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RIAA Loses $222K Verdict

CmdrTaco posted more than 5 years ago | from the turning-tide dept.

Your Rights Online 342

jriding writes "The $222,000 verdict against Jammy Thomas for copyright infringement by P2P is no more. US District Court Judge Michael Davis dismissed the verdict, saying it was based on the faulty 'making available' theory of distribution."

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342 comments

Good for her (4, Interesting)

fewnorms (630720) | more than 5 years ago | (#25152733)

About time the RIAA loses a big case like this, and have the public know about it. Bunch of crooks...

Re:Good for her (5, Insightful)

Evets (629327) | more than 5 years ago | (#25152827)

It'll be interesting to see if the verdict reversal gets the same amount of mainstream media coverage. It's one thing to see this in the tech media. It's another thing when it's in Time, Newsweek, and all the major newspapers.

Re:Good for her (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25153217)

This judgement raises important questions. Like, does Jammy shave her snatch? I think we all appreciate that she'll make it available, but if it's hairy, why bother?

Re:Good for her (4, Insightful)

dimeglio (456244) | more than 5 years ago | (#25153431)

I suppose it will appear in those media which are not members of the RIAA or owned by members of the RIAA. Maybe some Canadian press will cover the reversal.

Timing (3, Insightful)

wfstanle (1188751) | more than 5 years ago | (#25153597)

I too would like a lot of media attention but let's be realistic. With all that is happening now, they will bury news of it to where you will be forced to hunt for it. It's important news, but it will not get much public attention. In this respect, the RIAA is lucky because the timing is good for them. They may have lost a battle but the war will still continue.

Re:Good for her (-1, Flamebait)

Overly Critical Guy (663429) | more than 5 years ago | (#25153391)

Yeah, pirates aren't crooks or anything. There's no irony in your post whatsoever, and no sarcasm in mine.

Re:Good for her (5, Insightful)

orclevegam (940336) | more than 5 years ago | (#25153553)

Sure pirates are crooks. Most of them probably cost the distribution companies (not the creators) a couple hundred dollars a year. The worst of them might cost them a thousand or two. The RIAA on the other hand are crooks of a different sort, and they cost people and the government (and by extension everyone) hundreds of thousands of dollars a year. So, I ask you, who's the bigger criminal here, the pirates that all told cost the media companies maybe a hundred thousand dollars, or the media companies that cost everyone hundreds of thousands of dollars, and ruin the lives of people seemingly at random whether they're guilty of piracy or not?

Our copyright and patent system is broken. It's been abused, and stretched to the point of breaking by greedy big media trying to prop up flagging business models rather than innovate and change with progress. We need to reform our copyright and patent systems, destroy the media conglomerates, and then worry about trying to curb piracy. I have a feeling however that they'll find once copyright has been reduced back to what it was originally intended, and media companies are once again innovating instead of trying to enforce, that piracy won't be much of a problem at all.

So What's Next? (-1, Redundant)

CodeBuster (516420) | more than 5 years ago | (#25152737)

Can they try her again? Do they have to use the same evidence only or is it a completely new trial?

Re:So What's Next? (4, Informative)

mazarin5 (309432) | more than 5 years ago | (#25152781)

Thomas will face a new trial, in which the RIAA will have to prove actual distribution.

It's in the first fucking paragraph of the article!

Re:So What's Next? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25152953)

Thomas will face a new trial, in which the RIAA will have to prove actual distribution.

It's in the first fucking paragraph of the article!

There's an article?

Re:So What's Next? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25153223)

There's an article?

Yup - I checked and (to my surprise) there actually is. Looks like Slashdot has making more changes lately than just breaking the front page with JavaScript.

Re:So What's Next? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25152971)

RTFA has a much nicer ring to it than RTFFFPOTA.

Re:So What's Next? (4, Insightful)

CodeBuster (516420) | more than 5 years ago | (#25153027)

Right, still it seems "unsporting", as the British might say, about trying her again. I hope that the RIAA doesn't, but that is probably to much to expect from such an ethically bankrupt organization.

Let the flood gates be opened (1)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | more than 5 years ago | (#25152739)

...for setting aside other judgments

Re:Let the flood gates be opened (1)

Evets (629327) | more than 5 years ago | (#25152797)

Were there other judgements? I thought this was the first.

