back to article RIAA hits paydirt: wins first music-sharing jury trial

The Recording Industry of America today won its first jury trial against an individual accused of illegally downloading music. A federal jury fined Jammie Thomas, 30, of Minnesota $220,000 in damages to the six record labels suing her for copyright violation. Thomas will pay $9,250 for each of the 24 songs the prosecution …


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  1. silverguy

    Money can't buy me love

    Oh yes the 6 record companies will feel the love of the public for this.

    100,000 pounds for sharing a small section of songs.



    She's not exactly terrorist hacking mom. This punishment doesn't fit the crime.

    Boo RIAA.

    Boo jury for letting this happen.

    Boo indeed.

  2. D. Suse

    Time to cut out the parasitic middle-man...

    Time to cut out the parasitic middle-man organism that is the RIAA. Its initial purpose was to supply the technology that enabled production and transmission of artistic content to the customer, enhancing their enjoyment of life. This parasite has spiralled out of control, now taking the majority of artist's profits, driving up the cost of their works, and unilaterally treating their *customers* as criminals.

    We now have the technology for artists to easily record, mix, and distribute DRM-free audio and video media themselves for reasonable prices through a storefront the web (excluding iTunes, another fat cat...). All profits go to the artists (who can donate a portion to charity if they so wish instead of lining some RIAA fat cat's pockets). Artists win through more cash, tax deductions, and advertising benefits related to supporting charities, charities win, consumers win by being involved in a non-toxic transaction and by being treated as a person of value (not a criminal).

    People would most likely participate in such a scheme, particularly for artists who do some donation to charity (what dedicated fan is too lazy to type their favourite artist's name into Google?). It's time to purge the disease, it is out of control.

  3. JeffyPooh

    Okay then.

    Okay then. I will NEVER EVER purchase another CD or music DVD or any other format. NEVER EVER.

    I haven't bought more than a couple in the past few years, but from now on - NONE. Nada.

    It makes me sick to even look at a Music CD. All I think about is the RIAA and their scummy lawyers. Yuck. I need to take a shower even after just walking past the CD section at the big box store.

  4. The Aussie Paradox

    What happens next when the bully wins?

    <quote> "This is what can happen if you don't settle," Gabriel said.</quote>

    The gloating has started. You pay us your bribe on time and we will not beat you some more.

    The question is: Will that money go to the poor starving artist who "lost" all those sales when these songs were uploaded? I think not!

    Oh, and where is the Paris Hilton angle?

  5. John Stirling


    Surely she will simply appeal?

    Also how could her attorney (or whatever american is for solicitor) allow the case to descend to where it did?


    You are guilty because you put the items in your pocket, and may have been intending to steal them. - i.e. probably guilty but not proven.

    In the UK a store has to wait until you've actually stolen things by taking them from the store - is it not the same in the US? Is the possibility of committing a crime enough?

    Presumably the fine took into account all 1,702 songs, including the 1,678 which she wasn't even formally accused of sharing - in which case $1,200 per song seems entirely reasonable (this is IRONY) assuming that she shared each one 500 or so times to cover the loss to the record company. Assuming a 3 MB song that's just under 2.5 TB - in which case surely the ISP would have sued her long before the RIAA got around to it, just for the bandwidth.

    In the UK damages generally fit the losses - in this case there wasn't even evidence of loss - how can there be compensation. I understand about punitive damages, but this seems excessive.

    Good old RIAA thrashing on the floor in it's death throes, as more and more new music comes up through technology, never actually bothering to sign a contract. You can see why.

  6. Iain Purdie

    So making things *available* for sharing is now illegal?

    Fine. So I have to keep all my CDs locked in a safe to which I only have access? And woe betide me should my mp3 player with legal non-DRM files on be left around where someone could perhaps, should they wish, copy them.

    What a f*cking joke. This is right up there with the UK's current speed camera laws - guilty until proven innocent.

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  8. phat shantz

    The song you hear is Taps

    Clawing at society's weakest and smallest in some bid to exhibit industry superiority will only hasten the moribund recording industry's long-foretold funeral.

    Music will survive. The free market will survive. Monopolies bring nothing to music. Eventually, the musicians and the audience will realize that cutting the big-fat-parasites out of the middle will improve the product.

    The music "industry" will be more vivacious and creative when those within it are more likely creators and performers than lawyers.

    Until then, the corpulent menace will have its legal victims (this poor woman). The rest of us, however, are just as much its victims.

