Jammie Thomas, the Minnesota woman who was slapped with a $222,000 penalty for allegedly sharing music on the Kazaa network, asked for a new trial way back in October 2007.
The surprising thing is that she may get one.
U.S. District Judge Michael Davis wrote Thursday that he was "contemplating granting a new trial." That's because, Davis said, he may have wrongly instructed the jury that merely making a copyrighted song available in a shared folder amounts to infringement. Oral arguments on this question are set for July 1.
Asking for a new trial is pretty standard, but the request isn't granted that frequently. The reason Davis is willing to consider it is that one case that the Recording Industry Association of America relied on is being reconsidered and a second, which neither side cited, suggests that an actual transfer has to take place. (The 1993 8th Circuit case, which is binding precedent, says that infringement "requires an actual dissemination.")" by Declan McCullagh
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