Re:Let the flood gates be opened (4, Informative)

sabre3999 (1143017) | more than 5 years ago | (#25153211)

Yup, first and only... though she'll still end up guilty I bet. The only thing this does is require the RIAA to prove distribution for the monetary value of the punishment, not absolve her and require them to prove anything to get a guilty verdict (at least that's what I gather from RTFA.)

Re:Let the flood gates be opened (3, Informative)

Evets (629327) | more than 5 years ago | (#25153417)

A whole new trial is what I get from RTFA.

From the judgement:

The Court hereby VACATES the verdict rendered in this case by the
jury and grants Defendant a new trial to commence on a date to be
set by the Court after consultation with the parties.
2. The Judgment entered on October 5, 2007 [Docket No. 106] is
VACATED.

Re:Let the flood gates be opened (2, Informative)

sabre3999 (1143017) | more than 5 years ago | (#25153521)

I'll concede that there will be a new trial, I misread it.

However, there will still probably be a guilty verdict at the end... The judge chimed in saying that distribution to an investigator such as MediaSentry still provides basis for claims. If they can prove that then don't they essentially have the verdict?

Re:Let the flood gates be opened (1)

halfEvilTech (1171369) | more than 5 years ago | (#25152905)

here, here

And no they can't use the claim of well we downloaded it from them as proof of actual distribution. Since the copyright holder can not infringe on their own work. So good luck with that one unless they can pull her p2p logs show each and every person she actually distributed to. I see this case and future ones as a lost cause, since their bread and butter of "making available" now seems to be null and void.

Re:Let the flood gates be opened (4, Informative)

TheLinuxSRC (683475) | more than 5 years ago | (#25153135)

Bzzzzzzzt. Wrong. Thanks for playing.

From the article:

One important tidbit, little noticed yet, pointed out by Excess Copyright: [blogspot.com] "distribution to an investigator, such as MediaSentry, can constitute unauthorized distribution."

Re:Let the flood gates be opened (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25153315)

So MediaSentry^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^HSafenet has to participate in a crime, or else it doesn't have evidence of a crime? Isn't this entrapment?

Re:Let the flood gates be opened (2, Insightful)

blueg3 (192743) | more than 5 years ago | (#25153387)

It is (sometimes) entrapment if the police do it. It's not entrapment if people who are not the police nor working on behalf of the police do it.

Re:Let the flood gates be opened (5, Informative)

Worthless_Comments (987427) | more than 5 years ago | (#25153513)

Entrapment is only when the police cause a crime to happen where there wouldn't be one. If a cop comes up to a drug dealer and bought drugs from them, that is not entrapment. If a cop comes up to someone who isn't a drug dealer and pesters them to get drugs for them and they do, that is entrapment.

Re:Let the flood gates be opened (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25153317)

And no they can't use the claim of well we downloaded it from them as proof of actual distribution. Since the copyright holder can not infringe on their own work.

You are and idiot. :-(

FUCK artists (-1, Flamebait)

Overly Critical Guy (663429) | more than 5 years ago | (#25153435)

FUCK artists, and FUCK their rights! How dare the RIAA go after individual infringers, even though it's what Slashdotters said they should do back in 2000 during the Napster lawsuit.

I deserve to have people's work for free because I can. Artists are my personal slaves. Somebody else will pay them, by buying show tickets or t-shirts or something. I don't care. FUCK THEM.

Re:FUCK artists (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25153479)

FUCK artists, and FUCK their rights! How dare the RIAA go after individual infringers, even though it's what Slashdotters said they should do back in 2000 during the Napster lawsuit.

I deserve to have people's work for free because I can. Artists are my personal slaves. Somebody else will pay them, by buying show tickets or t-shirts or something. I don't care. FUCK THEM.

Straw man arguments are lies.

woo! (0)

Kingrames (858416) | more than 5 years ago | (#25152749)

we win!

