Your Ad Here Your Ad Here
Results 1 to 6 of 6

Thread: Appeal in File-Sharing Case Could Clarify Copyright Law

  1. #1
    Hairbautt's Avatar *haircut
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Florida
    Age
    20
    Posts
    11,028
    "To many on the Internet, Jammie Thomas, a 30-year-old mother of two who makes $36,000 a year, is the perfect poster child for music industry abuses. Slapped with a $222,000 fine for illegally distributing music online, she contrasts sharply with the image of greedy record executives and heartless lawyers. Convicted of sharing just 24 songs, although more than 1,000 were discovered on her hard drive, she defies the image of file-sharers as wealthy college kids who would rather steal than buy."

    "In the aftermath of the verdict, some spin-control experts have questioned the wisdom of pursuing such a sympathetic character into court, given all the negative publicity the mammoth verdict has engendered. The verdict might create "a long-lasting image" of the RIAA, said Jonathan Bernstein, head of a Los Angeles-based crisis-management firm. "On the Internet, it's simple to create martyrdom," he said. "It can be very harmful to a company's reputation."

    The jury did not find Thomas so sympathetic, however. In press interviews after the trial, jurors said they found her defense incredible and "wanted to send a message that you don't do this, that you have been warned."

    Jurors Unsympathetic

    According to Michael Hegg, a 38-year-old juror from Duluth, Minnesota, the jurors agreed immediately that Thomas was guilty of copyright infringement. There was deep disagreement about the size of the verdict, however. Two jurors wanted to fine her the statutory limit of $150,000 per infringement, while one juror wanted to use the minimum fine of $750. The ultimate judgment of $9,250 for each of 24 infringing acts was a compromise, Hegg said.

    On Monday, Thomas and her lawyer announced they would appeal the decision, focusing on the judge's instruction that the jury should find Thomas liable if they found that she had merely "made available" the songs. Under this instruction, the record companies didn't have to prove that other users actually downloaded music from Thomas.

    Question Ripe for Appeal

    The "making available" question is a "question that is ripe for appeal," Eric Goldman, director of the High Tech Law Institute at Santa Clara University, said in a telephone interview. U.S. copyright law does not use the term "making available" but only talks about a right to "exclusive distribution." Goldman said there are good arguments on both sides. "It's an important question that hasn't been addressed squarely."

    The jury seemed to feel that the evidence against Thomas was so damning that there was no question of her guilt. Hegg said the jury would still have convicted Thomas even under a stricter standard of proof. "It would have been a lot harder to make the decision," he said. "Yes, we would have reached the same result."

    If the Appeals Court agrees, it might not even reach the "making available" issue. "If I were an appeals judge, I would send it back," Goldman said, "but a court could say, 'We don't think it will make a difference.'"

    Regardless of the appeal's outcome, the jury's intent to "send a message" might already be backfiring. The New York Times reported Wednesday that a nascent group called Students for Free Culture has been picking up steam in light of publicity around RIAA lawsuits.

    Cory Doctorow, an outspoken opponent of recording industry tactics, told the Times that the RIAA is not "scaring students away from file-sharing, but scaring them into political consciousness.""

    Source: Yahoo! News
    C|Net Newsblog: RIAA's $222,000 defendant asks for a new trial - October 15, 2007
    Last edited by Hairbautt; 10-16-2007 at 01:03 AM.
    _________________________________________________________________________________________
    Last edited by Alien5; Jun 6th, 2006 at
    06:36 PM..

  2. News (Archive)   -   #2
    Quote Originally Posted by Hairbautt View Post
    On Monday, Thomas and her lawyer announced they would appeal the decision, focusing on the judge's instruction that the jury should find Thomas liable if they found that she had merely "made available" the songs. Under this instruction, the record companies didn't have to prove that other users actually downloaded music from Thomas.
    that law is not practical. laws are supposed to be supported by evidence. this law does compensate those that are affected by the distribution (uploading) of music, which is fine, but it is based upon the assumption that people have downloaded the material and subsequently shared it to many others illegitimately, which is wrong and unfair.
    at least the jurors had some sense and - after debating - decided to lessen the charges. to me they seemed extremely emotional (that is, irrational) and unsympathetic in their decision.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hairbautt View Post
    the RIAA is not "scaring students away from file-sharing, but scaring them into political consciousness.""
    so true!

