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Jedey
10-05-2007, 10:04 PM
Record companies win landmark battle




The recording industry won a key fight Thursday against illegal music downloading when a federal jury found a Minnesota woman shared copyrighted music online and levied $222,000 in damages against her.

The jury ordered Jammie Thomas, 30, to pay the six record companies that sued her $9,250 for each of 24 songs they focused on in the case. They had alleged she shared 1,702 songs in all.

Thomas and her attorney, Brian Toder, declined comment as they left the courthouse. Jurors also left without commenting.

"This does send a message, I hope, that downloading and distributing our recordings is not OK," said Richard Gabriel, the lead attorney for the music companies.

In the first such lawsuit to go to trial, the record companies accused Thomas of downloading the songs without permission and offering them online through a Kazaa file-sharing account. Thomas denied wrongdoing and testified that she didn't have a Kazaa account.

Record companies have filed some 26,000 lawsuits since 2003 over file-sharing, which has hurt sales because it allows people to get music for free instead of paying for recordings in stores. Many other defendants have settled by paying the companies a few thousand dollars.

During the three-day trial, the record companies presented evidence they said showed the copyrighted songs were offered by a Kazaa user under the name "tereastarr." Their witnesses, including officials from an Internet provider and a security firm, testified that the Internet address used by "tereastarr" belonged to Thomas.

Toder said in his closing that the companies never proved "Jammie Thomas, a human being, got on her keyboard and sent out these things."

"We don't know what happened," Toder told jurors. "All we know is that Jammie Thomas didn't do this."

Gabriel called that defense "misdirection, red herrings, smoke and mirrors."

He told jurors a verdict against Thomas would send a message to other illegal downloaders.

"I only ask that you consider that the need for deterrence here is great," he said.

Copyright law sets a damage range of $750 to $30,000 per infringement, or up to $150,000 if the violation was "willful." Jurors ruled that Thomas' infringement was willful but awarded damages in a middle range; Gabriel said they did not explain the amount to attorneys afterward.

Thomas, of Brainerd, works for the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe's Department of Natural Resources.

Before the verdict, an official with an industry trade group said he was surprised it had taken so long for one of the industry's lawsuits against individual downloaders to come to trial.

Illegal downloads have "become business as usual, nobody really thinks about it," said Cary Sherman, president of the Recording Industry Association of America, which coordinates the lawsuits. "This case has put it back in the news. Win or lose, people will understand that we are out there trying to protect our rights."

The RIAA says the lawsuits have mitigated illegal sharing, even though music file-sharing is rising overall. The group says the number of households that have used file-sharing programs to download music has risen from 6.9 million monthly in April 2003 (before the lawsuits) to 7.8 million in March 2007.

Thomas' testimony was complicated by the fact that she had replaced her computer's hard drive after the sharing was alleged to have taken place -- and later than she said in a deposition before trial.

The hard drive in question was not presented at trial by either party, though Thomas used her new one to show the jury how fast it copies songs from CDs. That was an effort to counter an industry witness's assertion that the songs on the old drive got there too fast to have come from CDs she owned -- and therefore must have been downloaded illegally.

Record companies said Thomas was sent an instant message in February 2005, warning her that she was violating copyright law. Her hard drive was replaced the following month, not in 2004, as she said in the deposition.

The record companies involved in the lawsuit are Sony BMG, Arista Records LLC, Interscope Records, UMG Recordings Inc., Capitol Records Inc. and Warner Bros. Records Inc.



By Joshua Freed, Associated Press Writer

JoMama
10-06-2007, 05:46 AM
The title of that article should read:
"Desperate Record Sharks Attack Humans!"

People will continue to pay for music, but fewer and fewer of them, as our culture just won't support these mega-companies. I'm sure this woman won't ever pay that much money to these goons, because they value the publicity more than the money they're being awarded.
The industry is only hurting itself with such publicity stunts.

elliegurl
10-06-2007, 06:19 AM
file sharing its kinda like one of those african docs were all the gazelle are crossing this river and maybe one gets chomped up by crocodiles. most kids today don't go near a cd store or buy music and this won't stop them...ever!
ellie

Melody Blues
10-06-2007, 06:33 AM
I still mostly buy music, be it in a shop or over the internet. All told I haven't downloaded that much compared to a lot of people.

