Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Testimony of Jammie Thomas-Rasset in Capitol v. Thomas-Rasset

Plaintiffs began by asking Ms. Thomas-Rasset about her education, degrees she holds, where she works, and some details about what her job duties entail. She is asked about her proficiency with computers, specificially with the Microsoft Office suite of applications to which she testifies she is familiar with, knows how to use, and uses on a regular basis.

She was then asked about the tereastarr username, which she admits to using as her online identity at a multitude of websites for the past sixteen years.

Jammie seemed confident on the stand. Not visibly nervous or confused, and able to articulate her answers to questions quite clearly.

The questions then were some which she was asked at previous depositions. She was asked if her computer was on all the time. Her testimony was that her computer was on all the time, except when she went away for the weekend or another long period of time. Mr. Reynolds pointed her to a previous deposition answer in which she simply stated that her computer was on all the time. She was asked again, to which her final response during today's testimony was that her computer was on all the time when she was at home.

She was asked about how her computer was seperated into accounts, and some screenshots of her desktop and start menu were shown, showing the Windows login name that was used was "tereastarr". She testified that her computer had two accounts, one that she used, and one that was for others. Both were password protected. She was asked about the "tereastarr" account and if it had administrative priveliges, to which she responded that it did. She was asked how the other account was limited, and did not state directly whether or not the account was an administrator, but did state that the account could get online, and that her kids did go online to go to things like yahoo and pogo.com. This question also caused Mr. Reynolds to go back to a previous deposition and read a question an answer that stated her kids could "only access games".

An exhibit was then shown which was a crude drawing of the defendant's apartment at the time the alleged infringement occured, showing where the PC was located in her bedroom.

Mr. Reynolds then switched gears on his line of questioning by asking about Jammie's musical tastes, and her CD collection. She states she owned about 240 CDs in 2005, and now approximately 300. He then began bringing up the screenshots from a shared folder MediaSentry found which they allege to belong to a tereastarr@KaZaA. She testifies that this is not her shared folder. She is asked about several artists in the shared folder and their style of music. Several of the artists are artists she is familiar with and listens to. She maintains her assertion that this is not her shared folder. She also testifies that she is not surprised by this shared folder, as the all the artists that are being talked about are popular artists and she would not be surprised if there was someone else with similar musical tastes.

She was then asked whether or not the music was copyrighted, and whether or not the copyrights were valid. She testified that she had no evidence either way as to the copyright status of this music.

She was then asked about Napster, to which she admitted to using as a part of a research project at Saint Cloud State University. She admitted to having used Napster while in college to download music to a University computer, and at that time concluded it was legal. She testifies that she learned later on in her college career that Napster was shut down, and that it was not legal.

She was asked about burning CDs which she admitted to doing for Mr. Havemeier, and having more recently downloading music from Amazon.com and burning for her husband. She was asked about making playlists on her computer, to which she admitted to having have done.

She was questioned on documents from Dr. Jacobson's report about files and playlists on her computers to which she answered very confidently. She was asked if she produced some certain named playlists, which she admitted to having done. When Mr. Reynolds asked her about one specific playlist she confidently stated that she did not make that playlist, and that it was a single song, to which Mr. Reynolds apologized for having made the error.

She was also questioned about her CD ripping habits and some deposition testimony relating to expert evidence that a large number of files appearing on her computer in a short period of time. During this portion of testimony Ms. Thomas was defensive but still very confident. When being pointed to deposition testimony giving an answer that she could not explain why such an amount of music would have come on her computer in such a short period of time pointing Mr. Reynolds to later in the deposition to statements that she could not explain it, because she had not seen the expert report, she likened it at one point to asking a doctor to explain whether or not someone had cancer without allowing the doctor to see medical records.

Ms. Thomas-Rasset was not questioned very hard on the issue of previous deposition testimony relating to the date her hard drive was replaced. She was asked about the deposition testimony in which she stated the drive was replaced in early 2004, but not pressed on the issue as she was during the previous trial.

Defense counsel declined to cross afterwards and will question Ms. Thomas-Rasset directly later in the case.

Keywords: lawyer digital copyright law online internet 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 intellectual property portable music player

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