RIAA Verdict is in - Guilty

Budyzir

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#2
That freaking sucks, screw the RIAA, I haven't bought a CD in years and I doubt I ever will again.
 

TheDrip

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#4
Kazaa, eeeyyuuuuck
 

MJMANDALAY

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Cut and Paste for PDA people:)





RIAA trial verdict is in: jury finds Thomas liable for infringement
By Eric Bangeman | Published: October 04, 2007 - 04:30PM CT


Duluth, Minnesota — 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.

After the verdict was announced, Thomas and her attorney Brian Toder quickly left the courtoom. Toder offered a terse "no comment" when asked if Thomas had any intention to appeal the case. The jury was also in no mood to talk to the media, choosing instead to be escorted out of the courthouse by court personnel, ignoring the battery of television cameras and TV reporters at the foot of the courthouse steps.

The plaintiffs' legal team spent a few minutes talking to the jury after the verdict was announced, finally emerging from the courthouse to take questions from the media. The first question asked of Gabriel was whether the RIAA would enforce and try to collect the judgment. Gabriel replied that he hadn't had the chance to talk to the client about that yet. He said that the jury did not explain how they arrived at the $9,250 figure, but that they expressed to the legal team that the case was "clear and well-presented."

Gabriel also noted the magnitude of the case in response to a question. "We appreciate the opportunity to put out in daylight the facts and evidence collected in this case," he replied. "This does send a message, we hope, that both downloading and distributing music is no joke." When asked if there was an end game in sight for the series of lawsuits, Gabriel said that it was up to the RIAA to decide.

Before the deliberations began, counsel for both parties presented their closing arguments. Thomas' attorney, Brian Toder, went first (per court rules). Speaking forcefully and only referring to his notes rarely, he took 15 minutes to make his points. He started off by repeating his assertion from the opening arguments that the defendant was in a "tough role" given what the jurors had heard and seen in the courtroom. "There are certainly alternative explanations, because my client didn't do it," he told the jury. "Someone used her name and IP address—it's not impossible."

Toder then reminded the jury that they have the burden of "proving that Jammie Thomas was the human being calling herself 'tereastarr' doing all of this."

Toder then turned to the RIAA's witnesses, beginning with Mark Weaver of SafeNet. "He's a stand-up guy," Toder told the jury. "But he never once said that Jammie Thomas did this—just tereastarr at an IP address." He then moved on to David Edgar, manager of Charter's Internet security department and noted that he didn't testify that the MAC address from the cable modem rented to Thomas identified a specific computer.

Toder then turned his attention to the RIAA's expert witness, Dr. Doug Jacobson. Calling him the plaintiff's expert a "hired gun," Toder said "I think you saw he was making things up as he went along." He focused on the debate over the presence of the songs on the hard drive examined by Jacobson, and argued that the defense proved definitively that Jacobson was "absolutely wrong" about his assertion that it would not have been possible to rip the songs on the hard drive from CD given the time stamps. He also argued that the notoriety from the case helped Jacobson's security business, Palisade Systems, and that the "five or six hours" Jacobson said he spent on the case means he could not have given it the time and attention it deserved.

Wrapping up his closing argument, Toder touched on the discrepancy in the dates given for the hard drive replacement, saying that it was an honest mistake, given that numerous dates in her deposition were a year off across the board. He then reminded the jury that MAC and IP addresses can be spoofed. "We can't prove it happened, but we don't have to." Toder concluded by saying that the plaintiffs did not meet their burden of proof and said that the jury doesn't have to award the record companies money in this trial "because they didn't earn it."

The RIAA's closing arguments
Richard Gabriel then presented the closing argument for the record labels. Gabriel first addressed Toder's remarks, saying that he talked about "theories and speculation" that have nothing to do with this case. After reminding the jury that they had seen nothing indicating that the record labels in the case were not the owners of the copyrights in question, Gabriel then ran through the record labels' evidence, "The real issue in this case is whether the defendant violated the record companies' exclusive rights," he said. "We don't have to prove who got the file from the defendant."

Gabriel ran through the screenshots showing the user tereastarr@KaZaA and then showed other instances of her using the same screenname online. "All the fingers in this case point to Jammie Thomas," he argued. He ticked off the evidence of the MAC and IP addresses, a password-protected PC that only the defendant had access to, use of the tereastarr nickname across several services and e-mail accounts across the years, and the "eclectic musical tastes" of Thomas that he said were reflected both on the hard drive and in the shared folder. "These things all point in one direction, and only one direction: that of Jammie Thomas," he said. "Jammie Thomas infringed the record companies' copyrighted recordings."

Gabriel concluded by telling the jury that Thomas doesn't respond to the evidence "because she can't." It's "misdirection, red herrings, and smoke and mirrors," he told the jury. He defended Weaver and Jacobson's testimony, wrapping up by saying that the "greater weight" shows that the defendant did it. "She refused to accept responsibility, so we come to you to ask you to hold her responsible," he said, asking the jury to find her liable and to consider the need for deterrence in awarding statutory damages.

With that, the jury instructions were read into the record and the jury filed out to begin deliberations.

The RIAA hopes that this and the 20,000 other cases serve as a deterrent to would-be file-sharers, but the question of whether or not the music industry is engendering so much hostility and bad press with its campaign that it outweighs any short-term benefits remains. With a verdict in their favor, the RIAA hopes to ratchet the campaign of fear up a notch and says it will press forward with its legal campaign.
 

LiddyRules

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#6
Do we know what this guy downloaded?
The record companies had alleged she shared 1,702 songs in all. These songs included tracks by the Swedish “death metal” band Opeth, although tracks by Janet Jackson, Green Day, Guns ’N’ Roses, Journey, Destiny’s Child and others are believed to have been at issue in the case.

Thomas, an employee of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe, an Indian tribe, was ordered to pay a 9,250-dollar fine for each of 24 shared songs cited in the case, including Godsmack's "Spiral," Destiny's Child's "Bills, Bills, Bills" and Sara McLachlan's "Building a Mystery."
 

BIV

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#7
The punishment is a little harsh, but:


No sympathy. Quit stealing people's shit.
 

BIV

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#9
Yeah, screw them for wanting money for their product and prosecuting people who distribute their product for free! :rolleyes:
:clap::clap:

Bitch is lucky she's not facing criminal charges.
 

peewee

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#10
fuck that, record companies have been robbing the public for years... its time they get theirs... i will never stop downloading
 

WeToYou

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#11
Ewww @ all of the people supporting the scumbag RIAA.
 

Plunkies

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#12
:clap::clap:

Bitch is lucky she's not facing criminal charges.
Yeah downloading a few dozen songs is much worse than extortion.
 

commish13

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#13
Quit stealing people's shit, BIV? The record companies don't do shit. The artists aren't the ones getting fucked over by people downloading, it's the record companies, and they aren't the talented musicians, they're just talented at being greedy assholes.
 

Absolutely

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#14
Stupid RIAA, this isn't going to help anything at all.

Or put fear in to anyone either.
90% of people with internet access have downloaded something illegally.

My 75 year old Grandpa has downloaded a Tony Bennett song. EVERYONE does it.
A possible $150,000 a song? People could owe Trillions and Trillions.

Suing individuals isn't going to do anything. I don't understand the point.
.0000000000001% of that 90% is even going to think about stopping. "It won't happen to me".

Also, out of curiousity, is it illegal to "Save As" a picture that's copywritted?
I've always wondered that.
 

BIV

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#15
Quit stealing people's shit, BIV? The record companies don't do shit. The artists aren't the ones getting fucked over by people downloading, it's the record companies, and they aren't the talented musicians, they're just talented at being greedy assholes.
That's not your decision to make. Whether you like it or not, the record company owns the music. DLing it is stealing, no matter how you justify it.

You people act as if this doesn't effect the artists, and it does.

I'm an artist with a small but loyal following. A record company thinks I could make them some cash so they sign me for a record and an option on two more. My first record comes out but since so many of my fans DL'ed the songs instead of buying the album I didn't make a large enough margin of profit for the record company to justify buying the option.

Does this happen often? Who the fuck knows. But why would the record companies take a risk on smaller, low profit artists when any profit is going to be traded away by you DLing douchebags?

The big name acts get a cut of the profit from the music sales. Smaller acts rely on record sale profits to keep the contracts coming. you are taking money from the artists, why do you think Lars and the rest of Metallica fought so hard against his shit. What, do you think they liked it? That somehow pissing off fans was fun for them?

You entitled assholes can justify it all you want, but the record companies don't owe you shit. Don't get me wrong, they are scumbags, but it doesn't matter. They are in the business of making a profit off of music. They provide a product and you can choose to buy it or not. If you get it any other way, you are stealing and should be treated like the criminal you are.

