Judge declares mistrial in RIAA-Jammie Thomas case

By on September 25, 2008, 10:57 AM
After expressing doubts about the validity of his decision, Judge Michael Davis today declared a mistrial in the case of Jammie Thomas, the nation’s first and only federal jury verdict against a peer-to-peer file sharer. The move (at least for now) eliminates the $222,000 fine demanded by the RIAA for claims that she “made available” 24 copyrighted songs on the KaZaA file sharing network.

The Judge granted Thomas a new trial, as he said he might do a while back. The issue the court is now considering is whether or not the RIAA had to first prove that other people had downloaded from Thomas’ files or if making them available for download was enough. This is a major blow to the RIAA’s legal campaign against file sharers, as it could finally make them accountable for proving their accusations.

Davis also noted that the original fine levied on Thomas of $222,000 was "wholly disproportionate" to the actual damages the RIAA incurred and urged the Congress to revise the law for peer-to-peer network cases such as this one.

User Comments: 3

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skembear said:
A spit in the eye to USA bully corporations, lets have some more please
old101 said:
Under our laws you are entitled to face your accuser/damaged party in court. So in my opinion the only legal standing in copyright cases is that of the copyright owner, thus Artist/Publisher. I would like them to come to court and prove damages in detail - songs downloaded, how this affected their sales, how much of the royalty revenue was lost, etc.How many Artists/Publishers will actually sue their customers?. Once the cover of RIAA is removed, how many cases do you think we will have?. In any case the Judges decision is aimed at a better accounting of losses, if any in this case, since the plaintiff apparently did not prove that any songs were downloaded.
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