Re:woo! (5, Informative)

mazarin5 (309432) | more than 5 years ago | (#25152875)

Not so much; they will try her again, but they have to prove actual distribution. Note that the judge also lowered the bar for actual distribution, in a sense. Our pet theory of MediaSentry acting as an agent of the RIAA, and therefore doesn't constitute distribution, was also explicitly discarded:

âoedistribution to an investigator, such as MediaSentry, can constitute unauthorized distribution.â

Re:woo! (1)

Dorkmaster Flek (1013045) | more than 5 years ago | (#25153303)

But doesn't that mean that the only distribution they can effectively prove is to MediaSentry? What damages can be awarded based solely on that?

CAN (2, Interesting)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 5 years ago | (#25153343)

The word is CAN constitute, not DOES constitute. This is what the next trial will most likely be about.

Granted, most likely it will count because if you sell drugs to a cop you still go to jail. What might still win the case is that mediasentry is NOT a cop.

Even if mediasentry is allowed to perform the actions of a sworn in police officer, they would still have to proof there method of detection is accurate.

Further more, if it counts as distribution, so what? They got proof you uploaded it to one person. Big deal. 1 dollar per song, you need to have pretty big share going on to have to worry about that fine.

Because the really big thing in this judgement is the judge saying that the damages were excessive. That is going to hurt the RIAA the most. This judge EVEN if the case had been been proven would most likely still have lowered the damages. That could seriously hurt the RIAA. Why settle for a couple thousand when the fine is going to be little more? And if the settlement is going to be a couple hundred, how are they going to pay their lawyers?

Re:CAN (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 5 years ago | (#25153489)

> Granted, most likely it will count because if you sell drugs to a cop you still go to
> jail.

Irrelevant. Selling illegal drugs is a crime regardless of who you sell them to. Distributing music is only a tort (no crime involved here) if you do so without the permission of the copyright owner. How could giving a copy to the copyright owner be said to have been done without said owner's permission? And even if it could how could doing so damage them?

For that matter did MediaSentry ever produce proof that they actually downloaded the files? Aren't many of these cases based on just having observed the file names?

Re:woo! (1)

MMC Monster (602931) | more than 5 years ago | (#25153419)

Is MediaSentry a licensed private investigator in the state(s) involved at the time of the infraction?

If not, they may not be a wholly unbiased witness.

Re:woo! (1)

Ken_g6 (775014) | more than 5 years ago | (#25153447)

IANA Lawyer, but I think there still might be a case to be made against MediaSentry for entrapment. On the other hand, that seems to be a much more difficult case to make. [wikipedia.org]

Re:woo! (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 5 years ago | (#25153549)

> IANA Lawyer, but I think there still might be a case to be made against MediaSentry for
> entrapment.

This is a civil lawsuit, not a criminal prosecution. Entrapment is meaningless. However, she could claim that by requesting the files (if they ever did so) the copyright owner's agent, MediaSentry, granted her an implicit license to send it to them.

Today is nice (4, Funny)

BountyX (1227176) | more than 5 years ago | (#25152753)

What a nice day today...RIAA loses, DOJ opposes DOJ Copyright Oversight. What's next? Bush finally gets impeached?

Re:Today is nice (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25152845)

Ugh... 2 words: President Cheney.

Re:Today is nice (5, Funny)

Ron_Fitzgerald (1101005) | more than 5 years ago | (#25152893)

Reminds me of the Chris Rock bit about a black person for President securing his life by having a Mexican Vice President...

Re:Today is nice (4, Funny)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 5 years ago | (#25153255)

Reminds me of the Chris Rock bit about a black person for President securing his life by having a Mexican Vice President...

Yet another reason Bill Richardson would have been a better choice than Biden... But hey it's not the first time Chris Rock and I have seen eye to eye. :)

Re:Today is nice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25153311)

Reminds me of the Chris Rock bit about a black person for President securing his life by having a Mexican Vice President...

That was Dave Chapelle

Re:Today is nice (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25153329)

Reminds me of the Chris Rock bit about a black person for President securing his life by having a Mexican Vice President...

That was Dave Chappelle.

Re:Today is nice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25153367)

Dave Chappelle you mean.

"Just leave me and Vice President Santiago to our own devices".

Re:Today is nice (1)

Palshife (60519) | more than 5 years ago | (#25152999)

Makes me glad he once said, "If nominated I will not run. If elected I will not serve." *shiver*

Re:Today is nice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25153155)

Funny, he also said "we have evidence that Saddam Hussein was in leage with Al Qaida"

I wouldn't believe anything he says, if I were you.