    And what can be said of this jury? The education system, the victimhood culture, megalomania, and a whole host of evils can be blamed, but these people will one day realize they were duped into legalist sanctions that will eventually hurt everyone. There would not be a soft enough bed in which my conscience could rest had I participated in this travesty.

    We rot from the inside while our mercenary institutions goad us downward.

  9. Chris

    Judge and jury should be executed

    I'm not a violent person. Never have been, and I hope I'm never driven to the point where I have to be. But this judge and this jury should seriously be executed. The judicial system is in place to uphold the law, NOT to fill the pockets of greedy corporations. And the judicial system is SUPPOSED to require EVIDENCE of wrongdoing. Not hearsay, not sleight of hand or illusion, but real, solid evidence.

    Even if the law says that making a copyrighted work available without prior consent is illegal (believe it or not, I believe this is actually true), how can you determine if a copyrighted work is "available" without downloading it to verify? It reminds me of the university professor with the last name of "Usher" who decided to share his lectures. He was sued because the RIAA/labels accused him of sharing copyrighted material made by the artist known as "Usher". My point is that showing a list of files doesn't mean jack. It's the actual content of those files that is important. I could have a file on my PC called "Metallica - Unforgiven.mp3", but that doesn't mean that's what it is. It could be a file filled with me saying "Fuck Metallica and fuck the RIAA" over and over again.

    This judgement is a *VERY* dangerous precedent, handed down by a judge and jury who have no idea how the technology works. Worse, given the "damages" awarded of $9,250 PER SONG, I would guess a fair amount of jury tampering occurred. But hey, what could be more American than bribing a jury to get the outcome in your favor?

  10. TAO

    This success will become a huge failure. Why? Because the judge screwed up very, very badly.

    This case’s appeal is going to put a busted ostrich egg in the face of both the judge AND the RIAA. The instructions were clearly outside of the scope of the law, and on top of that, the RIAA never actually proved that DAMAGES occurred. Also, why has no one argued that the DOWNLOADER is responsible for infringement rather than the person “making available?” In the real world, if you make a copy of a CD for someone else, you’re infringing, but if someone makes a copy of a copyrighted item that you, the library, or a rental chain like Blockbuster lends or rents to them, THEY have committed the infringement. There is no feasible way to defeat this analogy. The actual copyright violation occurs not because of the (potentially accidental) availability of the file, but rather because the downloader, copier, or ripper willingly and intentionally chose to make a duplication of the file that would not fall under a fair use exemption.

    The jury has essentially made you liable for infringement if your friend borrows a CD from you and decides to rip it without your knowledge or consent before returning it.

    I would expect Blockbuster to file an amicus brief for the appeal, because if this ruling is allowed to stand, Blockbuster is “making available” a TON of copyrighted media, and they commit copyright infringement with every rental that chooses to duplicate the rented item. They made it available, after all.

    The utter stupidity of the instructions is easily found when the implications of those instructions are applied to all situations that would fall under the wording of those instructions, and that’s why this is going to be one hell of an EASY appeal.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This is stupid.

    Someone needs to teach the little buggers that is the RI Ass A a lesson.

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  13. Shoal Creek

    We have sunk to a new low...

    As Isaiah puts it (chapter 10, verses 1-2, K.J.V.):

    "1. Woe unto them that decree unrighteous decrees, and that write grievousness which they have prescribed:

    "2. To turn aside the needy from judgment, and to take away the right from the poor of my people, that widows may be their prey, and that they may rob the fatherless!"

  14. yeah, right.

    If you're in the US, you're screwed.

    If you ever make a mistake, allow any non-free copyrighted material to be accessed publicly from your machine, even by accident, this precedent could now be used to win a lawsuit against you. Welcome to the USA, land of the free, home of the legally liable.

    I hope your operating system is REALLY secure folks. Damn I'm glad I live in a country with a little more brains and a little less litigation.

  15. Tom

    Appeal grounds

    "Judge Michael Davis ruled the labels did not have to prove the songs were transfered for Thomas to be held liable." Wrong, very very wrong.

  16. Rob

    Burden of proof

    This was not a CRIMINAL trial it was a CIVIL trial with much less of a burden of proof on the prosecution. That probably has a lot to do with how such an atrocity was allowed to happen. Today I am ashamed (more than usual) to be an American.

    From what I understand the defendant had been using a rather unique username online for a few years. The RIAA's snoop squad found that username on KaZaA and browsed the host, saw the files available for download, recorded the IP, and eventually filed suit. They might have even downloaded a few to verify the content, who knows. *shrug* Add that with the hard drive being conveniently replaced it creates reasonable suspicion of guilt and that's all the jury seemed to need. The thing that disgusts me is the fine.

