Print 44 comment(s) - last by bplewis24.. on Oct 9 at 3:26 PM

Jammie Thomas stands accused of sharing 1,705 songs in April 2005.  (Source:
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: Not looking good
By bplewis24 on 10/4/2007 7:10:18 PM , Rating: 2
While you are correct that the burden of proof in civil cases is not "beyond a reasonable doubt" as it is in criminal cases, it's not the same as "not having to prove anything."

Technically, the burden of proof in civil cases is "beyond a preponderance of doubt." In all practicality, all you have to prove is that a person is "more than likely" guilty, which some people describe as the 51% rule. If you believe there is a 51% chance or more that he/she is guilty, than the burden of proof is met.

Having said that, don't confuse burden of proof in guilt vs innocence to proving damages. The burden in proving that the defendant was guilty in this case is still a relatively separate matter from proving just how much she should be paying in the way of damages. And that tends to get a bit more complicated.


RE: Not looking good
By Phynaz on 10/4/2007 7:38:58 PM , Rating: 2
Actually it's preoponderence of evidence.

There's no such thing as "beyond a preponderance of doubt".

RE: Not looking good
By bplewis24 on 10/9/2007 3:26:27 PM , Rating: 2
Of course, you are right. Thanks for the correction...not sure what I was thinking.


RE: Not looking good
By Polynikes on 10/4/07, Rating: 0
“And I don't know why [Apple is] acting like it’s superior. I don't even get it. What are they trying to say?” -- Bill Gates on the Mac ads
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