MMS Messages Are Not Illegal File-Sharing, Appeal Court Ruled
As absurd as it sounds, a complaint from an MMS greeting-card supplier was filed, claiming that US’s most prominent telecom services did not stop their costumers from infringing their copyrighted content via the popular MMS service.
Luvdarts, a company that provides with greeting-cards in the form of text, graphics, video, and musical messages, claimed that Sprint, Verizon, and AT&T did nothing to stop the illegal distribution of their copyrighted content.
“Luvdarts fails to cite any authority to support this proposition, which runs contrary to our precedent,” a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled.
Luvdarts’ policy states that when a customer buys one of their messages, he or she is allowed to send that message once. Hence, multiple messages of the same content constitute a violation of their policy, and should be seen as illegal.
In the complaint (which was filed in 2010), the Los Angeles company stated that US carriers did nothing to prevent the infringement, since it was in their advantage to cash in the MMS fees.
“Defendants, and each of them, enabled the transfer/transmission and publication of this copyright protected content via mobile devices by building and implementing a peer-to-peer file-sharing network with the dedicated purpose of enabling end users to share multimedia files via this MMS network,” the complaint read.
“Defendants, and each of them, profited from these activities by charging the transmitter and receivers of this content a fee or flat rate for the transfer/transmission that resulted in the publication of said content.”
In response to these accusations, the federal court of appeals ruled that:
“Luvdart’s failure to allege that the carriers have at least something like a capacity to supervise is fatal to a claim of vicarious liability.”
It goes without saying that the absurdity of the case surpasses anyone’s imagination, but the fun part is that the complaint was smashed to bits by all three judges in charge of the case.