  17. Geoff Mackenzie

    Re: Music boycott mentioned above

    Hear hear. Same from me. The RIAA can blow me.

    I wonder what's safer; the Mute network (no decent servents that I know of) or Tor hidden services? Hmm. I do not presently share copyrighted files but this has set me thinking about what might be the best method...I'll certainly never be buying any more CDs or legal downloads though.

    The record companies are panicking because we don't need them any more, that's all this is. They'd like to keep us in the age of vinyl so that they could have the monopoly on the 'means of production' again but those days are gone.

    By the way, reading the article closely the judge seems to suggest that if you make something available *without your knowledge* you are still liable. That's incredible. In a sense, didn't IBM make those tracks available by creating the x86 PC?

  18. Andrew Tyler


    I have nothing really to add, but I want to register my belief that this is a horrible, disgusting, nasty, unrighteous, heinous, evil, foul, grotesque, sickening, atrocious, offensive, depraved, nefarious, repugnant, loathsome, villainous, wicked, sinful, vile, repulsive, egregious, abominable, dreadful, scuzzy, sleazy, no good, dirty, low down, filthy, rotten, putrid, mean, spoiled, god-awful, diseased ruling.

    It sucks too.

    To whom do I write letters nasty letters, and where is my thesaurus?

  19. Damien Jorgensen

    Send em to Jail

    Its about time they added some jail time for these file shares, they are nothing more than your common criminal.

    If you share music which you didnt create what gives anyone the right to then distribute it.

    Lefty nutters I think

  20. Mark

    Mega Capitalism chewing its own leg off

    This is the long foretold protectionist measures coming into play. Eventually this pathetic excessive form of capitalism will only have itself to live off. That will be funny to watch.

    Everybody should move to Russia. They're less communist there.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wait for the appeal ...

    There _has_ to be one. Hopefully someone will help out with the legal fees - she should ask for donations if nothing else.

    In the meantime, I too am thinking of buying the Radiohead album next week, and not paying 0.00 for it; maybe more artists will follow suit.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    People will understand


    "The US record industry said people would understand the verdict."


    Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

    The only thing I understand is that the RIAA and all similar such organisations are parasites.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How did this guy pass the bar exam?

    This guy's logic is quite flawed. That means that everyone is free to point the finger at anyone without any burden of proof i.e. RIAA can create a bunch of fake IPs and blatantly accuse anyone that they like as they have done so in the past. Maybe this guy was solicited by RIAA with kickbacks underneath the table. She should appeal with a better attorney.

  24. Micha Roon

    In Switzerland its legal to share

    And god am I happy about it.

    I thought that punitive damages ought to hurt but not bankrupt. What kind of legal system is that where you get to pay four years salary for sharing a couple songs.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Where's the wolf when we need him ?

    "Once upon a time there were three little pigs and the time came for them to leave home and seek their fortunes." (s**t, was that copyrighted material ??? ...coat, taxi)

    Those three greedy pigs named RIAA, MPAA, and BSA actually found their fortunes... now, where's the wolf who'll eat the little tards and put an end to our fortunes becoming theirs ?

    Mr Wolf, just do the first two pigs in and we'll be very happy, as the third's house may prove quite a hassle to blow off...

  26. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    This is NOT good

    I am quite dismayed that the RIAA got a judgment its way. Actually, I don't even care if the lady IS guilty, I just don't want the RIAA getting more gung-ho than it is already, and I can just imagine the smugness oozing from the guy's face.

    I'm sure that, now that he's feeling so superior, he's going to celebrate by beating up a grandma.

  27. Naich


    I can sleep safely at night now. Thank you RIAA. The world is a safer place.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The real profiteer is the RIAA

    So, the RIAA now has $220,000 it didn't have yesterday.

    Can it honestly say that 99% of that $220,000 will be shared between the composers of the 24 songs that were allegedly made available?

    No, it cannot -- no more than it can honestly say that 99% of any of the other money it collects from other sources goes to the composers of each and every songs that it collects royalties for.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Defendant also lied during deposition

    The defendant also lied in her deposition about when she replaced her hard drive (thus removing the actual evidence of the songs). She claimed it happened in 2004, but in fact it happened in 2005 only after she received a message informing her that she was violating the law. It doesn't help your credibility when you lie under oath...

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    so if she wins on appeal, would that make her Jammie Dodger?

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's The Law

    Do you like the law ?? No. Does that mean you can ignore the law ?? No. If she'd just gone out and bough the stuff she'd be about $198,000 better off by now.

