Jammie Thomas to Get a Retrial

On Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Michael Davis of Duluth, Minnesota, declared a mistrial in the case of Jammie Thomas (pictured), the only person to take an RIAA lawsuit to trial (all others have settled out of court).  She lost her trial last year, but Davis, who presided in that trial, ruled that he erred during jury instructions and set aside the judgment, calling it a mistrial.

In his ruling, Davis said:

"Jury Instruction No. 15 was erroneous, and that error substantially prejudiced Thomas' rights. Based on the court's error in instructing the jury, it grants Thomas a new trial."

Instruction 15 said:

The act of making copyrighted sound recordings available for electronic distribution on a peer-to-peer network, without license from the copyright owners, violates the copyright owners’ exclusive right of distribution, regardless of whether actual distribution has been shown.

In his ruling, Davis also noted the ridiculous amount of the penalties assessed against Thomas, $222,000 for 24 songs (!).  That's nearly 10K per song!  As Davis said:

"While the court does not discount plaintiffs' claim that, cumulatively, illegal downloading has far-reaching effects on their businesses, the damages awarded in this case are wholly disproportionate to the damages suffered by plaintiffs. Thomas allegedly infringed on the copyrights of 24 songs -- the equivalent of approximately three CDs, costing less than $54, and yet the total damages awarded is $222,000 – more than 500 times the cost of buying 24 separate CDs and more than 4,000 times the cost of three CDs."

The RIAA can now drop the case (not likely), appeal the ruling, or begin a new trial.  What do you readers think of this new ruling, BTW?
Via:  Wired
Tags:  Trial, Jammie Thomas, IE, AM
Comments
shanewu 6 years ago

So what SHOULD Instruction No. 15 say?

The RIAA can eat a fat one!

3vi1 6 years ago

"The act of making copyrighted sound recordings available for electronic distribution on a peer-to-peer network, without license from the copyright owners, violates the copyright owners’ exclusive right of distribution, regardless of whether actual distribution has been shown and whether or not the defendant actually ever owned a computer or even heard of the internet. The plaintiff's evidence, though not gathered by any licensed law enforcement agency nor kept on any system accountable to any level of security should only be taken as completely incontrovertible proof that the defendent, you, and everyone you've ever met, are godless thieving scum."

amdcrankitup 6 years ago

$222,000 for 3 cds x three fouths the population of the entire planet Dam_ were all going to jail!OR OR!! I need to start recording music!

bob_on_the_cob 6 years ago

Good to here. She didn't get a fair trial and it set a bad prescidence.

Savage Animal 6 years ago

[quote user="bob_on_the_cob"]

Good to here. She didn't get a fair trial and it set a bad prescidence.

[/quote]

Agreed, and I'm glad it was the original judge who saw it that way, instead of having to go through an appeals process and having someone else decide whether or not the trial was fair. I hope she beats it!

 

 

AjayD 6 years ago

It's nice to see our (in)justice system has other uses besides over burdening our jails with drug offenders who are likely to serve more time than murderers, rapists and child molesters.

Bringing a lawsuit against someone for sharing 24 songs is like binging a lawsuit against someone for taking the parking space you had intended to take. In other words....absolutely ridiculous. Not to mention the insanely inflated compensation the RIAA is demanding.

The RIAA should be forced to pay any and all legal fees corresponding to the trial, including the judge and all other court employees wages for the duration of the trial. Jamie Thomas should also be compensated for her time that she has wasted having to defend herself.

amdcrankitup 6 years ago

 [quote user="AjayD"]It's nice to see our (in)justice system has other uses besides over burdening our jails with drug offenders who are likely to serve more time than murderers, rapists and child molesters.[/quote]

 

Well here,s the deal now we all know all the financial woes all these corp giants are having as we speak financial institutions collapsing everywhere because these poor CEO,s arent getting paid properly!So then they come to the Little People! (That would be US!) And overchrarge for the media in the 1st place, and then try to sell it to us over and over and over! Then when the Little People ( That be US) LOL! Get caught sharing songs just because we are a sharing society they want to fine you $222.000 for 3 CDs or put you in jail! And we sure dont want none of these poor ole Corp Giants to fall because then they just turn back around and charge up a $700 Billion  dollar line of credit and send it to U guessed it!Cake THE LITTLE PEOPLE!Super Angry ( THat be US!!!)

bob_on_the_cob 6 years ago

[quote user="AjayD"]

It's nice to see our (in)justice system has other uses besides over burdening our jails with drug offenders who are likely to serve more time than murderers, rapists and child molesters.

Bringing a lawsuit against someone for sharing 24 songs is like binging a lawsuit against someone for taking the parking space you had intended to take. In other words....absolutely ridiculous. Not to mention the insanely inflated compensation the RIAA is demanding.

The RIAA should be forced to pay any and all legal fees corresponding to the trial, including the judge and all other court employees wages for the duration of the trial. Jamie Thomas should also be compensated for her time that she has wasted having to defend herself.

[/quote]

If she wins this time around she should counter sue.

 

amdcrankitup 6 years ago

[quote user="bob_on_the_cob"]If she wins this time around she should counter sue.[/quote] 

 

Yeah isnt it funny how you can be taken to court get reemed out and win then they dont feel you are intitled to compensation and at the least the cost of your legal fees!!

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