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Jammie Thomas stands accused of sharing 1,705 songs in April 2005.  (Source: NewsMax.com)
Deemed to have nothing to say of relevance, Cary Sherman will have to wait for another day in court for a soap box

Judge Michael J. Davis barred Recording Industry Association of America President Cary Sherman from testifying in Capitol Records v. Jammie Thomas, the first RIAA lawsuit to go to jury trial. With Sherman struck from the witness list, testimony wrapped up Wednesday and a decision is expected today.
 
“I don’t want to turn this case into a soap box for the recording industry,” said Thomas’ counsel Brian Toder. RIAA lawyers argued that Sherman could provide valuable testimony to the jury over the case’s significance and the harm the RIAA has suffered due to piracy.
 
Even after Judge Davis rendered his motion to bar Sherman’s testimony, RIAA counsel Richard Gabriel continued to press on. Emphasizing the importance of Sherman’s testimony, Gabriel argued that Sherman is needed to help the jury see the “massive problem of file sharing,” and that the RIAA is not out to make money but “to prove a point.”
 
Judge Davis remained stalwart, refusing to reconsider.
 
Capitol Records v. Jammie Thomas is significant because it is the first case among the RIAA’s litany of more than 18,000 lawsuits to make it to jury trial. With most of the suits, the RIAA tends to push for a settlement to avoid costly litigation; defendants, facing overwhelming legal fees and the costs of going to court, usually settle for amounts that range from around $3,000 to $11,000.
 
Previous testimony in Capitol Records v. Jammie Thomas included witnesses from Sony BMG, Warner Bros., and EMI Records of North America. In one such testimony, Sony BMG’s head of litigation Jennifer Pariser equated Fair Use to stealing when she testified that if “an individual makes a copy of a song for himself, I suppose we can say he stole a song,” adding that making “a copy” is just “a nice way saying ‘steals just one copy.’”



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RE: Question
By Dianoda on 10/4/2007 5:32:49 PM , Rating: 2
The decision to bar the president of the RIAA from testifying?

No. That decision would have to occur on a case by case basis. But if Cary Sherman was never found to have anything relevant to say, it is likely that such testimony would continue to be barred. The court system is just that, it isn't a public forum. If Cary Sherman has a point to make, he can do it outside of the courtroom, where no one is required to listen.

Given the course of events that transpired, one might hope that such a decision (which prevented Cary Sherman from talking) was applicable not only in other cases in the USA, but outside of the courtroom as well, and also applicable to the whole of the RIAA, in which case we might never hear anything from them ever again. :p


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