Clearly the woman can't afford to pay that fine so hows that going to work?

Does the punishment fit the crime? I don't think so.

elliegurl
10-06-2007, 06:49 AM
i still buy the majority of my music, yet do get music for free and share with my friends. i think i heard so many new bands that way, by sharing. i know the musicians need to get paid for their work, does the record company need to get most of the money off each cd sale??? i don't think so. that's why i find radiohead's new thing, were you pay them whatever you want for the download of their new cd so interesting, in so many ways. it bypassses the record company. it would be so nice to just be able to download your band's fav music and just pay them. of course i am talking socialists crap again so must make up for that and be a good consumer by going out today and buying some new shoes.
have a good saturday people,
ellie

illbecominhome
10-06-2007, 07:47 AM
of course i am talking socialists crap

Thanks for throwing the FBI and the CIA all over us now ellie... :p :D

Calexico
10-06-2007, 08:26 AM
I really want to say something useful here but I am hungover and can't really get it together.

JoMama
10-06-2007, 09:27 AM
File-sharing itself is not illegal.
Sharing published material that these suits want to sell is what is illegal.
If I sit down and record a bunch of Rolling Stones songs with my guitar, I can send them to anyone I want. If I want money for my recordings, then I have to pay Sir Mick and the rest of 'em.
I'm surprised the guitar companies aren't asking for a royalty if you use their guitar for playing music for a living. That's about as dumb as the record industry going after people for file sharing.
There ought be a publication of how they 'randomly' picked people to file lawsuits again--I'm sure they used some kind of process of weeding out the poor, and only go after upper-middleclass or wealthier 'targets'.

Truscott
10-06-2007, 02:52 PM
I really want to say something useful here but I am hungover and can't really get it together.Busienss as usual.

As for file sharing. Yeah, file sharing is fine and perhaps sharing concert bootlegs is the best way to do it legally.

I'm not really all that sure where I stand on sharing copyrighted material, but I do know that the music industry seriously needs to revamp their business model. And no, suing people is not a business model. :p

Calexico
10-06-2007, 03:00 PM
Busienss as usual.



That's some cold-ass shit right there my Canadian buddy....


Edit:


Also spelled incorrectly I see.

Truscott
10-06-2007, 03:03 PM
Just being a smartass. :)

Melody Blues
10-06-2007, 04:32 PM
According to a newspaper over here, this was her "play list":

Guns 'N' Roses - Welcome to the Jungle, November Rain

Vanessa Williams - Save the Best for Last

Janet Jackson - Let's What Awhile

Gloria Estefan - Here We Are, Coming Out of the Heart, Rhythm is Gonna Get You

Goo Goo Dolls - Iris,

Journey - Faithfully, Don't Stop Believing

Sara McLachlan - Possession, Building a Mystery

Aerosmith - Cryin'

Linkin Park - One Step Closer

Def Leppard - Pour Some Sugar on Me

Reba McEntire - One Honest Heart

Bryan Adams - Somebody

No Doubt - Bathwater, Hella Good, Different People

Sheryl Crow - Run Baby Run

Richard Marx - Now and Forever

Destiny's Child - Bills, Bills, Bills

Green Day - Basket Case

__________________________________________________ ______________

She can keep them, I don't want any of them!!

sybilskelton
10-06-2007, 05:32 PM
Well, now that's just sad, she got that much grief for that lot of crap music. Although I am kinda partial to some old-school Green Day....

Sybil

lebowski
10-06-2007, 08:18 PM
of course i am talking socialists crap...
ellie

is that any less exhausting than nihilism?

i've joined a "sneaker net" sharing group of late. that probably won't be safe much longer either.

illbecominhome
10-06-2007, 08:30 PM
Although I am kinda partial to some old-school Green Day....

Sybil

Agreed. I listened to "Dookie" the other day after many years, and I don't know if it was cause I listened to it so many times when I was a teen, but damn I still love that album!

illbecominhome
10-06-2007, 08:31 PM
She can keep them, I don't want any of them!!

:D Are you not even tempted by the Richard Marx?

Well, Ange can tell all of you how I made a rendition of "Save the best for last" in some gas station in Wisconsin when that tune came on the radio :p :D

Calexico
10-07-2007, 04:23 AM
That's a pretty diabolical list.She should be paraded thru the streets of her town with that list round her neck.