Sun, Apr 27 2008 2:40 PM aheram

News: Reinhardt v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. et al

Richard Reinhardt's copyright infringement case against digital-music distributors Wal-Mart, Apple, and Real Networks has been dismissed by a judge frustrated at Ramones drummer's illogical argument that digital files are not “manufactured or sold,” but rather transmitted or licensed.

Reinhardt argues that the license refers only to 'all forms' that are 'manufactured or sold,' and digital downloads do not fall within its purview because they are transmitted and licensed to end users rather than manufactured or sold. This argument is without merit. The distinction Reinhardt attempts to draw departs from the most reasonable reading of the contract and he therefore bears the burden of justifying this departure. Reinhardt has failed to meet this burden, particularly because he alleges that the digital recordings were sold, contradicting his own argument that digital recordings are licensed but not sold.


This is interesting. The judge in this case, the Honorable Judge Shira A. Scheindlin, could have ruled on the issue of licenses itself, whether or not the licenses attached to the digital files sold to consumers have any legal standing whatsoever.

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