The RIAA was handed some bad news by a federal judge in New York: they can't sue people over songs that are merely "made available," which is the basis for nearly all of their lawsuits. Instead, they need to prove that songs were actually transmitted, something that is a hell of a lot harder to do. Is this the end of the RIAA's lawsuit onslaught?
Cases such as the Jammie Thomas case, which resulted in $222,000 worth of penalties, are based on files being made available in a shared folder in a P2P program such as the now-dead Kazaa. In that case, there was no evidence that any transfers ever took place.
However, while the judge stated that merely making files available is not enough as the basis of a lawsuit, he did say that an "offer to distribute" can be good enough. This probably means that the lawsuits will continue, just with adjusted language and arguments. Now we'll just need to wait and see whether or not the courts see keeping files in a shared directory as an "offer to distribute." And the soap opera continues. [CNET via Broadband Reports]