    Plus a CD's what, £8.99 these days, hardly bank breaking now is it.

  32. John F***ing Stepp

    I am tired of this

    And so I suspect that we may soon see that social engineering has hacking over for lunch.

    And it wasn't me.

    Whatever you suspect.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sue Lovefilm next!

    I've got a friend who gets DVDs from Lovefilm and then copies them. As it appears to be the person that is doing the sharing that is at fault, not the one actually doing the downloading, I suggest that Hollywood get onto Lovefilm pretty damn quick - they're sharing out millions of films! And charging for it!

    On this basis and on this method of calculating fines, they should be sued for all the money in the world that ever existed and ever will.

    What a joke.

  34. Ash

    Much like JeffyPooh...

    I'll not be buying any more CD's, DVD's, or other media from any of these large media conglomerates.

    Sadly, though, I don't think they'll notice just us two.

  35. Trygve Henriksen


    When you buy a CD you have the right to enjoy the music, but NOT to distribute it to the world. (Local law may vary. Here in Norway it IS legal to share the music with family and close friends.) You also have the right to make a backup copy of it, no matter what the RIAA says.

    Making the music available for download through a file-sharing program shows INTENT to share the music for ANYONE, which the owner of the CD/other media definitely does NOT have the right to do.

    'I don't like the RIAA, so I won't buy the CDs, and I won't use iTunes because of DRM'

    And how do you intend to get hold of LEGAL music?

    Sure, the artists doesn't get that much of the proceeds, but using uTorrent, LimeWire or whatever results in the artist getting absolutely NOTHING!

    Artists likes to get paid for their hard work...

    Was the fine too large?


    Was the rest of the verdict correct?


    Just because something is technically possible doesn't mean it's legal.

  36. Bert

    What will they do with the damages?

    Heres a radical idea...

    Go to the RIAA site, google all thier directors and email them questions asking what happens to the damages. Im sure im not the only one who is fasinated with how they are going to "use" (pocket) their ill gotten gains.....

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ha ha ha ha ha

    Like I said yesterday on a basic point of law this woman had lost this trial before it had even begun. The law is crystal-fucking-clear on file sharing of copyrighted material. She should have settled with the RIAA - they will deliberately set out to both humiliate and financially ruin anyone that doesn't want to pay up.

    I don't know why so many of you chumps that post don't get it yet; this isn't a moral point, this is a simple point of law. You cannot give away the copyright of other people. Your puerile defence of file sharers indicates your total lack of understanding of property rights.

    And of course you're all nauseating hypocrites. You unleash your pubescent rage about the record industry about how you'll never buy another CD which we all know is crap because you will and if you don't the music you want you'll just steal from someone else either through P2P, newsgroups or copying the CD off a friend. You all believe in some ridiculous fantasy that says everything you want should be free, it isn't dignified enough to be leftist or visionary enough to be post-capitalist, you're actually just a bunch or rapacious, freeloading parasites. You need to take a look at your own values before machine-gunning anyone else's.

    Like the man said either pay up or piss off.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I remember when the record companies lost to a class action suit for price fixing cds. If I wanted re-imbursement, I had to produce a reciept with the time-frame of established price fixing just so I could collect a total of ten or fifteen dollars. Nevermind that I'd purchased about 800 of the overpriced pieces of plastic.

    Maybe all of these people should get together in sort of a reverse class-action law suit and be allowed to pay each record company 20 dollars (inflation mind you) for infringement.

    Why are dvd's much cheaper than cds, when there were more people that contributed to it, even the musicians???

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Micha Roon

    While I think that the RIAA are pretty shitty and using sledgehammer to crack nuts style approach to stopping priacy, I don't think that it is defensible to have states where it is legal to share copyright material (you give Switzerland as an example). It is up to the owner of the copyright material as to weather or not they want to give it away for free, not a private individual, that's the whole point of copyright.

    I have several friends who have been in small bands that have had CDs out, let me make it perfectly clear that small bands are hurt by loss of income if their 'fans' don't pay for the music. It's all very well to site the Arctic Monkeys as an example of a band that made it due to their music being distributed by the Internet, but these are few and far between, most new bands spend years struggling to get anywhere, taking temp jobs to make ends meet. Also, it is very east to get the money together to form a guitar band, you really don't need that much kit, your most expensive item will likely be your drum kit, which can offen be hired. If you want to do stuff with more interesting instruments, synths, drum machines, strings, brass, you are looking at a professional studio and a load of cash.

    Basically the point I'm trying to make is that distributing other's material isn't a victimless crime. But also fuck the RIAA, they are scum.

