On This Day: September 30th

The “LaMacchia loophole” is established. On today’s On This Day from TEST Huddle.


1994 – The Case that leads to the “LaMacchia Loophole” startsdavid Lamacchia

The defense attorneys of David LaMacchia ask the US District Court of Massachusetts to dismiss the case against him. David LaMacchia (21) a student at Massachusetts Institute of Technology is accused of running a bulletin board called “Cynosure” on MIT Servers. As the popularity of the bulletin board increased, the traffic to his site drew the attention of the authorities at MIT. LaMacchia was then indicted for Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud in the first case of its kind in history. LaMacchia was not  indited for  uploading, downloading, or transmitting any copyrighted material. He was charged with engaging in a criminal conspiracy to violate the federal wire fraud statute, which was enacted in 1952 to prevent the use of the telephone wires in interstate fraud schemes. The case will be dismissed on December 29, 1994, creating what will come to be known as the “LaMacchia loophole.” The “LaMacchia Loophole” that charges would be dismissed as long as it could be established that there was no profit motive involved. The 1997 NET Act closed this loophole.

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