backtop


Print 26 comment(s) - last by glitchc.. on Nov 25 at 8:34 PM

RIAA v. Thomas will get a second attempt

The retrial for the RIAA’s landmark $222,000 judgment against Duluth, Minnesota woman Jammie Thomas will begin March 9, after a federal judge tossed out the original verdict last month.

In a first-of-its-kind four day trial last October, a jury found Thomas liable for copyright infringement at a rate of $9,250 per song. Of the 1,700 songs files that the RIAA said Thomas made available, it elected to seek damages on 24 of them – from artists such as AFI, Green Day, and Aerosmith – reaching the breathtaking grand total of $222,000.

U.S. District Court Chief Judge Michael Davis declared a mistrial last month, after finding that RIAA lawyers misguided the jury with an erroneous instruction: Jury Instruction No. 15 told jurors to consider the act of making a copyrighted song available for download (via a P2P client’s shared folder) equivalent to the act of infringement. Because Thomas was not found to have committed actual copyright infringement – proving a thing is impossible, claims the RIAA, because it cannot monitor all the different connections P2P clients make to each other – RIAA lawyers generally equate making available with actually trading music.

“Requiring proof of actual transfers would cripple efforts to enforce copyright owners' rights online,” said RIAA attorney Timothy Reynolds last month. “[It] would solely benefit those who seek to freeload off plaintiff's investment.”

Davis announced he had doubts about the decision last May, after a slew of similar cases in Florida and Arizona ruled in the defendants’ favor, striking down the “making available” argument. Upon looking into the matter sua sponte – on his own accord – Davis says he found a 1993 ruling from the 8th circuit Court of Appeals that requires evidence of “actual dissemination of copies or phonorecords” in order to prove copyright infringement. The 1993 decision, which featured prominently in the Florida and Arizona decisions, was never mentioned in Thomas’ original trial.

The RIAA promised an appeal to Davis’ September order, “either now or after a full retrial.” (PDF)



Comments     Threshold


This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

By omnicronx on 10/31/2008 10:14:09 AM , Rating: 4
Pfft, the Music industry is just about the only industry that dug their own grave in regards to piracy. They had a chance a long time ago to invest in digital downloads, but being the cash mongers the RIAA are, they decided that they should not have to give up their extremely high margin products (CD's) and as such they let companies like Napster, and Apple flourish, taking away from the industry that could have easily been theirs.

The Music industry did not adjust to the times, and now they are feeling the heat, although they are still making millions upon millions, and artists are making less and less from album sales. In fact many artists use their albums as a promotion for the concerts, which is where the majority of artists make their money, touring. In other words, please do not argue that we are taking away from the artists either, as they have been all but cut out from records sales, unless they fought for it in their contract.

I do not endorse copyright infringement with games, movies, or TV shows, but I just can't feel one bit sorry for the music industry.


"What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders." -- Michael Dell, after being asked what to do with Apple Computer in 1997














botimage
Copyright 2014 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki