I imagine the statment is either being made for pure PR purposes
since it addresses an issue that is completely irrelevant to any
legal issues. An infrignmetn suit alleges harm to the copyright
owner. If the infringer didn't benefit from the infringent why should
that matter to the copyright owner?
AFAIK that is the standard argument regarding damages. Each
copy distributed by the infringer deprives the copyright owner of
their rightful income they would have received by selling a copy.
I suppose there are counter arguments that if sold instead of
given away fewer copes would be distributed, arguments about
profit margin and so on. But the basic argument that distribution
of an infringing copy deprives the copyright owner of income is
rock-solid. That is the basis for a copyright suit since typically
you are not allowed to sue for anything unless the alleged
tort has cost you something with monetary value.
Also, AFAIK there is no such thing as 'innocent infringement'.
Ignorance of a existing copyright might be a defense against
criminal charges (there is such a thing as criminal copyright
infringement in addition to the tort), but would not be a defense
in a civil suit. Negligence is not a necessary element for copyright
infringement, though willfull infringement might result in punitives.
Uh, let me clarify: I meant a different, still living ghost, which
would make it a 'work for hire'.
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