Jammie Thomas trial concludes

Jammie Thomas is the first individual to be accused of illegal downloading whose case has been brought to trial. The case is now over, and it doesn’t make happy reading for anyone outside the Big Music boardrooms.

Thomas was ordered to pay $222,000 damages to six record companies for the file-sharing of 24 specific songs – a whopping $9,250 per song. Since she was accused of filesharing 1,702 tracks in total (through Kazaa), record companies say the fine could have been much higher.

Incredibly, companies are hungry to criminalise their users still more. Testifying in the case, Sony BMG’s chief anti-piracy lawyer, Jennifer Pariser, told the court that in her view “Copying” music you own is “stealing”:

“When an individual makes a copy of a song for himself, I suppose we can say he stole a song.” Making “a copy” of a purchased song is just “a nice way of saying ‘steals just one copy'”, she said.

8 thoughts on “Jammie Thomas trial concludes

  1. It barely took more than four hours for Jammie Thomas(a single mum) to be fined a whooping $220,000. The RIAA are a bunch of douchebags. It’s not fair at all to Jammie.

    snupped.com/riaa-jammie-thomas

  2. This is disgusting. An artist on one of these lables needs to step up and pay this fine for her. How much money is enough? Are ANY of those labels in financial trouble? Are we going to see the day when Sony BMG has to declare bankruptcy? At one time music was actually about music and now its about the almighty dollar. If the record industry is trying to make everyone think they are money hungry heartless bastards then they played their hand well. This will cost them and their artists more in negative feelings than any amount of money they could ever loose. They can’t spend enough money to win back people after this.

  3. She is supposed to be innocent unless proven guilty.

    1. They did not prove she had Kazaa installed (because her HD was replaced.
    2. They “proved” it was her on Kazaa because the nick matched the same nick she used on Macth.com
    3. It has been proven in a court in the Netherlands that an IP address is not proof positive in identifying a person.
    4. The RIAA did not have to prove that any of the songs in question was downloaded by another person (The Judge made the stipulation that just making available for download is guilty enough).

    This case should go to appeal and should be overturned.

  4. “Incredibly, companies are hungry to criminalise their users still more. Testifying in the case, Sony BMG’s chief anti-piracy lawyer, Jennifer Pariser, told the court that in her view “Copying” music you own is “stealing”:

    “When an individual makes a copy of a song for himself, I suppose we can say he stole a song.” Making “a copy” of a purchased song is just “a nice way of saying ’steals just one copy’”, she said.”

    In her view…!!! What is this business? If the lady owns the cd’s for the music she has and some lady feels it’s illegal it automatically makes the lady pay 222,000?

  5. Laws against the sharing of published works are unjust. There is plenty of room in copyright law to allow sharing yet provide privileges for artists to enhance their revenue streams.

  6. You people either weren’t paying attention to the case, or are living in fantasyland. The evidence against Thomas was overwhelming. Also, read the Wired blog and post-trial interview with a juror (“She was a complete liar. She must have thought we were a bunch of morons up here in Duluth. I don’t know what the f- she was thinking.”

    Exchanging a few copies of songs occasionally with a friend is one thing. Acceptable social behavior. But building vast music libraries by exchanging permanent copies with strangers – so you rarely if ever have to pay for your music – is quite another. If you can’t afford it or think the companies charge too much, tough, go play video games instead.

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