RIAA claims victory in Usenet.com copyright case

'Direct, contributory, vicarious infringement'

A US district judge has ruled in favour of the Recording Industry Ass. of America (RIAA) in the copyright case brought against Usenet.com that kicked off in autumn 2007.

“We’re pleased that the court recognised not just that Usenet.com directly infringed the record companies’ copyrights but also took action against the defendants for their egregious litigation misconduct,” said the RIAA in a short statement yesterday.

In October 2007 RIAA lawyers chucked a federal lawsuit at Usenet.com, in which it claimed that the Fargo, North Dakota newsgroup service “enables and encourages” people to swap copyrighted music.

At the time the RIAA, which represents big name players in the recording industry, accused Usenet.com of infringing copyright far beyond the scope of what peer-to-peer file sharing services offered.

Judge Harold Baer of the Southern District of New York court dished out the ruling. He found Usenet.com guilty of “direct, contributory, and vicarious infringement”.

There's no word yet on what penalty the judge has hit Usenet.com.®

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