647644 story Arizona Judge Shoots Down RIAA Theories 204 Posted by kdawson on Tuesday April 29, 2008 @05:33PM from the schmaking-available dept. NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "In Atlantic v. Howell, the judge has totally eviscerated the RIAA's theories of 'making available' and 'offering to distribute.' In a 17-page opinion (PDF), District Judge Neil V. Wake carefully analyzed the statute and case law, and based on a 'plain reading of the statute' concluded that 'Unless a copy of the work changes hands in one of the designated ways, a "distribution" under [sec.] 106(3) has not taken place.' The judge also questioned the sufficiency of the RIAA's evidence pointing towards defendant, as opposed to other members of his household. This is the Phoenix, Arizona, case in which the defendant is representing himself, but received some timely help from his friends. And it's the same case in which the RIAA suggested that Mr. Howell's MP3s, copied from his CDs, were unlawful. One commentator calls today's decision 'Another bad day for the RIAA.'"