Re:Today is nice (1, Insightful)

camperdave (969942) | more than 5 years ago | (#25153151)

What would be the point of impeaching Bush now? You should have done it a couple of years ago... like back when he called the constitution just a piece of paper.

Re:Today is nice (4, Insightful)

tmosley (996283) | more than 5 years ago | (#25153273)

Impeaching him now would cause a close examination of all of his unconstitutional policies, and get a lot of them thrown out, or at least dragged out into the light so future presidents won't be able to use them.

Also, there's this little thing called 'accountability' that a certain current United States President likes to harp on a lot of the time (when it supports what he wants).

Honestly, I think that a pretty large proportion of our presidents should have left office at the end of a hangman's noose, and none that I can think of deserve that end more so than Bush Jr.

Re:Today is nice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25153291)

Jack Thompson's disbarment was also approved today.

Re:Today is nice (1)

magus_melchior (262681) | more than 5 years ago | (#25153445)

Ah, hate to rain on your sunshine, friend, but:

1. While the DoJ did reject a copyright czar, that's only because it came from Congress. If the media cartels asked for an executive order establishing one, I doubt Cheney/Bush would have a problem with it. Meanwhile, they are pushing everyone for the biggest bailout in history, and this is just the thing to distract us geeks.

2. Capitol Records gets to sue Thomas again, or at the very least, really squeeze her in settlement negotiations. The rejection of the $222K damages payment may seem like good news, until you realize that a retrial may cost just as much or more, combined with the first trial. What's more, the venue is already biased against her ("she shouldn't have downloaded crap from KaZaA", etc.) and the RIAA lawyers will almost definitely call for this judge's head on a stick for wasting their time. Capitol can continue to intimidate, drain, and make an example of Thomas, while whacking a judge for having a conscience and common sense-- it is a serious win for the RIAA.

It's about time (1)

wraithguard01 (1159479) | more than 5 years ago | (#25152755)

I'm glad to see that common sense has finally broken out in the court system, and the ridiculousness of the whole copyright infringement thing is becoming more obvious to judges.

Another go? (1)

Amorymeltzer (1213818) | more than 5 years ago | (#25152757)

Well, doesn't this mean they get a second try? I mean, throwing it out is awesome, but it could still happen again, now that they know all that they do.

RIAA Looses $222K Verdict (5, Funny)

devnullkac (223246) | more than 5 years ago | (#25152759)

Read literally, I suppose this means a $222K verdict is roaming the countryside, looking for someone to ... adopt it?

Re:RIAA Looses $222K Verdict (5, Funny)

Dmala (752610) | more than 5 years ago | (#25152863)

I couldn't of said it better myself. I know there doing the best they can over their, but for all intensive purposes the editing is very poor. As for the verdict itself, I could care less.

Re:RIAA Looses $222K Verdict (1)

BronsCon (927697) | more than 5 years ago | (#25153029)

I know there doing the best they can over their, but for all intensive purposes the editing is very poor.

Yeah, I hope the editor that made the error loses there ass over it.

Re:RIAA Looses $222K Verdict (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25153345)

Whoosh!

Re:RIAA Looses $222K Verdict (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25153087)

> for all intensive purposes ...

As opposed to all light, casual purposes? For all intents and purposes, many posters' editing isn't much better?

http://www.wsu.edu/~brians/errors/intensive.html

Re:RIAA Looses $222K Verdict (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25153207)

All the obvious editorial mistakes in the GP, and this is the one you home in on??

Where's my clue-bat...

Re:RIAA Looses $222K Verdict (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25153263)

Might want to have that sarcasm detector looked at, I think it's broken.

Re:RIAA Looses $222K Verdict (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25153139)

WTF is with your grammar? I think my head just exploded.

1) of -> have
2) there -> they're
3) their -> there
4) intensive purposes -> intents and purposes
5) could care less -> could not care less / couldn't care less

(I'll assume a that whooshing sound I just heard was the joke...)

Re:RIAA Looses $222K Verdict (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25153279)

I know there doing the best they can over their...

I hope this is a joke, but it is they're and there.

Re:RIAA Looses $222K Verdict (1, Redundant)

Waffle Iron (339739) | more than 5 years ago | (#25153351)

I couldn't of said it better myself. I know there doing the best they can over their, but for all intensive purposes the editing is very poor. As for the verdict itself, I could care less.

