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RIAA Counsel Richard Gabriel Addresses The Court  (Source: Wired Threat Level)

The Jury Found Jammie Thomas Guilty and Awarded $222,000 in Damages  (Source: Wired Threat Level)
The RIAA adds a notch to its belt of legal victories

“This is what can happen if you don’t settle,” said RIAA attorney Richard Gabriels, speaking to reporters just outside the Duluth, Minnesota Courthouse, minutes after Jammie Thomas was found liable for copyright infringement to the tune of $222,000.
 
Thomas, a single mom with two kids, left the courthouse without comment and did not speak with reporters.
 
Under the username “Tereastarr,” Thomas was found sharing just over 1,700 files via the Kazaa network on February 21, 2005. Of those 1,700 tracks, 24 were named – including music from popular artists such as AFI, Green Day, and Aerosmith – and for each one she was held liable for $9,250 worth of damages, coming to a grand total of $222,000.
 
Brian Toder, Thomas’ defense attorney, maintained that there existed no proof that Thomas was the person behind the keyboard, noting that Thomas or her computer may have been the victim of zombie botnet, spoofing attacks, or malicious crackers. “All we know is that Jammie Thomas didn’t do it,” said Toder, adding that Thomas was “not the person marauding as Tereastarr.”
 
This defense did not appear to hold up as it was found that Thomas used “Tereastarr” all around the internet, including online shopping, chat services, e-mail, and even dating services. The offending songs were linked to her cable modem’s MAC address, as well as her home IP address.
 
Gabriels called Thomas’ defense “misdirection, red herrings, and smoke and mirrors.”
 
Complicating Thomas’ defense was testimony from an ex-boyfriend saying while he had never seen her actively downloading music, she did have her hard drive replaced a month after her computer was picked up in the RIAA’s dragnets. Toder said that this was due to hard drive problems – something Thomas’ ex-boyfriend remembered her complaining about beforehand – but the RIAA argued that she had it changed to cover her tracks.
 
Forensic scientists could not find any evidence of file sharing on her new hard drive, and her old hard drive was not admitted as evidence.
 
Capitol Records v. Jammie Thomas, as Thomas’ loss is more formally known, was the first lawsuit of its kind to proceed before a jury as well as a landmark case that set precedent heavily favoring the RIAA in future legal battles. U.S. District Judge Michael Davis ruled that one could be guilty of copyright infringement merely by the act of making copyrighted songs available for download; as a result the RIAA did not need to establish that Thomas at her computer at the time her was accessed by investigators, nor did they need to prove that anyone actually downloaded the music she offered.
 
While the RIAA no longer publishes the number of lawsuits it’s filed in its four-years-and-counting legal campaign against file sharers, many publications speculate that that number stands anywhere between 18,000 and 36,000 lawsuits, with untold more settling long before the actual trial.


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That's alot of money
By gigahertz20 on 10/4/2007 9:03:43 PM , Rating: 2
This is exactly why I don't use P2P software like Kazaa, I only use private bittorent tracking sites. I don't think it really matters what you use though, I know when I connect to a torrent using uTorrent I can see everybodies IP address that is downloading or uploading the torrent file. I think that is all they need to bust your ass.

I guess the best thing to do is spoof your IP address, I know there is software out there that can do it but I've always read it usually doesn't work well.




RE: That's alot of money
By Xavian on 10/4/2007 9:08:23 PM , Rating: 2
What you can do is use an ip-blocker like peerguardian to stop such RIAA/MPAA dragnets like "Media Defender" from connecting to your PC and providing circumstantial evidence to bring you to court.


RE: That's alot of money
By KristopherKubicki (blog) on 10/4/2007 9:09:29 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I guess the best thing to do is spoof your IP address, I know there is software out there that can do it but I've always read it usually doesn't work well.

You can't have it both ways. TCP connections don't allow you to spoof and handshake at the same time. You could probably do it via proxy, but I don't think you're going to get much speed out of that.


RE: That's alot of money
By drebo on 10/5/2007 2:05:00 AM , Rating: 2
There's always TOR.


RE: That's alot of money
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 10/5/2007 10:52:21 AM , Rating: 2
Just hijack your neighbor's wireless connection.


RE: That's alot of money
By tjr508 on 10/5/2007 11:16:37 AM , Rating: 2
Seriously. A $10 card supporting packet injection and a second laptop can crack WEP in a matter of minutes now-a-days.

Oh wait, that's illegal too.


RE: That's alot of money
By walk2k on 10/5/2007 1:00:59 PM , Rating: 2
Or you can just not download music?

Though I have a bit of a problem with the monetary amount here, $9000 each for something you can buy for less than $1, BIT of a steep increase there??

I do not agree with piracy or any of the lame excuses people provide, like "it's too expensive". If you don't pay for it, you don't deserve it. That is the way the world works. If you want to start your own music label, and not pay the musicians/songwriters/engineers/producers/etc etc and give the music away for free..... yeah good luck with that.


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