Retrial for music P2P case?

A woman who was ordered by a court to pay $222,000 in the US's first trial involving P2P file-sharing "may get another chance with a jury," the Associated Press reports. "The issue is whether record companies have to prove anyone else actually downloaded their copyrighted songs, or whether it's enough to argue that a defendant made copyrighted music available for copying." In the original trial, a federal judge "instructed jurors that making sound recordings available without permission violates record company copyrights 'regardless of whether actual distribution has been shown.'" Last week he said "that may have been a mistake." The recording industry has sued at least 30,000 people for distributing music online, the AP adds. "Some cases have been dismissed, and many defendants settled for a few thousand dollars." Meanwhile, The Register reports that the file-sharing of free music online "soars" while "licensed music [purchasing] flatlines." But that's not the explanation for the decline in music revenue, it adds. The reasons are cost-cutting by big retailers (e.g., Wal-Mart in the US and Tesco in the UK), "people burning CDs at home, and the unbundling of the album." In timely news on the subject of how digital music gets bought in the US, reports that 82% of Americans (69% of those under 35), still buy all (62%) or most (20%) of their music on CD. The numbers are from the Pew Internet & American Life Project.

Here's a guide for parents and educators on P2P file-sharing from ConnectSafely and's London partner, Childnet International, and a report on it from the BBC.

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