Which begs the question: Irregardless of wether your disinterested in this verdict, do you tow the line on copywrite law in general?

Re:RIAA Looses $222K Verdict (1)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 5 years ago | (#25152975)

I assumed it meant they lost it down the sofa with all their artists' royalty payments. "Whoops!"

Re:RIAA Looses $222K Verdict (1)

Hellpop (451893) | more than 5 years ago | (#25153505)

I was wondering if all they did was LOOSE the verdict, that would mean that there is still a chance they can WIN, right?

Hasn't anyone heard of editing? Sheesh...

Technically . . . (5, Informative)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 5 years ago | (#25152813)

The RIAA didn't lose. The judge declared a mistrial. If both sides cannot come to a settlement, there will be a new trial. The judge determined he made an error in the jury instructions. Specifically in #15, he told them that making a song available could be considered as copyright infringement. On another note, he did call the $222K reward excessive. So even if Jammie Thomas loses the next trial, it will be unlikely she will have to face such a large damage award.

Duh! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25152885)

That's exactly what the title says. They lost the verdict. They had a guilty verdict now they have no verdict.

Re:Technically . . . (5, Insightful)

Krinsath (1048838) | more than 5 years ago | (#25153059)

Actually, he calls on Congress to review the penalties of the Copyright Act. The Act was intended to penalize "competitor's" who engaged in the infringement where income was earned on the enterprise, not so much a consumer who is actually getting nothing in the process. Hence why the damages seem so excessive, the law wasn't really designed to cope with these circumstances. The infringing party makes no money on the enterprise and are usually private individuals...applying a "business" penalty to an individual is why they seem so grossly out of proportion.

That said, the fact that the law wasn't designed with the situation in mind does not mean they can ignore it since there's no other law on the topic. So if she's found guilty again she will likely face the same "penalty" scheme that she had previously. Hence why he asks Congress to amend the law and is simply characterizing the judgment, not throwing it out. There's nothing truly unconstitutional about the law, it's just not being used against the targets that the writers had in mind when the law was written.

Re:Technically . . . (5, Insightful)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 5 years ago | (#25153201)

That said, the fact that the law wasn't designed with the situation in mind does not mean they can ignore it since there's no other law on the topic.

If it's a jury trial, they certainly can ignore the law if they choose [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Technically . . . (2, Informative)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 5 years ago | (#25153373)

The Act was intended to penalize "competitor's" who engaged in the infringement where income was earned on the enterprise, not so much a consumer who is actually getting nothing in the process

That's funny, because I thought the DMCA specifically put in ridiculous sums of money where consumers were doing the pirating. They might have justified it by saying that it was for use with corporations, but the way I read it leaves little doubt in my mind that they wanted it used against consumers as well.

Re:Technically . . . (3, Informative)

blueg3 (192743) | more than 5 years ago | (#25153481)

Possibly, but the primary goal of the DMCA was to target companies or individuals who produce tools to assist consumers in copyright violations, not the copyright-violators themselves.

Re:Technically . . . (2, Interesting)

RulerOf (975607) | more than 5 years ago | (#25153473)

it's just not being used against the targets that the writers had in mind when the law was written.

When MAFIAA agents wrote that bill and lobbied to get it signed, they damn well intended it to be used to ruin the lives of anyone who would later cross their paths, irrespective of any profit motives other than their own.

The law is irresponsibly unfair and unjust, quite possibly even to the wealthiest and most criminal of piracy enterprises.

Re:Technically . . . (3, Interesting)

Dragoon412 (648209) | more than 5 years ago | (#25153483)

There's nothing truly unconstitutional about the law

Actually, that's not entirely true.

The leading case on the constitutionality of damages is BMW v. Gore. You can read it here [cornell.edu] if you're interested.

Out of that case came three guideposts that the Supreme Court uses to assess whether or not damages are constitutional.

1. The degree of reprehensibility of the defendant's conduct
2. The portion of the damages that are compensatory
3. Statutory punitive damages/penalties that could be imposed

So, that the statute allows such damages only satisfies one of the three guideposts. However, punitive damages in this case vastly outstripped the compensatory damages. I remember reading it in an article when the verdict was announced, but the punitive:compensatory damages were, what, on the order of 9000:1? The court has said, in Phillip Morris USA v. Williams, that damages that were only 100:1 punitive:compensatory were "grossly excessive."

