Citation Edit

BMG Music v. Gonzalez, 430 F.3d 888 (7th Cir. 2005) (full-text).

Factual Background Edit

When Cecilia Gonzalez was sued for copyright infringement by BMG Music and others, because she downloaded music from Kazaa, she asserted that her downloading was a fair use rather than an infringement. Gonzalez claimed that she downloaded recordings — more than 1,370 of them — simply to see whether she wanted to buy any, and then she deleted them from her computer. The evidence showed, though, that she did not delete at least 30 songs “until she was caught.”

Appellate Court Proceedings Edit

Writing for the Court of Appeals, Judge Frank Easterbrook held that downloading to “try-before-you-buy” is not a fair use, in part because there is a legitimate, licensed, market “in ways to introduce potential consumers to music.” As a result, the appellate court affirmed an order that enjoined Gonzalez from further infringement and awarding the record companies $22,500 in damages.

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