Shaneasia Morgan, sued in Pensacola, Florida, is fighting back, in Virgin v. Morgan. She has filed an answer denying the RIAA's charges, and denying that her non-commercial actions were a copyright infringement. Her answer explains that the type of file sharing of which she is accused would be protected as a fair use. In addition she seeks an award of attorneys fees against the plaintiffs.
In addition to arguing that the RIAA's $750-per-song file damages theory is unconstitutional (See November 9th decision of Judge Trager in UMG v. Lindor, in post "Judge Grants Marie Lindor's Motion....."), Ms. Morgan's answer also alleges that since, if she did infringe plaintffs' copyrights, she was an innocent infringer, the statutory damages of $750 per song should be reduced to $200 under copyright Act Section 504(c)(2):
Defendant Morgan lacks technical understanding of the filesharing concept as it has come to be employed on the Internet. Her understanding is that website owners and operators are responsible for determining the intellectual property rights of the content they make available and that she is not required to become a technical expert nor an expert in intellectual property rights in order to browse the Internet without fear of financial disaster from copyright infringement liability. If a service browsed on the Internet has caused her computer to download software and thereby created a shared folder on her computer, it was without her informed knowledge or understanding.Answer*
A copy of the complaint follows:
Complaint in Virgin v. Morgan, 3:06-cv-342 (N.D. Florida, Pensacola Division)*
Ms. Morgan is represented by George J. Little, a veteran trial lawyer and internet expert, working out of Marianna, Florida.
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