  40. John Young

    What she did was wrong

    It's about scale - it's a lot less OK to publish copyrighted content to the whole world than it is to slip a copy to your mate.

    People do have reduced salary & job security because of file sharing.

    Just as I'm pissed off with terrorists and nutters because I can't take my small penknife on the plane because of them; I'm pissed off with file sharers because the majority of us have to put up with DRM because of them.

  41. Jack

    RIAA must have had rather a lot of evidence to get this one through

    So, the prosecution had a list of the defendant's IP address(es) and dates/times online?

    Which of course came direct from an independent source (i.e. ISP), not been passed to the prosecution for possible tampering with, or was verified by an independent source?

    A list which had been cross referenced with said music files being available?

    Those files of course having been checked - each and every one - to prove it wasn't just a different file which had been renamed?

    And they've got proof that the user id used on the software was linked to an IP address that hadn't been spoofed in some way?

    I assume they've also got proof the defendant was using her PC and willingly making the files available for download at the times these files are listed as available for download?

    I suppose they can also prove the theory of "making available for copying" being the same as "copyright infringement" is different in some massive way to those companies who pay the RIAA money to rent out the same music to the public? Which can be happily copied by all and sunder?

    This ought to have been blown right out the water. Either the RIAA have had some form of shenanigans with the judge and/or jury here, or the defendant's lawyer was rubbish!

    I'm off to go download the Radiohead album in protest, although thats a double edged sword too - if people pay for the album, the RIAA will have a reason to pursue their current crusade (no doubt with the misguided and most likely incorrect theory of "if people are willing to pay for music, people will be willing to pay us for music"); if people don't pay for the album the RIAA will assume people are all pirates who want something for nothing, and they must continue their crusade for the good of the music industry.

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    she should countersue...

    ...and be awarded damages from the RIAA for the sheer inanity of the music they push out to consumers. $20,000/song should do it.

    (and I won't be buying any new CDs either--it's just a shame that in such a boycott, the artists don't even get their pittance)

  43. Simon Foxwell

    Just bought Radioheads new album...

    ...for £5. A band that has the means to live of their own talent rather than let a bunch of executives take the majority.

    As its now easier to just download an album direct from the band will this any knock on effects? If other artists follow suit and publish their music online could the RIAA's greed be blamed for hurting CD sales even more because the artists are fed up paying a huge percentage to them? I'm sure many artists dont like to see their fans ripped off by these bullies.

    I would like to think that these artists are more interested in getting their gift out there for people to listen to and, as long as they can live comfortably of their sales, arent solely in it for the money.

    If there are artists who are in it for the money then they can suck my fat one!

    Has anyone considered setting up a donation fund so she can continue her case and appeal? This court case and the precedent it sets could mean many more of us face settlement or court cases even if we are innocent.

    Wouldnt that piss off the RIAA if all of her 'damages' were paid by sympathetic supporters rather than by her?

    Why not email your favourite artists website and point them to this court case, see if they'll do the same as Radiohead and fight back. They now have the means to do so.

    Just a thought really...

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hanging's too good for them!

    Quote: "Send em to Jail

    By Damien JorgensenPosted Friday 5th October 2007 05:46 GMT Its about time they added some jail time for these file shares, they are nothing more than your common criminal.

    If you share music which you didnt create what gives anyone the right to then distribute it.

    Lefty nutters I think"

    Why not string 'em up as well?

    Can we have full disclosure by members of the RIAA, record company executives, musicians who support the RIAA and their parents, children and grandchildren about any music they have ever shared/copied? then will the RIAA use the full force of law against them. While we are at it what about politicians and their families?

    The fine bears no relationship to any loss suffered. This judgment is unjust.

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    thats why...

    I download music from a site hosted in Venezuela

    Thats why i don't use p2p networks

    Thats why i would never live in the US, land of the free.....yeah freely delusional

    I buy the cd's of artists i like, but hell, i want to listen to an artists CD I ain't gonna pay for the priviledge, if i like what i hear THEN and only then will i buy the CD.

    i hate listening to radio, there's not enough music on there anyway, just jumped up little DJ twerps talking about themselves.

    i just wanna listen to the music and if i like it i buy it

    proud to be a file sharing music lover !

  46. Neil Woolford

    Appeal? Funding? Where do I sign up?

    I would hope for an appeal. I'm not rich, but I'd be happy to contribute to a fighting fund if one is set up.

    I've already seen our pledgebank pledges for the Open Rights Group help set up an influential campaign, so I'm becoming keener on putting my money where my mouth is on single issue campaigns.

