File Sharing Without Actual Download Not Actionable

On April 28, 2008, in Atlantic Recording Corp. et al. v. Howell (U.S. District Court, Arizona, Case No. CV-06-02076-PHX-NVW), Judge Neil V. Wake entered an order denying the RIAA’s motion for summary judgment because “merely making copies available does not constitute distribution.” Specifically, the court held that the mere act of saving copies of works to the shared folder of a file sharing application, thus making them available for download by anyone, did not constitute distribution in violation of the copyright act. Actual download by a third party is necessary. Read the order here.