  3. News (Archive)   -   #3
    4play's Avatar knob jockey
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    London
    Age
    35
    Posts
    5,530
    The comment from jurors saying he would still have convicted mrs Thomas even if the judge would have not told them 'making available' was not copyright infringement highlights their ignorance.
    At no point in the trial did the riaa show any proof that mrs thomas had uploaded a single copy to anyone else. HOW can they convict without a single shred of evidence?

    I also don't remember reading making available in u.s law so this is the judges opinion of the law so hopefully its overturned on appeal by the appeal court, which funnily enough will set a precedent for all lower courts to follow.

    The appeal court hopefully also has something to say about the fine imposed. considering this law was put in place to stop commercial piracy(where people make money off of copyright infringement) im not sure the same level of fines should apply to someone who does not intend to make a single penny from copyright infringement.

    I would also like to congratulate the jurors who in their own words "wanted to send a message that you don't do this, that you have been warned." Im sure single mothers everywhere got the message that sharing of 24 songs with anyone will lead to crippling fines that will probably ruin the rest of your life.

    my favourite quote so far though has to be
    "Oh my God, you got to be kidding."... She lied. There was no defense. Her defense sucked... I think she thought a jury from Duluth would be naive. We're not that stupid up here. I don't know what the f**k she was thinking, to tell you the truth."

    not only does the rest of the world now think that a jury from Duluth is naive but we also think your completely incompetent as well. How does a $220,000 fine even come remotely close to actual damages caused by her actions. Infact the riaa has not even proved she caused any damage what so ever but the jury seemed intent on showing how they can punish this wicked woman. The responsibility of the jury is to decided on a fair amount of compensation and $220,000 is so far out that its boggles the mind what they where thinking.

  4. News (Archive)   -   #4
    lynx's Avatar .
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Yorkshire, England
    Posts
    9,810
    It looks to me as if everyone was dodging the issue.

    The judge wasn't prepared to say that "making available" is legal.
    The jury didn't want to be the ones who said it was legal.
    The jury also wanted to impose a "fine" which couldn't possibly be regarded as proportional to any damage caused.
    The judge wasn't prepared to give sufficient guidance to the jury, nor to tell them that their award was disproportionate.

    All of the above mean that an appeal court will probably have to make the decisions for them, which gets them all nicely off the hook.
    .
    Political correctness is based on the principle that it's possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.

  5. News (Archive)   -   #5
    4play's Avatar knob jockey
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    London
    Age
    35
    Posts
    5,530
    Quote Originally Posted by lynx View Post
    It looks to me as if everyone was dodging the issue.

    The judge wasn't prepared to say that "making available" is legal.
    As far as im aware the judge can only give guidance and he specifically stated making available is illegal. since its not been tested before in court who is to say its not illegal.
    The jury didn't want to be the ones who said it was legal.
    The juries only weapon to say that they think the law is wrong is jury nullification. its a pity that they neither wanted to use it or probably more likely have no idea that it exists.
    The jury also wanted to impose a "fine" which couldn't possibly be regarded as proportional to any damage caused.
    The judge wasn't prepared to give sufficient guidance to the jury, nor to tell them that their award was disproportionate.
    the judge did give guidance and that was that making available was illegal. like i said before the jury only gave that level of fine because they wanted to punish her.
    All of the above mean that an appeal court will probably have to make the decisions for them, which gets them all nicely off the hook.
    From what i have read on the case she is more than likely guilty of copyright infringement so i would have found her guilty as well. but the law states that she must be fined $750 - $150,000 per song. even the $750 is too large for this sort of infringement so i would have found her not guilty and stated my reasons for this clearly.

    Im sure i have read that the maximum penalty for infringement of patents in America is 3 times the value. so why is copyright so different to warrant 750 times the value as a minimum.

  6. News (Archive)   -   #6
    Hairbautt's Avatar *haircut
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Florida
    Age
    20
    Posts
    11,028
    Just caught a newsblog on C|Net: RIAA's $222,000 defendant asks for a new trial

    /added
    _________________________________________________________________________________________
    Last edited by Alien5; Jun 6th, 2006 at
    06:36 PM..

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •