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Would you mind quoting some parts here?..
Crud, they restricted it...
Attorneys rest case in Duluth music file sharing trial.
Mark Stodghill, Duluth News Tribune.
Published Wednesday, October 03, 2007.
Jammie Thomas testified Wednesday that she had never even heard of KaZaA and never used the peer-to-peer file sharing service on her computer at the time the Recording Industry Association of America accuses her of pirating their music.
But a computer security expert for the recording industry said all computer forensic evidence points to Thomas being guilty of copyright infringement.
A six-man, six-woman jury in U.S. District Court in Duluth will hear the attorneys closing arguments today and decide the first file-sharing copyright infringement case to go to trial.
Nvestigators for the plaintiffs have provided jurors evidence that the IP address (a number assigned to a subscriber connected to an Internet Service Provider), a modem Media Access Control address and Thomas username all link her to the pirating.
Minneapolis defense attorney Brian Toder said he and Thomas cant explain what happened, but that it cant be proven that his client shared copyrighted files. Toder has offered theories that there could have been a computer party at Thomass home or someone could have been outside her window with a laptop.
Thomas testified that despite the plaintiffs producing exhibits with her computer identifiers printed next to the computer screenshots, she was not the one.
Who uploaded the music to the file-sharing service. She had no explanation for why she was identified as the pirate.
Toder has also suggested that computer hacking or IP spoofing could as explanations. Spoofing is someone pretending to be somebody else by taking over their IP address.
My opinion is that it did not happen, Doug Jacobson, an Iowa State University professor and computer security expert, testified. Making IP spoofing work is extremely complicated. Pretending to be somebody else at the same time theyre on the Internet is almost impossible to carry out..
The lawsuit was brought by the Recording Industry Association of America representing Virgin Records, Capitol Records, Sony BMG, Arista Records, Interscope Records, Warner Bros. Records and UMG Recordings.
It claims that Thomas of Brainerd, Minn., distributed 1,702 digital audio files many of them the plaintiffs copyrighted sound recordings from the KaZaA shared folder on her computer to potentially millions of other KaZaA users for free.
The plaintiffs are seeking from $750 to $150,000 in statutory damages for each of 24 copyrighted sound recordings they allege Thomas pirated.
A 25th sound recording was dropped from the case by the plaintiffs Wednesday because of a clerical/lawyer error, their lawyer said.
Richard Gabriel, lead trial counsel for the record industry, called witnesses to show that Thomas replaced the hard drive in her computer two weeks after an investigation by the music industry caught the alleged copyright infringement.
In his questioning, Gabriel pointed out to jurors that in two depositions Thomas had said she had the hard drive replaced before she knew she was being investigated. Under examination by Gabriel, Thomas said that her computer was in her bedroom, was password protected and no one else had the password.
Toder kept his client on the stand for only three minutes after she was questioned by the plaintiffs. She said she misstated the year the hard drive was erased. She provided no further explanation.
The plaintiffs suffered a blow Wednesday when U.S. District Judge Michael J. Davis didnt allow them to call to testify Cary Sherman, president of the RIAA. Sherman had traveled from Washington, D.C., to testify of the harm widespread illegal sharing causes the industry.
Toder had argued that Sherman wasnt relevant to the case against his client. Gabriel told the court that it was relevant in helping jurors to calculate statutory damages.
Thomas, 30, is employed by the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe in it's natural resources and environment department. She works as a grant coordinator to redevelop contaminated property. She testified that she has a bachelors degree in business administration from St. Cloud State University. Gabriel used his questioning to point out how proficient Thomas is on a computer. The defendant has taken several computer classes and uses a computer to keep track of budgets and write grants.
Thomas spoke to a News Tribune reporter during the noon recess Tuesday. The single mother of two children, ages 8 and 11, said the lawsuit has changed her life.
Its been very stressful, she said. I have multi-billion dollar corporations with their own economies of scale suing me so its been very stressful..
She said the lawsuit has also affected her children. I no longer have any disposable income whatsoever, she said. My disposable income used to go for CDs, but obviously not anymore. Ive had to make some changes regarding extras for my children. All the disposable income went towards this case. I didnt do this and I refuse to be bullied..
Thomas testified that she has 240 CDs, but at one time had more than 400.
At times, Toder, an International Falls native who is recognized as a Super Lawyer by Minnesota Law and Politics Magazine, seems to be telling jurors that this is a big guy vs. little gal case.
Toder has told jurors that he couldnt afford to pay for an expert witness. He pointed out that the plaintiffs have paid $200 an hour to their computer security expert who testified at trial. The plaintiffs show jurors clear exhibits produced from a computer. Toder struggles with cloudy transparencies on an overhead projector. Davis on a couple of occasions has asked the plaintiffs to display Toders exhibits so that they will be clear to jurors.
There are six members of the plaintiffs briefcase brigade with assistants passing notes to the two lawyers and one music industry official at the plaintiffs counsel table. Meanwhile, Toder sometimes needs the help of his client in searching for papers hes looking for.
Toder asked his opposing counsel, Gabriel, if he could borrow his laser pointer as he showed jurors one exhibit. The plaintiffs attorney gave it to him and joked with a smile: It will cost you..
Closing arguments are scheduled for this morning. Davis will read jurors the law that they are to follow and six men and six women will decide a case that is being followed around the world...
Interesting, that article seems to paint a much bleaker picture for the defense than some other reports I have read: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/10..._trial_begins/..
It is a crime, but I fail to see RIAA going after just ONE case. Why single just one person out?..
They are trying to use "torture and terror" to "shock and awe" people into submission...
Poor woman, now she has to pay $220.000.......Her fault was that she wanted to go to court because she believed she is innocent......
"Under examination by Gabriel, Thomas said that her computer was in her bedroom, was password protected and no one else had the password"...
LOL, has anyone thought that maybe her kids could have done that ? (even I don't know how old they are, but hey...) :-).
The kids are 11 and 13, I remember. They certainly could've done that. 13 year old kids are astonishingly smart with computers these days and I wouldn't be surprised if they were the culprits..
Moreover, Thomas doesn't really fit the classic description of the music pirate: she is over 30 and has two kids. Such people don't really spend their days uploading music...thats more of a job of college and high school kids...
I wonder if the songs she supposedly "illegally uploaded" are on Youtube.
RIAA are gonna have to get over this one.. It's like radio, it ain't going away..
Trial - $220,000 for 24 Recordings.
Ars Technica is reporting that the RIAA has won it's first jury trail.
After just four hours of deliberation and two days of testimony, a jury found that Jammie Thomas was liable for infringing the record labels copyrights on all 24 the 24 recordings at issue in the case of Capitol Records v. Jammie Thomas. The jury awarded $9,250 in statutory damages per song, after finding that the infringement was willful, out of a possible total of $150,000 per song. The grand total? $222,000 in damages.
A jury made the decision that Thomas was guilty, but the amount per recording seems like cruel and unusual punishment to me. I hope Thomas can afford to appeal the verdict.
Cruel and unusual punishment?? and 220,000 is ok??? The RIAA has like 28,000 more cases to go after and this is the precedent if it survives appeal...
Surely another innocent paying a high price for nothing..
It does not really matter if she is innocent or not, RIAA just want someone to pay as example for other people, besides they got surely the best lawyers that money can pay, even if you never touched a computer they could proof you did if they really wish. That's just an abuse..
Maybe RIAA should get a trial for violating our rights of freedom and privacy...
The right of freedom and privacy to illegally download copyrighted material?.
I recall reading in one lawyer's blog about a CEO from one of them big media.
Companies who caught his daughter (I think) doing that stuff. Then he said it.
Will be handled within the family.
Http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post...-stealing.html I really wonder who they think they are. Now already backup copies are illegal? Do I get a replacement if a CD gets broken or I lose an MP3 collection? Hardly...
Well it will always be cruel, but if the RIAA continues this self destructive path, it won't be unusual...
What? An "innocent"? You have to be joking. Placed on trial and her peers found her guilty. People think that file sharing is harmless but they are wrong and it's illegal...
You are allowed to make one backup copy of anything you buy for your own personal usage. Having it available on file sharing networks is illegal. Like it or not, it is the law.
Keep in mind, they have like another 28,000 cases pending, we ar all going to learn real fast how illegal it is...
Any of these 28000 people from outside the US?..
I already know of a bunch of bands who made it big on the Internet. Meaning, by using sites where they could upload their music, they were given an opportunity to get their music heard by the masses without having to curtail to the recording industry. This is really a two prong attack and the RIAA is losing on both fronts. More and more people are pirating music, and more and more bands are foregoing the traditional approach. Really the only thing keeping them in business is the high priced packaging of CDs. Once more people start getting into the 21st century and shifting from CDs to MP3s, the RIAA isn't going to have a physical object to package and they'll go under.
The iPhone is a good example of the future. You can download and listen to songs from anywhere, without the need for any CDs. What will it be like when car radios and home stereos have mobile or satellite technology which allows shopping, ordering and storing songs directly onto transportable media thats fits into any other music device... The world is moving towards digital media while the RIAA is struggling in vain to prevent it.
So yeh, this is just a desperate attempt for them to prolong the inevitable, but their sort of shooting themselves in the foot at the same time with public image...
That might apply to the US, in other places there are other regulations.
But anyhow, the statement of Jennifer Pariser did not refer to shared copies but explicitly aimed for backup copies for personal usage...
In Italy some politicians are trying to make filesharing legal...
Many Many countries honor other's TMs and copyrights... so be careful what you think...
Thats correct, but it still depends on the country - also downloading itself isnt illegal in many countries, but only uploading.
But again, the mentioned statement wasnt even about file sharing but about personal backup copies...
So people have shared THOUSANDS of songs, and the precedent-setting case is against someone sharing 24 songs? And the damages are THAT much? Jesus...that's more than what a house costs in most places! If that were the avg for all the 28,000 cases, that comes out to $6.16 BILLION. There's no WAY they've lost THAT MUCH in album sales from music downloading alone. I mean take into account the simple fact that music today now sucks and has certainly accounted for MY not having bought many CDs in the past 7 years vs. the 7 years before that...
The RIAA can't beat music piracy as these "crimes" are not perpetrated by your archetypal criminals. In fact, they're committed by our brothers, mothers, friends, children, etc...
And the same people who pirate music, often buy CDs as well. So exactly how do they defeat piracy? By prosecuting a single mother of two? By attacking the general public, including their own customers? None of these tactics will work.
If anything, people will only see this story and pirate more... Why? Because it seems absolutely ridiculous to ruin a woman's life and jeopardize her children's futures over a few stupid songs. No one wants to see someone be punished to such an extent just so some huge corporations can make more money. What are they going to do, garnish her wages for the rest of her life? Condemn her to a life of poverty, because she shared some songs on the Internet?.
I saw a figure that online music swapping has tripled since 2003 when the RIAA first filed all of these lawsuits against individuals (over 20,000 total cases). It's estimated that at any given moment, there are over 9 million users sharing files, and 70% of those files are music.
I think the public is making a clear point that they aren't going to stop...
I guess this sends out a message to not pirate music huh?..
You still have a better chance of getting struck by lightening than sued by the RIAA for illegal music downloads.....
Then I will shoot back...
They won their first case and set the precedent, even if it doesn't go to trail, many people will settle to avoid a much worse fate. I would say that would be successful on the part of the RIAA. Since they filed over 20,000 suits, I am betting many will be settle for monetary compensation, so it is better than being struck by lightning, no matter how you qualify it..
They may have filed 20k suits, but even if half of them go to trial, it will take years to litigate each case. Additionally, even if there are damages, there are issues about trying to collect the damages. In the meantime, RIAA's on the hook for attorney's fees or needs to find attorneys willing to work on a contingency fee basis.
Overall, my take is not to condone illegal behavior, but I believe RIAA and the record companies need to seriously reassess why people are so pissed off at paying $15 for a CD for one decent song. MP3 paid-downloads have changed things slightly, but we are still a long ways a way from having all music downloads be legitimate. The bottom line is that people are not seeing value from the record companies in the way they used to pre-internet days. Apple has innovated, but other companies and the record labels are seriously trailing...
And speaking of precendents, there is a difference between legal precendents and making an example of someone. The case that just finished was in Duluth, MN and is legal precedent for that district court, and pursuasive precedent for other district courts in the 8th and other Circuits...
This isn't "precedent" - it is a jury decision. The fact that it made it to trial could be considered "precedent", but in reality the summary judgment standard is such a small hurdle that the more interesting question will be in what, if anything, happens on a potential appeal. The "experts" the defense brought forward were great actors (dramatic), but their claims missed the point entirely, imho (Great straw-man arguments about stealing IP's vs. spoofing/etc.).
So my best guess as to the math:.
1) Cost of the lawsuit to the defendant: $60k ish.
2) Cost of the lawsuit to the plaintiff: $900k ish +++ (This was their first case - follow-up litigation would be much less, but experts and attorneys are not cheap.).
3) Amount awarded: $220k.
4) % chance of their recovering the full amount (If survives appeal): 35% (Yeah, I'm arbitrary also, but if the woman is that strapped for cash to begin with...).
5) % chance that the case survives appeal: 75% (Again, the standard to reverse is so high that it would be difficult to find specific error.).
The RIAA will not be able to litigate all 20k cases (Despite what the public may believe, there aren't that many lawyers out there willing to take something like this on ), and this is instead their "one best shot" to again attempt to intimidate people into doing the "right thing".
I think the RIAA is vindictive enough to go after all the suits. But I will guess that 98% (arbitrary) settle, the RIAA makes out pretty well. They will flash the "we won 9,000K a song" decision to a person and then give them the math. Scares tactics? yes, but isn't that what court systems are all about?..
Great article on Wired (nothing to do with legals)... http://www.wired.com/culture/lifesty...0/luddite_1011.
If I were a big-shot L.A. music mogul, Jammie Thomas would not be my ideal poster child as the face of illegal file sharing.
Thomas, you'll recall, was found liable last week in a Duluth, Minnesota, court for violating copyright law by making a couple of dozen songs available to the multitudes. For this she was ordered to pay the recording industry $222,000 in damages, and she could lose even more to court costs and appeals.
All because she was among the 26,000 people sued by those Brioni suits known collectively as the Recording Industry Association of America, and hers was the first case to actually reach trial. The RIAA, faced with plummeting CD sales and increasingly restive artists, wanted to "send a message" to all the lowlifes out there who download music for free and undercut their profit margins.
The message, apparently, is this: "We're idiots.".
The RIAA, after all, is the guardian of an industry so antiquated and oppressive that having sympathy for these guys is a little like feeling sorry for a Georgia slaveholder after watching Sherman's troops fire his mansion and scatter his livestock.
So when their first victim, Thomas, turns out to be a single American Indian mother of two making a measly $36,000 a year latte money for the RIAA boys you have a hard time picturing these guys nailed to a cross. But that's the image the RIAA has tried hard to foster since some pimply-faced intern first explained to them what file sharing was. All of a sudden it was, oh, boo-hoo. Poor us.
Cry me a river.
Here's an industry so bloated with executives and middlemen, all of them greedily slurping up profit like bluepoint oysters, that the people who actually write the songs and play the music the "talent" are getting royally screwed in the royalty department. It's been like that for years. The Dylans and the Stones of the world might be able to rise above it and name their price, but for the rank and file it's "Dance to our tune, or go back and rot in that crummy little club.".
The usurious nature of the business is the main reason that the average CD, which at most costs a couple of bucks to produce, routinely sells for upwards of $20. Sometimes the songwriter makes out all right (forget about the singer or the musicians), but licensing and contracts have been sufficiently rigged by the boys in legal to ensure that the lion's share of the carcass goes to people who have absolutely nothing to do with the actual music.
If there's an industry where the Marxist exhortation for the workers to control the means of production makes sense, this is it.
Some artists are beginning to wise up to this. Thanks to technology (and when have you ever heard the Luddite say that?) bands are discovering that they can, in effect, become their own publishers, cut out the middleman and go directly to their audiences.
Radiohead is the latest band to offer an album's worth of music online, for free. Fans are being asked to pay what they feel is fair, and my guess is that most people will kick in something. Given the chance to be reasonable, we usually will.
The record companies are greedy, not reasonable, which is why it's hard to get worked up at the thought of people sharing "their" music for free. Thieves stealing from thieves? So what?.