The only issue to be resolved, at this point, is how reprehensible the court finds the defendant's conduct.

It seems to me that, if this question of damages managed to get before the US Supreme Court, it'd be thrown out as unconstitutional in a hurry.

But I'm just a law student offering my armchair lawyer analysis. Take the above with a grain of salt.

Re:Technically . . . (4, Interesting)

JoeMerchant (803320) | more than 5 years ago | (#25153089)

In the old days, warez exchangers would require a newbie to send something to them first before sharing anything - something about entrapment if the investigator would do something illegal to gain the marks' trust. The last paragraph of the article mentions that distribution to MediaSentry would constitute infringement - I wonder if P2P networks will be adopting the old "send me one first" mechanism in light of this?

no dept? (0, Offtopic)

qw0ntum (831414) | more than 5 years ago | (#25152841)

Wow, this story has no "from the blah-blah dept." tag on there. It is indeed a story of great magnitude.

Call me cynical (4, Interesting)

LuxMaker (996734) | more than 5 years ago | (#25152865)

but this is just what the *IAA needs to push through tougher legislation.

And Judge Davis went further, "implor[ing] Congress to amend the Copyright Act to address liability and damages in peer-to-peer network cases..."

How many people want to guess that "Copyright reform" turns draconian?

more links (1)

apodyopsis (1048476) | more than 5 years ago | (#25152913)

well in the UK "Jammy" is slang for "Lucky" - and yes, she is.

so what does this mean for the other **AA cases on the go? whilst its good news for Jammy, having legal weight behind the concept that "making available" is flawed no doubt helps everybody else as well.

am I right?

the main link is already dead (for me) but you can see more here..
http://news.google.co.uk/news?q=Jammy+Thomas&ie=UTF-8&oe=utf-8&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&um=1&hl=en&sa=X&oi=news_result&resnum=1&ct=title [google.co.uk]

so she is facing retrial, but already the previous damages award is dismissed as "wholly disproportionate". I wonder if the **AA will offer her a lower fine, something negligible to admit liability and end the case? I mean, its a dirty tactic - but probably well within their remit. they make the money from people who fold and they try to avoid court cases they think they may not win - but they obviously thought they'd win this one first time round and the evidence is unchanged.

of course, the lawyers will win regardless...

Mediasentry issues (4, Interesting)

Volante3192 (953645) | more than 5 years ago | (#25152937)

One point brought up in the articles is that it's possible the MediaSentry downloads are unauthorized copies, which seems to be necessary since if the RIAA authorizes the copy, then technically they're not infringing copyright and hence have to basis for a lawsuit.

However, if the copies by MediaSentry are not authorized, then by not prosecuting MediaSentry for illicit downloads, aren't they undermining their own case by not going after every case of infringement?

Just idle thoughts...

Re:Mediasentry issues (1)

ShaunC (203807) | more than 5 years ago | (#25153137)

One point brought up in the articles is that it's possible the MediaSentry downloads are unauthorized copies, which seems to be necessary since if the RIAA authorizes the copy, then technically they're not infringing copyright and hence have to basis for a lawsuit.

Whether or not MediaSentry was authorized to download the file is irrelevant. Mitch Bainwol himself could be doing the downloading, it's still illegal for Jammy Thomas to do the (alleged) uploading.

Re:Mediasentry issues (2, Insightful)

TheLinuxSRC (683475) | more than 5 years ago | (#25153413)

That depends on your point of view. Did Jammie Thomas make the illegal copy? Or did she just provide someone else (the downloader) the means to make a copy. If she did not make a copy she has (technically) not infringed on anyone's copyright. I know, I know; semantics, but that is up to the court to decide.

Charge her $24 (5, Insightful)

ilovesymbian (1341639) | more than 5 years ago | (#25152943)

If she's charged at the market rate of $0.99 per song, she'll owe the music companies $24.00 plus tax.

Let her pay it and be done over with.

Re:Charge her $24 (1)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | more than 5 years ago | (#25153357)

You have forgotten the punitive damages for violating the rights of the copyright holders.

