qualify as an
"innocent infringer," and ordered her to pay $750 per song ($27,750)
rather than $200 ($7,400) in damages.
Harper’s attorneys then appealed to the
Supreme Court, which has requested that the RIAA respond to the appeal.
(Recording Industry vs. The People)
(Copyrights and Campaigns)
(DMW previous coverage)