Only a few weeks ago, a University of Washington study showed showed how inaccurate the MPAA and RIAA’s evidence gathering techniques are. Now, instead of improving their pirate chasing tactics, the MPAA simply claims they don’t need any evidence to bankrupt “alleged” copyright infringers.
Threat Level reports that the MPAA now argues that it has the right to demand up to $150,000 in damages per illegally downloaded file, without having to proof that someone actually downloaded that file.
Yes we know, this doesn’t make sense at all. Luckily, MPAA lawyer Marie van Uitert explains why copyright holders should be able to claim thousands of dollars without having to proove that a copyright infringement actually took place. In a brief submitted this Friday, as part of the ongoing “making available” debate in the Jammie Thomas case, Van Uitert writes:
“It is often very difficult, and in some cases, impossible, to provide such direct proof when confronting modern forms of copyright infringement, whether over P2P networks or otherwise; understandably, copyright infringers typically do not keep records of infringement.”
So, the MPAA is basically saying that is is too hard to come up with solid evidence, and because of this, they should not have to proove anything. Makes perfect sense doesn’t it? The MPAA wrote the brief in response to a request from a federal Judge last month, who called for a briefing on the claim that having files stored in “shared folders” infringes copyright.
The MPAA of course argues that keeping files in a “shared folder” does equal distribution, and they also make the argument that filesharers authorize others to download these files. Luckily there were also briefs submitted by the EFF, and several professors who argued against this. It is now up to the Judge to decide who’s right and wrong.