First RIAA file-sharing trial begins
Accused mom gets jury of her peer-to-peers
30-year-old single mother of two Jammie Thomas appeared in court today in Minnesota to answer allegations that she illegally shared 1,702 songs on the Kazaa file-sharing network.
Thomas is the first of approximately 26,000 US citizens accused by the Recording Industry of America of illegal file-sharing to reach a civil judge and jury.
Most have settled with the RIAA, rather than face its litigious might. Thomas said she had rejected such offers because she refused to be bullied.
The RIAA is seeking over $1.2m in compensation. The suit will focus on only 26 songs for damages, as set by federal law, of $750 to $30,000 for each alleged copyright violation.
Thomas' council, Brian Toder, says the record companies haven't proven that Thomas shared the songs. The RIAA says the lawsuit will "communicate that there are consequences for breaking the law and encourage fans to turn to legal online services."
The RIAA claims on February 21, 2005, investigators at SafeNet found the 1,702 songs being shared under Thomas' online handle, "tereastarr" and her IP address. The RIAA said Thomas has used the screen name online for "many years," leading them to believe it was her.
There are no claims that either child — ages 11 and 13 — were involved in the music sharing, although the RIAA has historically gone after the parent first.
Shortly after receiving settlement letters from the labels, Thomas had the hard drive in her PC replaced at Best Buy. She says the switch was made to repair the drive, while the RIAA accuses Thomas of attempting to conceal evidence.
The RIAA will perhaps be hard-pressed now to produce evidence that Thomas was in fact the one sharing the music. On top of unavailable evidence, on Monday, her attorney succeeded in having 784 documents thrown out of court because the RIAA missed a deadline.
Jury selection and opening arguments began this morning in Duluth federal court. US District Judge Michael Davis presided over the trial. It is expected to conclude on Thursday. ®
I was just thinking about how any ppl have posted on this topic, how many niggly ways according to the law that the rap could have been beat, excuse the pun.
Here the the USA, there are a lot of laws, that say this and that. However law enforcement, judges and lawyers here, live with the small town ego. They seem to adopt to the idea that they are all important and what they say goes, no matter what the law says. This is especially true when a Judge or police office is confronted by someone in power ( multinational RIAA) they see that the powers that be are now looking at their actual actions, that big brother is looking down and invading their own personal godhood. They act to protect this and make the big bad power go away so that once again they can be the one, in their own world. In court here, what the judge says is what happens, becomes legal on a local basis with law enforcement ready to back it up, even if, the judges decision is illegal. Niggley points, all the legal ones, that may prove your case can be deemed illegal, not revelant, or just overturned by a judge.
Recently, I was involved in a child custody battle here in the usa. The child in question sent an email to the mother. It had a picture of the child. The mother used this email to prove that child was in contact with her, and wanted to be with the mother. The Judge ruled after listening to no expert, or constulting anyone, that the mother lied about the email, because, the yahoo email address that the father of the child had provided to the judge, contained no capitial letters, yet the one the mother had provided had. The email address, ip, where the same, just the caps that differed. The capital letter in question was the A at the start of the email address. Thus the judge in her court rulling specified that the mother had lied about the email address from which the email had came from because of a capitial letter in an email address.
Not leggal? Sure ain't. Niggly point? sure is. Was the judge wrong? Sure was. Is there niggly points in the ThomAs case? sure are. Did she lose, sure did. Can she fight it, sure can't. Was it leggal? nope. What next? Donate to her fund to help her bring this case to the attention of millions worldwide. Donate to her case so that she has the time and money to fight the niggly points. donate to it so that an ordinary person can actually fight for justice against an ill informed judge. A judge that was bullied and intimated into making an untested legal statement to a jury. A statement that stated that having files, and running a program is distrubition. This is not legaly correct. It is is normal life that this happens. But to be legal, it has to be proved, summary judgement is not a vaild enough.
A large gap exists here. In the proponderence of edivence. It seems to become more and more evident as the once free internet, and idea, of being able to say what you want when you want is casualy erroded away by multinationals and coperate bullies exerting pressure on the top line of defense for citizen us, the goverment.
The question of a crime that took place here basically comes down to two things.
Is it illegal to make copies of your CD's for your own use. Rememember, Sony are right in stating that this is illegal. You could not do it before your cassette tape of Queen broke. However this needs to be tested now again now that moderen tech is here, once again. Two. To be considered quilty of disturbution, has one actually to distubute files, or merchandise. I think the ans to that to that has to be yes.
The copyright holder is only losing gain, by any test, when and a unauthorised exchange of their copyrighted product takes place. There can be no cognitive
pre crime in today’s society. They only lose there copyright status when an exchange actually takes place. Before that happens, thay have lost no rights. they have lost no money, no right to be the only ones to distrubite the merchandise. for a judge to say that this is the case, is illegal. No crime has taken place. I go shopping all the time, but unless I take something without paying for it, im not breaking the law. Nor is the seller. This is because no transaction has taken place. No copying of fobidden material. Just an exchange of information that enables the buyer to be aware of what they precive to be the terms of the sale of exchange. The exchange of information between ppl outweighs any legal goverment or multinational coperate id that I know. Hell with the copa act in the USA, and similar in the UK, it is an offense to even see something that the goverment does not like.
I guess that ppl got tired of paying sky high prices to Sony, and the like for CD's, that cost a buck to make. I guess that many ppl got the fcuk you attitude. That I can do what I want to do attitude. Well it cant be done. PPL do lose jobs because of copyright theft. But the ppl broke free with the internet, were able to talk, to communicate, and share their shit. local bullshit from judges and law enforcement and finding a new law, a new breed of consumer has been born.
anonymous surfing and hide ip
I recommend you SmartHide by Arovax - one click of a mouse and no settings headache. You push a button and a tcp/udp tunnel is created and you don't need setup the software. All the programs work through tunnel..p2p/email/web/games/download music.. :-)
Maybe she was allowed to share them
"The second point is that the defendant had absolutely no legal right to share any of these files"
Actually, do we know this?
If the defendant owned the CD, ripped the songs and then shared them, that they are not allowed to do, BUT...
if the defendant downloaded the song itself, and then shared it, to prove that she didn't have the right to share it, don't the RIAA have to determine who she downloaded it from, and prove that this person didn't have the right to distribute it, and if they also downloaded it, keep following the trail until they can finally find either a person who illegally Riped the song, or the other alternative, find the person who originally released it onto the network, who may actually have the rights to do so.
Afterall, if she is a lawabiding person, she has no reason to believe that a file being made available isn't available legally, like many open source stuff etc..
Its the originally releaser who (may have) broke the law, anyone else is just re-releasing the work with the same copyright information which can be assumed from finding it, that it was freely available to share.
Afterall, there are people/companies who have the rights to release a file, only the original released should be in ANY trouble!
Just random thinking