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Peer-to-peer file sharing case thrown out

Antony Savvas

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has failed in its latest attempt to punish a user of peer-to-peer networks for allegedly illegally sharing copyrighted music.

Candy Chan, a mother from Michigan, had faced a heavy fine after Priority Records, acting on behalf of Sony Music and Warner Brothers, said she was responsible for her 13-year-old daughter sharing copyrighted tunes.

But a court dismissed the case.

Chan's IP address had been found on a P2P network along with an e-mail address. After the suit was filed, Chan pointed out that the e-mail address belonged to her 13-year-old daughter.

The prosecution then tried to prosecute the child.

The judge said the plaintiffs had used a “shotgun” approach to pursue the action by threatening to sue all of Chan's children and indulging in “abusive behaviour” in an attempt to use the court as a “collection agency”.

The case hinged on whether Chan was liable for her daughter's actions. The plaintiff argued that she was as she had given the child a computer, and that she shared liability.

The British Phonographic Industry is currently taking action against UK P2P file sharers.


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