It's this new artist-to-audience business model, though, that poses the real threat to the long-term survival of the traditional music companies. If you're among those who consider corporations and conglomerates to be evil incarnate, you'll be rooting hard for this new model to take hold. Not just for the sake of the little guy in the music world, but for the sake of little guys everywhere.
Meanwhile, I think Jammie Thomas is going to turn out to be a public-relations nightmare for the RIAA. Crucifying someone who falls into about five demographically challenged categories to "send a message" hardly represents sound battle tactics for an entity already perceived as arrogant and overweening.
Talk about a Pyrrhic victory...
You beat me to posting that article, Philip. Just read it today. I like the point on how Jammie was a bad person to make an example of...
"Crucifying someone who falls into about five demographically challenged catagories...".
What a line..
I think the only thing that could have made it any worse for the RIAA is if one of the songs that it included in it's complaint was a Radiohead or Prince piece.
Horrible move strategically - not only due to the target turning out to be a poor exemplar.
I can just see execs shi**ing a brick over it. Bands taking actions into their own hands and we aren't getting money! Hurumph!.
It's a tough situation because you have upcoming bands trying to get exposure and the industry is more than willing to come in and give them a bunch of promises. Radiohead and Prince are in the position to give a huge middle finger to the whole crap spectrum of promotion, marketing gimmicks, and other irrelevant things that are not involved in actually creating the art. It's pretty nice that bands can just outsource extremely nice music production to a studio, pay them a one time fee and be done no strings attached.
Driven and talented artists have nothing to give but their creative expression, and that is generally all they are concerned about. Of course living expenses are an issue and some bands decide on letting a label or company represent them because of that and other reasons like desires of fame, fortune, lifestyle. I'm not even saying that labels are a bad thing, it's when performers are being manipulated for what they produce. I feel that the best artists are not out get the deal, contract, promotion, etc because they are mainly interested in sharing what they can do with others and getting a positive/understanding response in return and have a certain connection with the listeners.
Anyway the RIAA is certainly lobbied hard by the media companies not as much the artists. I know that they own the song "rights" because the law says so, but they wouldn't if people stopped signing papers. Ugly system that eventually ends up preying on native american people that earn $36k a year. Pisspoor...
For clarafication, the RIAA only goes after artists covered under labels which teh artist has no control. Independants or the big guys call their own shots and will not be subject to RIAA, unless it was earlier recirdings which labels still hold teh rights. AT least that is my understanding...
I must agree with those that said they really picked the wrong person to go after. I go to a fleamarket by my house every time I go there are 5-10 people there selling illegal DVDs and CDs. Whenever I walk by his booth he has about 5 people around it giving him cash for these crappy quality movies and recently releaqsed CDs. I have never bought any but I walked up to one guys both and he sells the DVDs for $7 and the CDs for $5 and he was telling me how he sells almost a thousand bucks on a sunday morning. Now woudlnt he be the type of guy to go after who A) sells and distributes in HUGE bulk and B) makes ALOT of cash and I would bet isnt reported and not a penny of tax is payed on it.
Now why not go after a guy like that?..
After seeing so much of this in the news on in posts, I thought I would mention that RIAASucks.com is available to registerEnjoy..
Attached to the RadioHead Issue: Some backlash: http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/157...adiohead.jhtml.
However, consider the source. MTV's corporate parent and associated labels might just have something to gain from this "grand experiment" imploding (Albeit it does smack of bait & switch.)..
Ahhhh, file sharing....how far it has come along....
Do you remember the 'old' days, where you actually had to log on to somebody's computer to download music?.
For example, I wanted to download 'Thriller' (don't ask me why I picked that song)...i'd go to a special website (i forgot what sites they were) type in 'thriller', and then i'd get a list of ip address.
Next, I would have to ftp to that ip, and I could download the song.... of course, most of peers had certain upload credits. In order to download 1 song, you had to upload 5 songs, and sometimes they had special requests that if you filled would get you more credits.
Ahh, the good ol days, then napster came out.....and Metallic (those sellouts! ).
I think that those where were/are computer illiterate or didn't know how to get mp3s online just don't understand the power of being able to find and download the songs/software/things you want or need.
But to be honest, I haven't used free mp3 services like kazaa or limewire for a while now. Yeah, limewire's on my computer, but I've found that a lot of the users now are spammers and some of the files are viruses/spyware.