    Not sure about buying a Radiohead album though....

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Easy solution

    For f*ck sake, even if she is breaking the law the people downloading the songs aren't going to go out and buy the CD's anyway! Do you seriously think that these downloaders are on the verge of heading off to their favourite music store, cash in hand, when they stop and think "hey, i'll just check and see if I can get it free online"??? This means that there is NO LOSS to the r.i.ASS.of.a, they were never going to get that money anyway!

  48. Big_Boomer Silver badge

    She got caught

    Nobody is innocent once they are of "legal" age.

    Everybody is a criminal in one way or another.

    You have all either copied songs or dropped litter or driven too fast or any one of thousands of other "crimes against society".

    This is how our governments/corporations like it as they can get you whenever they want to. So called "common sense" has gone out of the window. And don't get smug about being British as it is heading that way here too, if it isn't already.

    That said, if you are stupid enough to get caught breaking the law then you can expect to get punished. It's no use whining that it's not fair. If you can't live with it then you have two options. Change the society you live in or move to a different society.

  49. Brian Miller

    Set up a relief fund.

    I suggest that we emulate the john smeaton fund for fighting global terror and set up a website where we can contribute for this womans legal expenses. Teach the IRA, whoops sorry RIAA a lesson.

    This kind of judgement will only be the start. Their mafia style antics will NOT prevail if we actually do something about it.

    IT literate of the world UNITE!!!

  50. Chris Cheale

    mafia strong-arming ftw

    Does this mean that anyone selling bullets is potentially liable for any murder that is commited using a gun of that calibre (whether or not those were the actual bullets used or not)? After all, they made bullets available irrespective of wether they were actually used to commit the crime or not.

    Actually (well if this was in the UK), doesn't this make the police force accomplices to that murder as they provided the firearms license and did the security (background and premises) checks, does this not make them "enablers" by this logic - after all if they'd denied the person the firearms license he could never have got a gun now could he (shyeah, right)?

    The sooner these tactics are recognised as the protectionist racketeering that they are, the better. Can't see the RIAA (BPI etc) going down on tax evasion charges though somehow - companies that big can afford REALLY good accountants so they don't pay (much) tax anyway.

    I'm really glad that technology has moved to the point where people can create, and more importantly publish, their own work now - ok there's a lot of crap out there but no more so than the shite the major labels have been pushing on us for years.

  51. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    driving us into the arms of the rebels

    I am a copyright owner, being a writer who has posted a lot of articles on websites. I have some stuff copied and plagiarised and I was really gutted. So I am very, very *for* copyright protection.

    However, the RIAA's insistence that we all stick with their 19th century version of customer service is like forcing us to use horse-and-cart when we are all wanting cars. They won't update their business model and hope to stop the world from getting beyond their own comfort zone. It is not attractive of them to crush a little file-sharing ladybird under a tank. It makes people like me, who respect copyright, decide to deny them further earnings on top of their court winnings by going to file-shaing sites and getting my next albums from these. A sort of f*ck you gesture, until I personally feel that justice has been served.

    Has anyone set up a 'help jammie' website where we can all donate $1.00 and help her out? It would be nice to show the RIAA. that folks generally stand against them. I would like to think they would choke on every $. </dream>

    What I *do* know, being an originator of creative work, is that originators of this music 'shared' will get barely a nibble of all that money, if any at all.

  52. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Play the record backwards....

    If you carefully arrange the titles of the 24 tracks they picked (out of over a thousand and a half) then you get a strange cryptic message... if anyone knows what the middle bit means or who the mysterious Iris might be then let us know:

    Welcome to the Jungle, Basket Case.

    Here We Are, Rhythm is Gonna Get You. Let's Wait Awhile, Save the Best for Last.

    Don't Stop Believing Different People, Possession Hella Good Coming Out of the Heart. One Step Closer... Bathwater Run, Baby Run, Somebody Cryin' November Rain. One Honest Heart Building a Mystery.

    Bills, Bills, Bills: Now and Forever.



    p.s. Pour Some Sugar on Me

  53. Joe K

    This story is a joke, surely?

    It has to be a joke, come on.

    I can't believe that this kind of extortion can go in, in a courtroom no less.

    Utter insanity.

  54. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    $220,000??? How on earth can the average person be expected to pay that? I don't care if she was guilty, that's way, WAY above what anyone should be fined for something like this.

  55. Kenny Swan

    Good god...

    How the f**k can this happen? How could they win this case? Does the US even have a legal system anymore? There were so, so many holes in this case and so little clear evidence that the woman had actually done anything wrong.

