NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "A 3-judge panel of the US Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit has ruled that a Texas teenager was not entitled to invoke the innocent infringement defense in an RIAA file-sharing case where she had admittedly made unauthorized downloads of all of the 16 song files in question, and had not disputed that she had 'access' to the CD versions of the songs which bore copyright notices. The 11-page decision (PDF) handed down in Maverick Recording v. Harper seems to equate 'access' with the mere fact that CDs on sale in stores had copyright notices, and that she was free to go to such stores. In my opinion, however, that is not the type of access contemplated in the statute, as the reference to 'access' in the statute was intended to obviate the 'innocence' defense where the copy reproduced bore a copyright notice. The court also held that the 'making available' issue was irrelevant to the appeal, and that the constitutional argument as to excessiveness of damages had not been preserved for appeal."
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