RIAA hits major setbacks in two P2P cases

By on May 15, 2008, 4:48 PM
Today, the Recording Industry Association of America was ordered to pay $107,834 as a result of a failed lawsuit against Tanya Andersen that accused her of illegal file sharing. The ruling marks what it is said to be the highest awarded compensation against the RIAA in terms of legal fees.

But the RIAA’s woes did not end there. In fact, the much bigger news concerns the infamous Jammie Thomas case, in which the jury found Thomas liable for infringement merely for “making available” 24 songs – even though there was no proof of distribution – and awarded the music industry $222,000. Well, as it turns out, the act of making music available online may not be a copyright violation after all.

The judge is now saying that he may have committed a “manifest error of law” in his jury instructions by overlooking controlling Eighth Circuit authority, the case of National Car Rental v. Computer Associates, which held that there can’t be a violation of the ‘distribution right’ without an actual dissemination of copies. Apparently, the judge is now considering granting a new trial.

This is a major setback for the RIAA which has been holding up the Thomas case over and over again as proof that “making available” is infringement. If the judge does decide to order a retrial, more proof may be needed in future lawsuits to establish a violation of copyright law by users of peer-to-peer file sharing networks.

User Comments: 7

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phantasm66 said:
All I have to say is HA HA hA hAAA hAAA!I hope that whole organisation shuts down.
Loquacious1 said:
Yea... Got ta LOVE it! *emphasis on glee*Can nearly hear the sweet sound of their crashing into the ground now.
ejemmons said:
Hello, Hooray! There is much in need of clarification. Let me merely remind us all of the ubiquitous cassettes of our favorite tunes that we used to pass out to our friends.In MY case, the net effect was on the side of profit for the "biz": If I liked the work, I'd go out and buy the record. There is an ineffable pleasure in HOLDING a work of art whilst enjoying the content. At all events, MP3 files are NOT direct copies as the vast majority of data is lost in the process. I know this is "off subject", but hey RIAA, how about fostering higher standards of musicianship at the suffering labels? Less than breeds less than. If the cultural ATTITUDE towards the Musical Art Form were one of respect for accomplishment in art, aspiration to perfection of the art, and respect for the artists, as opposed to the horrid "I can do this, too" mindset that we now have, I suspect the dissemination of it would be viewed in a much more respectful light. Look at the fate of the full-service recording studio: they are few and fewer as more and more wannaabes cut their shit on a G4 in the corner of their bedroom. As a result, the inevitable LEARNING PROCESS that neccesarily accompanies a foray to a decent studio, is lost. As an engineer, I and my colleages took pride in revealing our techniques to our clients, for the sake of a better record, which helped us AND them. Example, in 1973 as a newbie producer, I had the great good fortune to have Stevie Wonder's producer "take over" one of my sessions. Result? One HELLUVA better sound in all my work, at once, and technique seeds that still serve me to this day.Better yet, 30 years later, I got to tell him so. Did he smile, or what?But, to me, the Studio is Church... and music is primarily collaborative. As a 20 something, it was much more fun to do a record than party - the atmosphere I fostered was party to be sure, but we got stuff done, and had a wonderful time doing it!Isolation sucks.In closing (I heard that Thank God!), I must say that there is a groundswell that I feel sure will one day bring us all more together as artists and audience. RIAA take notice!!!! Make dem suckas PLAY they axes!!!!!
black_adder said:
Seems the RIAA are spending more money on lawsuits than they are getting in return these days. Do you think they even stopped for a second and thought, "wait... can we actually Stop the ENTIRE interent population sharing music? And even if we could stop P2P... Something else will come along"... I know there's the whole 'principle' thing, but im willing to bet a good deal that they care little about the sharing, and more about getting a bit of extra money, as with most businesses
neurosys said:
"If the judge does decide to order a retrial, more proof may be needed in future lawsuits to establish a violation of copyright law by users of peer-to-peer file sharing networks."Imagine That... Actually requiring proof before you can be convicted of a crime. Wow, what a crazy world that would be.
fullmetalvegan said:
Woah! Does that mean I may actually be innocent until proven guilty? That's friggen' crazy, can you imagine if the law was like that?!=P
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