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The RIAA loses another pivotal infringement case

Many music fans and supports of consumer rights were appalled when Jammie Thomas was ordered to pay $220,000 in restitution to RIAA for allegedly making copyrighted songs available on peer-to-peer network Kazaa.

The original verdict called for Thomas to pay the massive settlement amounting to $9,250 per song and she was said to have made a little more than 1,700 tracks available. RIAA attorney Richard Gabriels said outside the courthouse after the verdict was handed down, "This is what can happen if you don’t settle." In other words, if we tell you to pay, pay whether you did it or not.

This week, Gabriels isn’t quite singing the same tune he was in October of 2007. Judge Davis had previously announced that he was considering a retrial in the Thomas case in May of 2008. This week Davis threw out the jury verdict of $220,000 and declared a mistrial.

CNET News reports that Davis declared the mistrial on the grounds that he misguided the jury during the original trial. Davis told the jurors that simply making copyrighted songs available for sharing amounts to infringement.

That statement from Davis drew the ire of the Electronic Frontier Foundation and other consumer groups who claimed the instructions to the jury were erroneous. Obviously, RIAA maintained that the instructions given by Judge Davis to the jury were valid.

RIAA attorney Timothy Reynolds said, "Requiring proof of actual transfers would cripple efforts to enforce copyright owners' rights online--and would solely benefit those who seek to freeload off plaintiff's investment."



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RE: Be careful what you ask for
By SavagePotato on 9/26/2008 10:49:14 AM , Rating: 2
Couple teenagers here recently pulled a B&E on the neighbors, fucked up their place pretty good, and put their cat in the microwave watching it scream itself to death.

They got 100 hours community service because they were only 17 years old.

I dare say I would think that the file sharing lady is a little bit less deserving of jail time than these two but go figure.

Child molesters get what on average? suspended sentences or at most maybe a year or two they will actually serve half of. Priorities are really in order if we need to start jailing people for file sharing.

Just out of curiosity where are you going to house 90% of America's college and university students as they serve their jailtime?


By contractcooker on 9/26/2008 1:44:06 PM , Rating: 2
LMAO. Exactly. It's the sheer massiveness of filesharing that's the problem. I don't even know why they bother trying to stop it. It's SO INCREDIBLY INEVITABLE AND IT'S ONE OF THE BEST THINGS TO HAPPEN TO THE WORLD. God forbid that everyone have access to information. Now people should be paid for their work but what we're seeing here is that the current model JUST DOESN'T WORK. They have to come up with something new because there is no way in hell that they will be able to stop the masses from file-sharing.


RE: Be careful what you ask for
By myhipsi on 9/29/2008 9:44:08 AM , Rating: 2
Unfortunately, because of corporate lobbyists and the blurred line between corporation and government, most of the laws enacted these days are there to protect corporations, not individuals. So it makes sense that penalties for crimes against corporations are more severe than crimes against people. When people decide to take their government back, the punishment will again fit the crime.


"Google fired a shot heard 'round the world, and now a second American company has answered the call to defend the rights of the Chinese people." -- Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-N.J.)

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