Re:Charge her $24 (1)

corsec67 (627446) | more than 5 years ago | (#25153451)

Generally lawsuits like that should have a fine that is worse than just buying the item. Otherwise people would infringe on copyrights all the time, since the worse fine would be equal to paying to begin with.

In this case, I think the maximum fine should be what she would have gotten for actually stealing the songs. Like from a brick and mortar store.

Not So Fast (5, Informative)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 5 years ago | (#25152969)

Not so fast here with the bubbly. This judge still says that copyright infringement can be shown by "circumstantial evidence", rather than the strict proof of the details of actual infringement required by the law and court decisions. And that (in another related case) downloads by MediaSentry count as infringement even thought MediaSentry is a paid agent of the copyright holder and the law has long held that a copyright owner cannot infringe their own copyrights. While all this is good news, it is yet to be great news.

Re:Not So Fast (1)

m0rph3us0 (549631) | more than 5 years ago | (#25153319)

What is "strict proof"? Many people are convicted purely on circumstantial evidence, think Hans Reiser where they really had no proof she was even dead. The standard in civil cases (which this is) is even lower. Criminal cases is "beyond a reasonable doubt" and in civil cases is "based on a preponderance of the evidence".

Hating the RIAA does not work (4, Insightful)

Dan667 (564390) | more than 5 years ago | (#25152981)

Really if you want to stop the RIAA you need to start posting hate on the companies that support it. Once you start to hurt their brands and people stop buying their products, because of the negative press, and the RIAA will cease to exist. Everyone hates the RIAA, but no one hates those who fund it yet. So hate on these companies SONY WARNER EMI UNIVERSAL ...

Re:Hating the RIAA does not work (3, Insightful)

O('_')O_Bush (1162487) | more than 5 years ago | (#25153109)

"Once you start to hurt their brands and people stop buying their products, because of the negative press, and the RIAA will cease to exist."

No, historically they have just used the loss of profit in their figures for pirated musics.

"We've had x loss this quarter! There is no explanation other than that people must be pirating music and causing us financial harm! Nevermind the shit music we produce and the media attention from the lawsuit we just filed against a dead person..."

WRONG. (3, Informative)

SuperBanana (662181) | more than 5 years ago | (#25152987)

http://blog.wired.com/27bstroke6/2008/09/not-for-publica.html

Still, Judge Davis' decision does not derail the RIAA's case against Thomas on retrial or any other pending or future case. Davis ruled that the downloads from Thomas' open share folder that RIAA investigators made, 24 in all, "can form the basis of an infringment claim."

Or how about http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/09/25/jammie_thomas_again/ [theregister.co.uk]

The judge in Jammie Thomas' challenge to her landmark $220,000 fine for sharing music over KaZaa has declared a mistrial, forcing yet another court case.

I don't expect Joe Blo's blog to get this right, but I do expect ZDNet and Slashdot to.

From TFA (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25153015)

AFAIK (IANAL) a mistrial means that the same evidence and INTENT is used in the prosecution of the defendant. such as:

"Thomas will face a new trial, in which the RIAA will have to prove actual distribution." (Direct from TFA)

But it is interesting to note that:

"The decision means the RIAA now has zero wins at trial, Wired notes." (from TFA)

So far, it seems that the RIAA is nothing more than a paper tiger, and there is much ado about the nothing that is the reporting of all this hoopla.

I do seem to remember (can't cite the examples at the moment) some headlines concerning individuals being brought to trial that had unbeliveable judgements levied at them for "copyright infringement", but no ACTUAL culpability against the plaintiff.

RIAA books (2, Interesting)

krystar (608153) | more than 5 years ago | (#25153093)

isn't it awesome to be part of the RIAA though? you get all this money from the record companies and get to use it without any recouping of costs. all they do is spend spend spend. track record for income is ...zilch.

Re:RIAA books (1)

sabre3999 (1143017) | more than 5 years ago | (#25153405)

Their income is only zilcho if you choose to ignore the large amount of out-of-court settlements they've obtained from those who don't want to go through a legal battle. I'm sure it doesn't totally make up for all they've spent, but it's still gotta be worth quite the pretty penny.

Epic FAIL (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25153117)

For the RIAA... w00t!

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