Yeah downloading a few dozen songs is much worse than extortion.
Oh please, tell me sir how you have been extorted by a record company.
 

BIV

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#16
Also, out of curiousity, is it illegal to "Save As" a picture that's copywritted?
I've always wondered that.
Photos are covered under fair use. As long as you don't make a profit off it it's a non issue. Photographer's profits are not determined by distribution.
 

Absolutely

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#17
Photos are covered under fair use. As long as you don't make a profit off it it's a non issue. Photographer's profits are not determined by distribution.
Hmmm.
So even if there's a playboy shoot I really want to see. So instead of buying it, I download them for free?
The photographer's sales aren't accounted for the magazine's sales would be lower.

I've figured out that a very very close friend of mine might be looking at something in the $140,000,000 range if sued for 9,000 a pop.
That could take an extra day or two of work to pay off.
 

BIV

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#18
Hmmm.
So even if there's a playboy shoot I really want to see. So instead of buying it, I download them for free?
The photographer's sales aren't accounted for the magazine's sales would be lower.

I've figured out that a very very close friend of mine might be looking at something in the $140,000,000 range if sued for 9,000 a pop.
That could take an extra day or two of work to pay off.
Perhaps a bit more than that;)

Interesting point about the photos. I wonder if it's because the magazine itself has inherent (sp?) value due to the photos not being the only content while, in contrast, a CD is merely a delivery system for an IP. Interesting to think about, though.
 

commish13

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#19
Don't bring up Lars and Metallica. They did it because they're greedy bastards. They were already filthy fucking rich when they started their quest against Napster. They're a HUGE band and still make shitloads of money from plenty of things that aren't record sales.

They're a shitty example, because even if they make a good cut of the record sales, people downloading their shit isn't going to make them poor. It's just going to take a way a marginal sum of money that they don't even close to need to have.

Metallica's thing with Napster is an example of greedy fucks. That's open and shut.
 

BIV

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#20
Don't bring up Lars and Metallica. They did it because they're greedy bastards. They were already filthy fucking rich when they started their quest against Napster. They're a HUGE band and still make shitloads of money from plenty of things that aren't record sales.

They're a shitty example, because even if they make a good cut of the record sales, people downloading their shit isn't going to make them poor. It's just going to take a way a marginal sum of money that they don't even close to need to have.

Metallica's thing with Napster is an example of greedy fucks. That's open and shut.
So fucking what? What does rich or poor have to do with a God Damn thing? It's their shit and it was being stolen. They have a right to be greedy. What is this strange moral authority that states you are allowed to steal from someone who is successful and has a bad attitude?

It's not about "need". It's not about the amount of money. It's about people stealing their money.

You know what, you could walk onto Lars' driveway and steal his car and it wouldn't effect his bottom line whatsoever. He'd replace it the next day. Are you justified in stealing his car because of this? Sounds retarded, right? But it's exactly the same justification you are giving for stealing from Metallica or a record company.
 

commish13

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#21
Whatever. It's how I feel. I think that it's fucking silly that people who don't need things act like it's a big deal. In the end, it's not a big deal to me. That's how I look at it. If I were a big musician, I'd not give a shit if Joe from Oregon was using the internet to listen to my music. Because I shouldn't give a shit. That's how it is to me.
 

BIV

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#22
Whatever. It's how I feel. I think that it's fucking silly that people who don't need things act like it's a big deal. In the end, it's not a big deal to me. That's how I look at it. If I were a big musician, I'd not give a shit if Joe from Oregon was using the internet to listen to my music. Because I shouldn't give a shit. That's how it is to me.
Which is why they are millionaires, and you're not. I can't think of a single industry where you can be truly successful without being a selfish ass.

I might be successful too if I wasn't as lazy as I am selfish. :icon_wink

But I guess, agree..etc.
 

commish13

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#23
I mean once you are successful you don't have to be a greedy fuck. Case in point, OnA. They aren't greedy fucks and they're doing more than well for themselves.
 

HummerTuesdays

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#24
Biv, what cut of this settlement is the artist going to see? I'm no expert but my guess is zero. Fuck the RIAA. The artsts get NOTHING either way.
 

PCLoadLetter

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#25
I don't understand the point.
.0000000000001% of that 90% is even going to think about stopping. "It won't happen to me".
So.... That makes it "right"? Everybody does it, so people who DO get caught are being railroaded?

I also love the "the record companies have been screwing artists for years so it's okay to steal music" argument. :hamm:
 
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