Arista Records, Inc. v. MP3Board, Inc.

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Arista Records, Inc. v. MP3Board, Inc., No. 00 Civ. 4660, 2002 WL 1997918, 2002 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 16165 (S.D.N.Y. Aug. 28, 2002)

Recording companies sued MP3Board, alleging that the website was liable for contributory and vicarious copyright infringment because it contained links to unauthorized copies of music recordings. Id. at *1. In deciding whether MP3Board was contributorily liable, the court considered whether a series of cease and desist letters from the RIAA gave MP3Board actual knowledge. Id. at *25. The court found that two of the letters were insufficient forms of notice under the DMCA because the letters contained only the names of recording artists whose recordings were being infringed. Id. at *27. The court concluded that adequate notification required links or at least the names of the copyrighted recordings allegedly being infringed. Id. However, a later letter that "not only named particular artists along with specified songs, but was accompanied by printouts of screen shots of MP3Board's Web site, on which the RIAA highlighted and placed an asterisk next to 662 links which the RIAA believed to infringe" was held to substantially comply with DMCA's notification requirements. Id. at *29.