Hein (fub) wrote,

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RIAA bites the dust in court -- but what about accountability?

The RIAA has been harvesting IP-numbers of peer-to-peer filesharers. Via the ISPs, they determine who is behind the IP-numbers, and suing them for damages. Most file-sharers opted to settle out of court -- a handy cash cow for our dear friends at the RIAA.
But one mom decided not to settle. You see, her 13-year old daughter had been using a P2P file sharing program, and she didn't know that until the court order was delivered to her. Because the child is a minor, the RIAA can't sue her, so they sue the mother, who they claim is responsible for the behaviour of her child.

Of course, 13-year olds are more computer-literate than their parents. The mom in question didn't even know what was going on. She didn't get a warning from the RIAA, or the chance to stop the filesharing to ward off the lawsuit.
So the mom invited the RIAA to take her to court -- where she claimed to be innocent of the crime the RIAA sues her for. And the judge agreed with the mom.

I have mixed feelings about this outcome. While it is no secret that I have little love for the RIAA, I do think that it is important that parents are responsible for the behaviour of their children. If a 15-year old is spreading trojans while their parents are unaware, should we let them get off the hook this easy? Somehow, I don't think that would be a good idea.
Tags: society, technology

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