Friday, November 09, 2007

RIAA Files Opposition to Jammie Thomas's Motion to Set Aside Verdict

The RIAA has filed its opposition papers to the defendant's motion to set aside the verdict in Capitol v. Thomas.

RIAA Opposition to Motion to Set Aside Verdict*

* Document published online at Internet Law & Regulation

Commentary & discussion:

Keywords: digital copyright online law legal download upload peer to peer p2p file sharing filesharing music movies indie independent label freeculture creative commons pop/rock artists riaa independent mp3 cd favorite songs


Anonymous said...

The RIAA sure knows how to generate paper. 28 pages in this one.

If you follow the RIAA's tortured logic here, you shouldn't be allowed to appeal a death penalty sentence if you agreed to the jury instructions that permitted that in the first place. Heck, by the RIAA's arguments, who needs appeals or remittiur at all any more.

Besides, it is my belief that from the accounts of the trial, the Defense had asked for different jury instructions. Different instructions that might have changed the verdict altogether, meaning that you can't say that they agreed to these instructions. Can you even argue the issue of Constitutionality of damages when determining jury instructions? I would think not.

My feeling is that any time a jury announces that "We're sending a message", that an appeal should automatically be granted, if not a new trial, since the jury appears in these cases to be trying to punish everyone through a single defendant.

And the fact that Congress "carefully crafted [a] regime of statutory damages" doesn't in the least make it Constitutional. The Supreme Court overturns Congressional laws all the time. That's their job. To protect the intent of the Constitution. The RIAA is really blowing smoke on this one.

And there is not a person alive with the server farm and bandwidth capable of distributing anything to "millions of other KaZaA users."

Oh, and the argument that these damages are reasonable because they could have been much larger is truly bunk! One could equally say that they're too large because they could have been much smaller, while still within the statutory limits.

RIAA insists that Defendant "had copied many of these sound recordings from other KaZaA users". I absolutely don't remember them being able to have made that point. In fact, actual ripping of owned CD's was demonstrated at the trial as the source of the music. Does the RIAA really think the Judge in this trial really has that short a memory?

So the RIAA now is arguing that it's damage award is Constitutional because Congress [insert joke of choice here] said so. Then they add that you have to use statutory damages because actual damages might be "unfair". Very strange definition of fairness here.

And while the RIAA relies on the jury as the sole arbitrator of damages awarded, we hear of unreasonable jury awards being overturned every week.

The RIAA also argues that: A jury's verdict is not excessive unless there is "plain injustice" or a "monstrous" or "shocking" result.

Don't know about you, but that sums it up just about perfectly that this technologically illiterate jury was absolutely excessive.

Regarding the RIAA contention that only Punitive Damages could be subject to Constitutional review, these damages clearly rise to the level of Punitive.

Good luck to the Defendant, and a lump of coal to warm the flint-hearted RIAA companies this winter season.

Scott said...

Anonymous wrote:

"Good luck to the Defendant, and a lump of coal to warm the flint-hearted RIAA companies this winter season."

Lump of coal? How about the federal indictment of some execs from the record companies and the RIAA? That would be quite a gift for Richard Gabriel and his cohorts, who would then get to do some lawyering that (in my opinion) didn't only serve to denigrate his profession.