RIAA Takes Another Shot To The Chin – The End Is Near
The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has lost another round in their prolonged battle with Jammie Thomas, a 30-year-old woman from Minnesota. A federal judge has denied the RIAAs request for an appeal of an earlier decision to grant a retrial in its copyright infringement case against Thomas.
Prior, a jury found that Thomas had violated copyright laws by “making available” 1,700 songs via the Kazaa Peer-To-Peer (P2P) network. The jury commanded Jammie Thomas to fork over $220,000.
However, a few weeks later, U.S. District Judge Michael Davis, thought better of his jury instructions and tossed the verdict on the grounds that the act of making a copyrighted song available for sharing amounts to infringement. The concept of “making available” has thus been hotly debated since the original decision. Davis ordered a new trial, which is slated for March 2009.
Immediately the RIAA appealed the judge’s decision for a new trial, but that maneuver has been swatted away, which legal eagles believe is a serious setback for the RIAA since they feel the making available argument will go down in flames. Thomas is one of the only individuals to defend herself against copyright infringement charges levied by the RIAA, and has become a cult figure.
Since 2003, thousands of people sued by the RIAA have decided to settle for between $3000-5000 dollars. But Thomas, who has never wavered from her position of innocence has gone toe-to-toe with the trade association.
The Future: The fat lady is warming up her vocal cords. Although, the RIAA has finally decided to abandon their flawed litigation strategy, the upcoming beatdown in March, should they even go through with the case, will be their swan song.