Last month, the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), collectively known as the Music And Film Industry Association of America (MAFIAA), filed suit against Stephen Krueger, 22 years old, for wilful infringement of over fifty titles, yet were resoundingly defeated in a unanimous decision yesterday.
This reporter got the first exclusive interview.
“The story goes like this,” Mr. Krueger’s attorney said after his victory. “My client happened to be idly Googling when he came across plans for a honey trap type of sting, so over the next few days, he looked on the P2P networks for movie and music files that were of better than usual quality. When he came across them, he downloaded them safe in the knowledge that they were the planted files, and sure enough, after examination of them, he was proven to be right.”
I asked Mr. Krueger himself for the rest of the story.
“Well, I downloaded the honey trap files, then when I got the notice of infringement, I decided to contest it as I didn’t feel I’d done anything wrong. The next thing I know, I’m in court arguing that I couldn’t have committed infringement if the MAFIAA themselves uploaded the files I took copies of as they’re the authorised agents of the copyright owners, and I guess the jury must have agreed with me. They made the MAFIAA pay my costs, and I was also awarded compensation because of their abuse of process, which they and their lawyers got fined for.”
All of which must leave a very bitter taste in the MAFIAA’s mouth, but then they really shouldn’t set honey traps with material that isn’t always illegal, and they definitely shouldn’t be such putzes as to sue people for taking what was freely and legally offered.