backtop


Print

RIAA lawyers may have mislead Minnesota judge, corrupting the jury's decision

Jammie Thomas, the Minnesota resident ordered to pay $222,000 to the RIAA last October, may get a second shot at trial due to a controversial – and possibly misleading – jury instruction.

In October, when Capitol Records v. Jammie Thomas wrapped up, members of the jury were told that the act of making music available for download was all that was needed to prove that Thomas infringed record labels’ copyrights – attorneys for the RIAA compared this to someone displaying pirate DVDs for sale at a table. The instruction likely cost Thomas her victory and a short while later the jury awarded plaintiffs $222,000 in damages for Thomas’ act of “making available” 24 songs for download.

Now, however, U.S. District Court Judge Michael J. Davis now thinks that the “making available” instruction was a mistake. He says that he found a 1993 ruling from the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals that requires “actual dissemination of either copies or phonorecords.” An Arizona ruling entered on similar arguments was revoked late last April, he added, and earlier this month a Florida federal court reached the same conclusion.

Neither side in Capitol v. Thomas presented the 1993 decision to him, said Davis. Oral arguments on whether or not a new trial will be held on July 1 in Duluth, Minnesota.

With precedent quickly shifting away from the content industry’s favor, the RIAA doesn’t seem fazed: “If we have to retry the case, we’ll do so without hesitation,” said RIAA attorney Richard Gabriel. Record companies can still prove that Thomas violated copyright, because files found on her computer have the same signatures as known pirated recordings – files that Thomas claims were copied from CDs. Beyond that, says Gabriel, evidence that investigators working for the RIAA were able to download music from her computer is more than sufficient to win a second trial.

“We've been saying all along that it was submitted to the jury on an improper theory,” said attorney and Recording Industry vs. The People co-author Ray Beckerman. “Now the judge recognizes his error and he realizes he was misled by record industry lawyers.”





"This week I got an iPhone. This weekend I got four chargers so I can keep it charged everywhere I go and a land line so I can actually make phone calls." -- Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg



Latest Headlines
Google Pixel 2XL will reportedly cost less.
September 20, 2017, 6:17 AM
IFA Berlin 2017 Tech Show
August 25, 2017, 6:13 AM
Two great updates from Google
August 20, 2017, 6:42 AM
Sony’s 4K OLED Smart TV
August 13, 2017, 6:20 AM



Most Popular ArticlesiSO 11 is Almost Ready:
September 19, 2017, 7:48 AM
Samsung Galaxy S9 – Latest Leaks
September 24, 2017, 6:57 AM
Intel Coffee Lake release date
September 10, 2017, 6:07 AM
We will Get 5G Phones in 2019
September 19, 2017, 6:49 AM
Google Pixel 2XL will reportedly cost less.
September 20, 2017, 6:17 AM

Latest Blog Posts






botimage
Copyright 2017 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki