If Previewing Means Downloading, Prepare to Pay
“On Friday, a panel of the Seventh Circuit issued a very important opinion, per Judge Easterbrook, in BMG Music et al v. Cecilia Gonzalez. (.pdf) The case involved a consumer who, using KaZaA, downloaded more than 1,370 songs over the course of a few weeks after getting high-speed Internet access. Thirty of these songs formed the basis for a successful summary judgment motion (although Judge Easterbrook ignored that limitation and held that “all of the 1,000+ of her downloads violated the statute”).
“The end result was a finding of infringement and an award of $22,500 in statutory damages, calculated at the minimum of $750 per work.
“The opinion is significant in many respects. First, it established primary liability for those who download (at least under similar facts), an essential underpinning to all the previous (and presumably future) third party liability suits.”
The Patry Copyright Blog. BMG Music v. Cecilia Gonzalez. Dec. 11, 2005.
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. BMG Music, et al. v. Cecilia Gonzalez. (.pdf, 80 KB) Dec. 9, 2005.
Matt Schruers and Jonathan Band. BMG Music v. Gonzalez. LLRX.com. Feb. 15, 2006.
CopyCense™: K. Matthew Dames on the intersection of business, law and technology. A business venture of Seso Digital LLC.