    I can't believe her lawyer didn't do a better job and I can't believe any judge, outside the US anyway, would have found her guilty. The RIAA had better stick to US cases because I hold onto what little faith I have in the legal system by believing that this wouldn't fly in the UK courts. I'm afraid to find out though.

    The RIAA might be proud of having bullied this poor woman through the court system, but I find them even more disgusting than I did before.

  56. Matthew Joyce

    Proven content

    Sorry to burst the Blockbuster/library bubble, but they are in fact licensed to lend out the media. They pay for this ability. If you lend a CD to a friend, you're using the fair-use area of copyright law to do so. If you've made a copy to play in order to preserve the disc from damage, you're again attempting to employ fair-use, but in an area some copyright holders don't seem to believe in. If you do both at the same time, you've contravened any option of fair use; the original item can't be played in two places at once except by broadcast, which you also aren't licensed for with a standard purchase.

    That's the area this case was won on; the allegedly available media could only be copied by third parties, not borrowed, and the third-party copying is not licensed. Making the things available for (only) copying is an identical fault. However, I do feel that this needed absolutely to be proved for each song brought to trial - that they had obtained from that system the song in question. As Chris has already said, names are meaningless. Proven content is the only thing they should be able to mount an attack with. A serious band fanatic may own or be able to find dozens of different recordings of a single song, which can all have different rights attached to them. Montages, parodies, samples, and so on all even have different applicable laws ... including the 'creation' of a 'new', self-copyrighted work made up almost exclusively of bits of others' copyrighted works with a bit of allegedly creative cutting and pasting applied. Chart songs have been sold in this way. Without knowing the content, it is simply not possible to say what rights have been abrogated.

    The case wasn't tried on her *claiming* to have (copyrighted) works for download, it was tried on the premise that she *did* have them. Yet this doesn't seem to have been shown in the court. Without proven content this case has to be viewed as a joke verdict delivered on hearsay only. Either that or everything the Sunday Sport has ever printed must in fact be true, because an RIAA lawyer can apparently stand up in court with a page thereof to be used as an unimpeachable witness.

  57. Luke Wells

    Guilty? How?

    I have absoutly no idea how this person was found guilty in a trial by jury?

    I was of the impression that, in such a trial, there needs to be overwhelming evidence to suggest that the person is guilty?

    All they seem to have as evidence was a piece of paper listing songs that were aparently being shared from the defendants computer.

    What if this person actually IS innocent? Regardless of whether or not you think sharing music should be a crime or not. They don't seem to have any evidence that this personal actually was sharing any files. Was the defendants computer inspected? Not as far as I am aware.

    How about I find someones IP address, print it on a piece of paper, list loads of my software that they are aparently sharing and take it to America to sue people without any proof.

    Makes you sick doesnt it

  58. alan narey

    @TAO, @yeah, right

    Perhaps Blockbuster pay an agreed fee for each rental.

    You sure?, for how much longer?

  59. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    lost this customer

    We should have been having an internet market for music for a decade now, but 10 years down ther line all we have is a strapped-down, no-rights crappy iTunes shoved with DRM. The RIAAAsholes have lost any sympathy and a lot of future sales. Their reason for existence ended about five years ago and they're just clawing on for dear life.

  60. Ian99


    I shall live in fear for the rest of my life! What if they find out I copied my brothers Ace of Base cassette when I was 7.

    I was thinking of moving to the US, though there are pros & cons,

    Pros – Escape the £1 a litre Petrol

    Cons – They are all mentalists.

    Well I figured I would get done for libel too ;)

  61. this

    Python's Dirty Knife

    This reminds me of the Monty Python sketch where someone mildly complains about a dirty knife in a restaurant. Ends with Cleese as head waiter screaming 'You Bastard!.etc.' (if I remember correctly) at the complainer, after the person ultimately responsible for the dirty knife commits suicide.

    Questions of guilt aside, if the fine had been 'reasonable' - most people would not think that much about it, except they would probably be a bit more circumspect about sharing files using peer to peer. As it is, with this daft fine, everyone's screaming 'Bastards' at the RIAA. I think this type of comedy is generally (though rather incorrectly) termed 'surreal'.

  62. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    So are the 500 people who downloaded the files OK since the fine has rectified the situation? Or are the Recording Ass. going to go after them too and reach a 500-fold payment for their "product"?

  63. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This is perverse

    In the words of a certain band...

    "The lawyers get fat while the law gets bought."

    Nobody needs these organisations except these organisations themselves.

