Fate of couple's computer at center of music downloading lawsuit

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

A lawyer for a Rhode Island couple in an illegal music sharing case is trying to keep their home computer out of the recording industry's hands.

The couple's son is accused by the Recording Industry Association of America of downloading at least seven songs and making more than 800 music files available for download through 2004.

Record company lawyers say the graduate student used his parents' computer in Providence to download the songs and they want permission to copy its hard drive.

In a federal court hearing Tuesday, Charles Nesson, the parents' attorney, argued that forcing the couple to give up their personal computer would violate their right to privacy. He also argued that the couple's son had only used that computer occasionally to check his e-mail, not to download music.

The son had offered to settle for $500, but the companies rejected that, instead demanding $12,000. They sued in 2007.

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