Thursday, September 25, 2008

Newsflash: RIAA Loses!

According to, U.S. District Court Judge Michael Davis has thrown out a $222,000.00 verdict against Jamie Thomas. The Recording Industry Association of America had sought damages against her for alleged file sharing of copyrighted material.

The single mother of two had previously been ordered to pay damages because her computer had made songs available on a peer to peer sharing network. Judge Davis ruled that simply making material available is not enough. Plaintiffs must actually prove distribution.

In a related story, The RIAA has initiated litigation against blogger Ray Beckerman. Beckerman is one of the nation's few attorneys who defends accused file sharers and "has maintained an anti-recording industry blog" according to the RIAA.

Beckerman alledges that there are "thousands of people falsely sued" by the RIAA.

The RIAA has sued about 30,000 people over the last five years for file sharing.

Fred von Lohmann, a staff attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, says the lawsuits are simply not reducing the number of people trading music online. If the goal is to reduce file sharing," he says, "it's a failure."

Settlement payments can be made on a website, where the funds are used to sue more defendants. None of the money is paid to artists.

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