For a while I turned to itunes to buy music, but at 99 cents a pop and that stupid drm protection that kept me from editing the music was a big turn off. I now go to other sites to buy music (cheap) instead that sell music for like .15 cents or less.
I really don't mind paying for music and/or software, really I don't, but I don't want to be taken advantage of either.
I walked into best buy the other day and saw the music cd section. I thought to myself, what a joke and a waste of money. I mean think about it...7 or so songs for 15 dollars+tax? and you're paying for maybe 1 or 2 hits and 8 crappy tunes.
I mean, seriously, 7 songs for 15 dollars....and i've got like thousands of mp3's on my system.....and a lot of these mp3s are remixes/rare/live versions that you can't find in a store.
Where am I going with this? Contrary to what the RIAA would have you believe, people who use kazaa or limewire aren't criminals. File sharing isn't just about getting something for nothing, imo. We are living in an age where you can get almost instant access to any kind of media, music, software, video, etc. I think that the public is just sick of being forced to stick archaic systems like purchasing 7 songs for $15. I mean, think about it....what if the music industry sold mp3 cds....1000 songs with rare remixes, live performances, and other goodies for the same price they're asking for the same ol music cd that came out in 1989?.
The beauty of file sharing isn't just about getting something for nothing, I think users are just exploring their alternatives. It's really unfortunate to, since the music industry, imo, is being crippled by organizations like the RIAA...and is preventing the music and entertainment industry from really taking off.
On a side note, to go after Jane Doe and Joe Blow and prosecute for file sharing is really pathetic. We've got politicians in office getting away with a hell of a lot worse. I think history books are going to look back at this time as the 'age of big business and corporations' where the rights and privileges of the big industries are protected more than those of the individual. I think if it's 'Joe Blow' vs 'multi-million dollar corporation'....i think 'Joe Blow' has as much chance in court as a fly has in stopping a mac truck.
But also, imo, courts don't determine what's 'right' or 'wrong'. If you really think about it, courts just judge you based on what the current law is, regardless of whether or not that law is 'right' or 'wrong....or whether that law was written by special lobbyists or not.....
Wasn't it the Supreme Court in the 1800s that stated the 14th Amendment did not give the federal government the power to outlaw private discrimination? Wasn't it in a courts that stated jim crow laws (laws that allowed segregation) were constitutional as long as they allowed for "separate but equal"?.
Court room justice, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder...imo. and I think that file sharing / downloading is still a relatively 'new' concept. As time goes on and as more and more people get hooked on the idea, these lawsuits and judgments will be seen for what they really are....protecting the rights/interests of big corporations/lobbyists/special interests over the right of the individual....
But that's just my opinion...
Well, plus it is MY taxpayer dollars that are funding these silly people to court. As if 8+ trillion USD debt wasn't enough.....
No, the helmet law isn't 'stupid', but an unenforceable law does reveal how simple-minded the US Government is and how big corporations pat Congress on the back everyday. After all, the big corps don't really pay anything for these court procedings...
The RIAA is a joke. They use huge and very obscure loopholes to start lawsuits against people before even knowing their names, often in other states than those which they reside in. Anyone who is knowledgeable or who reads up on the tactics of the RIAA can defend themselves without ever seeing a day in court or paying a dime.
On a side note, I have a good friend who intentionally made text files with nothing but 0's, all full to about 3~4 mb and named them "popular-song-or-music".mp3. He left his computer running with about 400 of these "fake" mp3 text files for over a month to be downloaded. About 2 months later he got a letter from his ISP that the RIAA had a court order to get his personal information from them, and they were initiating a lawsuit against him. He was absolutely overjoyed when he called me that day. His plan was to expose the fact that they don't substantiate any of these lawsuits with credible evidence. He had very extensive log files of his file sharing, in which he had never even shared one playable mp3.
And believe me, he wasn't the one who paid any money.......
Also, the funniest part is the RIAA never EVER gives any of the money they get from people who surrender and pay the fines back to the artists. It just goes into the pile to help continue other legal battles. How ridiculous.
(I have already registered riaa as a domain in a popular international extension. Of course, my version stands for Riding In An Airplane... or something like that. )..