US Court orders woman to pay $222,000 for Kazaa file sharing

Yikes! :astonished:

[quote]In the first lawsuit over file sharing to make it to court, a jury ordered a woman who record labels claimed illegally shared songs to pay the labels $222,000.

The lawsuit, filed by the Recording Industry Association of America, the record label lobbying organization, accused Jammie Thomas of sharing more than 1,700 songs on the now defunct peer-to-peer file sharing network Kazaa. . .

Despite the win, according to Ray Beckerman, a partner at the law firm Vandenberg & Feliu and the brains behind the blog Recording Industry vs. the People, which chronicles the RIAA’s efforts, Thomas has grounds for an appeal.

According to reports, the judge instructed the jury that for Thomas to be found guilty, the RIAA needed to prove only that the files were made available on Kazaa, not that anyone copied them. Beckerman said that was a mistake.

“I think there’s one major error by the judge – the jury instructions. It flies in the face of 40 years of case law. … If she were to lose, she would have a great appeal,” he said. “Somehow they sold the judge. Just having the shared files is a copyright infringement.”

In his closing argument, Thomas’ lawyer Brian Toder argued that the labels never proved that Thomas physically shared the files.

“We don’t know what happened,” he reportedly said, according to The Associated Press. “All we know is that Jammie Thomas didn’t do this.”[/quote] … 170&page=1

Big win for RIAA; big loss for the defendant. I think she’s probably a liar. She probably did at least a large portion of the file sharing and is not some ignorant/innocent victim. And I don’t recall exactly what the relevant law says.

But I think the defense lawyer makes a good point. Seems wrong that one can be found guilty for just possessing the stuff on one’s computer, without proof that one is responsible for it getting there. I remember hearing that same argument when the Taiwan prosecutors raided a university dorm a few years ago, seized a bunch of computers from students and arrested them (in order to impress the US with their serious efforts to crack down on IP piracy). It was pointed out then that these kids were being arrested due to content on their computers (which they may have allowed others to use) without any proof that the defendants did anything illegal.

In today’s repressive climate of government’s and industry’s total supremacy over the now quaint notions of personal rights, civil liberties and due process, however, such an argument seems futile. File sharers beware.

Ironically, the RIAA is spending so much money on this kind of litigation that it’s actually going bankrupt.

One thing that confuses me about these cases. Are they going after the original supplier of the file or just general downloader? If they are going after the original supplier how do they prove it?

[quote=“Poagao”]Ironically, the RIAA is spending so much money on this kind of litigation that it’s actually going bankrupt.[/quote]Seriously? That’s hilarious. :laughing:

[quote=“Funk500”]One thing that confuses me about these cases. Are they going after the original supplier of the file or just general downloader? If they are going after the original supplier how do they prove it?[/quote]I don’t think they’ve gone after any downloaders yet, just uploaders. I guess it easier to find uploaders, they have a list of files on their computer they are offering for download.

RIAA is evil cult.

Still, in many/most cases I believe the RIAA doesn’t have evidence of who put those files on the computer – it could have been a friend, child, the babysitter, etc. – but apparently that’s not necessarily a defense. I don’t know if that’s a mistake by the judge, as the defense attorney claims above (ie., does the relevant law require them to prove that the defendant actually committed the act?), or does the law simply prohibit owning a computer that has been used for illegal file sharing.

It’s not ownership of the computer, but of the IP address to which uploads can be traced which is supposed to constitute proof of committing illegal acts.

There was one case of a woman with an unsecured wireless modem getting off because anyone could have used her connection to share copyright works.

They could be held responsible for what their computer/wireless connection is used for.

In the UK, having an unsecured wireless connecting and saying “anyone could have done it” is no defense for browsing child porn.

Then again, isn’t there some protection against incriminating yourself ? I remember there being some controversy over speed cameras, they only identified the registered owner of the vehicle, not the driver.

The “upload” issue is an interesting definition.

The P2P stuff I’ve seen defaults any downloaded files to be available for downloads by others. So, following that thru, files on another person’s machine may be available for download without them specifically ‘uploading’.
I mean, isn’t that the nature of p2p, you don’t have have a place to ‘upload’ to?

Another definition of ‘uploader’ could be the person who ripped a file and make it available in the first instance.

I know of people who don’t use p2p, but are happy to accept physical copies of material that other people have downloaded. Do the same rules apply to them? What about people who watch or hear material knowing that it’s been downloaded illegally?

Can’t I rip a file after I’ve been ripped off by the entertainment industry when I bought the CD/DVD?

Well, let’s just hope it’s true.

[quote]As of July 2006, the RIAA has sued more than 20,000 people in the United States suspected of distributing copyrighted works, and have settled approximately 2,500 of the cases.

The RIAA’s policy and method of suing individuals for copyright infringement is continually criticized. Brad Templeton of the Electronic Frontier Foundation has called the RIAA’s lawsuits “spamigation” and implied they are done merely to intimidate people. . .

The RIAA names defendants based on ISP identification of the subscriber associated with an IP address, and as such do not know any additional information about a person before they sue. This has led to them issuing subpoenas to a dead grandmother, an elderly computer novice, a woman with multiple sclerosis, and even those without any computer at all. Sometimes the RIAA continues to sue even in these cases, or seeks to discontinue without prejudice (and thereby avoid compensating the defense for legal fees).

After learning that one alleged copyright infringer has died, the RIAA offered the deceased man’s family a period of sixty days to grieve the man’s death before they began to depose members of his family for the suit against his estate.

The RIAA also brings lawsuits against children, some as young as 12. . .

In 2005, Patricia Santangelo made the news by challenging the RIAA’s lawsuit against her. While she succeeded in getting the lawsuit against her dismissed two years later, her children were then sued. A default judgment entered against her daughter Michelle for $30,750 for failing to respond to the lawsuit, was subsequently vacated.

Another defendant, Tanya Andersen, a 41-year-old single mother living in Oregon, filed counterclaims against the RIAA including a RICO charge. The RIAA requested deposition of her 10 year-old daughter. . . [/quote]

I read about it here and it’s on BoingBoing. The whole “bankrupt” thing was just me being optimistic.

This will be an interesting case to watch, don’t know how successful they will be though…

[quote]The Pirate Bay files charges against media companies

Thanks to the email-leakage from MediaDefender-Defenders we now have proof of the things we’ve been suspecting for a long time; the big record and movie labels are paying professional hackers, saboteurs and ddosers to destroy our trackers.

While browsing through the email we identified the companies that are also active in Sweden and we have tonight reported these incidents to the police. The charges are infrastructural sabotage, denial of service attacks, hacking and spamming, all of these on a commercial level.

The companies that are being reported are the following:

Twentieth Century Fox, Sweden AB
Emi Music Sweden AB
Universal Music Group Sweden AB
Universal Pictures Nordic AB
Paramount Home Entertainment (Sweden) AB
Atari Nordic AB
Activision Nordic Filial Till Activision (Uk) Ltd
Ubisoft Sweden AB
Sony Bmg Music Entertainment (Sweden) AB
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment Nordic AB

Stay tuned for updates.[/quote]

I’m sure Truant that it comes under possession of stolen goods.

If somebody steals you car and I knowling use it wihtoutyour permission and I get caught, then thats the law that applies.

Just because you downloaded it doesn’t make the theft any less material in the eyes if the law. Recently in the UK a post who was giving links to online tv streaming got sentenced to jail even though he didnt upload any shows. But by facilitating the theft he was sent for a long vacation.