The first trial surrounding the RIAA and their numerous victims got underway today, with one woman prepared to defend herself when so many before have settled. While initially accused of pirating over 1700 songs, the trial itself has him pinned down to a mere 25 – but the draconian penalties for “infringing” upon a single song per the RIAA are pretty severe.
What has happened so far could have been easily predicted. Lawyers for the RIAA and Capitol Records argued how pirating music over the Internet was obliterating sales for these companies. It may prove to be a very interesting case to watch, especially since supposedly the hard drive with the pirated material in question was replaced long before the RIAA ever made contact with her:
According to the the timeline offered by Toder, the first communication to the defendant came on April 22, 2005, in the form of a letter sent by her ISP. She didn't receive one of the RIAA's settlement letters until August 2005. Toder again pointed out that the hard drive was replaced before the defendant was ever notified that she was the potential target of a copyright infringement lawsuit.
The outcome of this case might have a huge impact on all future cases involving the RIAA and the labels they are representing. Either way, the summary of the trial so far is very interesting. I look forward to seeing how it concludes.