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Recording Industry Ass'n of America v. Diamond Multimedia Sys., Inc., 180 F.3d 1072, 51 U.S.P.Q.2d (BNA) 1115 (9th Cir. 1999) (full-text).

Factual Background[]

Diamond Multimedia Systems, Inc. distributes the Rio, a device that allows a user to listen to MP3s through headphones. The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) brought this suit to enjoin the manufacture and distribution of the Rio.

District Court Proceedings[]

The District Court denied RIAA's motion for a preliminary injunction finding that the Audio Home Recording Act of 1992 exempted hard drives and computers and as such did not apply to the Rio.

Appellate Court Proceedings[]

The Appellate Court affirmed the district court's denial of a motion for preliminary injunction because the Rio is not a digital audio recording device.

The Audio Home Recording Act of 1992 states that "no person shall import, manufacture, or distribute any digital audio recording device . . . that does not conform to the Serial Copy Management System ["SCMS"] [or] a system that has the same functional characteristics." [1] To qualify as a DARD the Rio would have to be capable of reproducing digital music recordings.[2]

The Court held that the Rio could only make copies from MP3s stored on computer's hard drives which were specifically exempted from the Act and that the Rio's "operation is entirely consistent with the Act's main purpose — the facilitation of personal use."


  1. 17 U.S.C. §1002(a)(1), (2).
  2. Id. §1003(3).