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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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The point of all this...
By dluther on 10/4/2007 11:51:16 PM , Rating: 0
... is that stealing is wrong, and the message to the world is that if you steal music, the RIAA will come after you, and they'll win.

Jammie Thomas knew it was wrong when she was sharing the music; she just happened to be the poster child-in-waiting to personify this mythical battle that pits the giant evil record companies against the lowly single mother that lives paycheck to paycheck.

I've heard all the lame excuses people offer up to justify their larceny, including:

- I can't afford the music
- This is a political protest against the corporate machine
- The music mostly sucks
- The record companies are making too much money
- The RIAA doesn't have the authority
- DRM is an infringement on Fair Use
- Stealing isn't wrong if it's done for a good cause
- The music is overpriced
- Sharing is only hurting the corporate fat cats

Sorry folks, you want to play, you have to pay.

I actually feel sorry for Ms. Thomas. I really do. She'll probably have her paychecks garnished for the rest of her natural life, and if she gets married, her spouse will probably be held liable for that debt as well. And if she thought it was tough to make it before, wait until she faces a 25% garnishment.

But she did the deed and got caught. Her main problem was listening to whoever convinced her that she had a chance to win a jury trial by playing the pity card; she would have been much better off by negotiating the settlement. And I should point out that the trial centered around her sharing the music, not downloading it.

Yes, the RIAA is pretty draconian in their pursuit of copyright infringement. Cases of grandparents and dead people being sued are not uncommon. But the RIAA people are trying to protect their interests the only way they know how. Entertainment is a giant industry that runs on money, and illegal sharing is chipping away at that foundation.

This win for the RIAA today will only bolster their position, and I'm pretty saddened by this because they're not nice people. But whether or not I agree with their methods, I do agree with their motivations.




RE: The point of all this...
By NT78stonewobble on 10/5/2007 1:32:48 AM , Rating: 2
Ah but to actually steal something you would have to take something from the owner of said item.

You can't really say that the act of copying is stealing since nothing is missing.

Additionally the argument I personally have in favor of any music sharing is that people most often wouldn't have gotten the cd even if they couldn't download that song or 2 they liked of it.

But I do agree that people should pay for the music/movies/software they like and would like to own.

Which is why I still buy cd's and dvd's and actually have a quite large collection.

Personally I don't mind people sharing before eventually buying or not buying but do mind people owning 10.000 songs and 400 movies and not having bought a single one ever...


RE: The point of all this...
By Christopher1 on 10/5/2007 12:11:49 PM , Rating: 2
Personally, I would buy DVD's and CD's.... If they allowed me to download an ISO and burn the thing, even using a proprietary burning software, in my home!

I do NOT want to have to go out to a store and waste gasoline when I can just download the things that I want online with no problems (as long as they aren't full of DRM).


"So if you want to save the planet, feel free to drive your Hummer. Just avoid the drive thru line at McDonalds." -- Michael Asher

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