Japan's recording industry wins file-sharing appeal
March 31, 2005
The Recording Industry Association of Japan (RIAJ) today won the appeal of its case against file-sharing service Japan MMO.
Nineteen record companies, the Recording Industry Association of Japan (RIAJ) and the authors' society JASRAC sued the Japan MMO peer-to-peer service in early 2002, seeking an injunction and damages. Japan MMO offered music files to online consumers without authorisation, using a peer-to-peer system developed by the Canadian company File Rogue.
RIAJ secured a preliminary injunction against Japan MMO on April 9, 2002, suspending the service. This decision found that both Japan MMO and users of its 'File Rogue' system had violated the plaintiffs' copyrights. In its 'interlocutory decision' on 29 January 2003, the court confirmed that Japan MMO and its principal Michio Matsuda were responsible for infringing the plaintiffs' rights, particularly their right to 'make transmittable' their recordings on the internet, and must pay damages.
The Tokyo District Court ordered Japan MMO, on December 17, 2003, to pay compensation of ¥ 36.89 million (US$335,000) in total, plus late payment charges, to RIAJ members and affiliates for Japan MMO's primary infringement of their 'making transmittable' right.
Today's decision upheld the District Court's judgment and dismissed Japan MMO's appeal.
Commenting on the decision, Allen Dixon, IFPI's General Counsel and Executive Director said: 'This case is important in that it is the first decision world-wide that has found that providing an unauthorised file-sharing service itself constitutes an infringement of record companies' rights to 'make available' their recordings on the internet.'
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