First time for everything
Last modified on Thursday, 28 August 2008 03:09
The RIAA has actually taken an alleged software pirate to court and won.
While it has not managed to prove a piracy case against Jeffery Howell, it has managed to convince a judge to book him for tampering with the evidence. The court heard how Howell had destroyed evidence related to his peer-to-peer activities after being notified of pending legal action by the RIAA.
The RIAA sued husband and wife Pamela and Jeffrey Howell for copyright infringement in 2006, claiming the couple had used Kazaa to make copyrighted files available for download. Howell came up with a complicated defense. He admitted loading the file-sharing software onto his computer and that the songs listed in the complaint were for personal use. He denied placing the files in the program's shared folder and said any copies he made were from CDs he owned and placed on the computer for personal use and not copied or downloaded from Kazaa.
Howell claimed he did not share the files, but that it was the computer that was sharing the files. Judge Neil V. Wake agreed with that position and in April denied the labels' motion for summary judgment in a 17-page decision (PDF), allowing the suit to proceed to trial.
Not happy with that, the RIAA accused Howell of destroying evidence on four occasions after being served with the lawsuit, the site reported. He had apparently uninstalled Kazaa and reformatted his hard drive.
Wake has now backed the RIAA on this and will ask Howells to face the music.