The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in Chicago yesterday (June 30) affirmed a preliminary injunction against the peer-to-peer service Aimster and its owner, John Deep. The U.S. District

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in Chicago yesterday (June 30) affirmed a preliminary injunction against the peer-to-peer service Aimster and its owner, John Deep. The U.S. District Court originally issued the injunction in December; Aimster appealed that ruling.

The Appeals Court rejected virtually every argument made by Aimster. "Teenagers and young adults who have access to the Internet like to swap computer files containing popular music," the ruling says. "If the music is copyrighted, such swapping, which involves making and transmitting a digital copy of the music, infringes copyright."

Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) president Cary Sherman says the decision "reaffirms -- yet again -- that when individuals 'share' copyrighted music, without permission of the copyright holder, they are liable for direct copyright infringement."

The RIAA also says the ruling supports its appeal of a decision earlier this year in its copyright-infringement case against Grokster and Morpheus, in which a district court judge rejected a motion for summary judgment (Bulletin, April 28). In that case, the judge found the P2P services not liable because they are capable of non-infringing use. The RIAA says the Aimster decision "would call this into question by requiring the District Court to consider the overwhelmingly infringing nature of the system."

Deep could not be reached for comment.