  64. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    So I am liable for putting the music I have a license for (As i didnt buy the music I only purchased a license to it) on to my network enabled pc so that I might make use of that license to listern to the music, thus making that music accessible to anybody with the skills to hack into said machine and copy the music, or use teh resoruces of said pc to upload the music.

    So I am liable???

    How is that possible, surely the person that is liable is the maker of the OS, on the pc for not providing a secure system, surely as a non-techincal pc user all I can do is ensure the pc is as secure as I can make it?

    Perhaps the RIAA should realise that they are on a very narrow ledge, that with each move they make just gets narrow. Perhaps, they should actual look at the sales figures of music, and notice that all sales of music are down and then ask why?

    Then perhaps they will figure out that it is the labels producing crud that is causing the down turn in sales, and perhaps they will start taking action against teh labels for bring the record industry to its knees?

    Perhaps they will realise that they are "protecting" the wrong person, that the labels are no longer needed by the artists, and perhaps they should do their job, and inform the artists of their options, and help them the artist to realise their vision with the new technology.

    Nah, that would be sensible and in the public and artists interest!

  65. Neil

    Hang on a sec

    They wanted to consider 1702 songs, with a fine of up to $150,000 per song (as ordered by the judge).

    If my abacus isn't letting me down, that comes to over a quarter of a billion dollars that she could have been fined.

    Maybe she got off lightly :-)

  66. Alex

    burn the witch!

    its absolute madness, this all smells pretty unrealistic to me, was this punishment means tested? how on earth is she ever going to pay back $220,000?

    is this the price of her life? could you or anyone you know reasonably cope with that kind of financial demand being placed upon you? will it also have interest added to it?

    Is this acutally going to be enforced?

    This is begining to sound like a marketing excersize, I wonder if Louis Thereoux would be up for doing a documentary on this?

    I wonder what the tracks were, and what the artists in question feel about this?

    its all wrong.

  67. Jonathan Samuels

    1720 records = around 170 cd's

    The person should get the same penalty as walking into a record shop and shoplifting 170 cd's

    I think getting away with a fine is extremely lenient, they should be doing jail time and should have restrictions on computer access during any probationary period.

    When will people get it into their heads that a record company can charge anything they want, make as much profits as they want, if you steal from them you are still a thief

    If you don't want their product dont buy it

  68. Spearbox


    Well in this light, long live Sweden, and the shanty town markets of China and India...

    The ruling is disgusting, as is the compensation. I as a few others, will NEVER purchase another CD. Screw the music industry (not radiohead though).

    I prefer singing in the shower anyway. Maybe the RIAA will probably put a stop to that too. Next on the list maybe?

  69. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    ...I was going to write a well reasoned, calm, decent response. Seeing as how the Judge, jury and the RIAA seem to be lacking in intelligence I think I'll respond in kind.

    You are all a bunch of fucking cunts. I hope your parents awaken one night to find themselves drowning in the fecal matter of household pets and that your children live in shame for your wholey illogical judgement, cast out from society due to the leeching and conniving ways of their parents. Please, remove yourselves from the gene-pool of our species you cretinous little turds.

    Best go lock-up all my CDs, flash storage, external HDs, DVDs, VHS (Still got some! Retro!), tapes, disks, books, access to my radio etc ... all copyrighted for personal use but not broadcast or sharing etc.


  70. Tawakalna

    PeerGuardian & Blocklist Manager..

    ..I'll be updating my blacklist on a daily basis from now on then :) Resistance isn't futile..

  71. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: The Library

    Libraries have special agreements and often protection in law regarding copyright and the lending of material, so the things they do do not apply to you.

    While it would appear that she done it, and so should probably be punished. The fine is outlandish. I'll take a wild guess that she doesn't have a quarter of a million dollars knocking about, so what happens? Are they going to lock her up for copying a few records?

    The response here is to just stop buying the music.

  72. Angel

    Knee-Jerk reactions a go-go!

    Knee-Jerk reactions a go go!

    Posted Friday 5th October 2007 13:13 GMT

    At the end of the day, current copyright legislation was infringed and a just punishment was issued.

    What's the problem?

    I'm sick of all you idiots who moan and moan whenever there is a mention of the RIAA or someone getting a slap on the wrists for downloading illegally.

    If there's no need for the music industry "cartel" why are the shops full of their wares (no Z)?

    Anyone who actually want to change things should be buying Radioheads’ album and paying more than 46p for it. Send the message that kind of retail model can work. Or are you happy to sit behind your computer happily mashing the keyboard whenever someone mentions the evil RIAA, wondering if you'll ever be the one that gets fingered?

  73. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The comment by the RIAA lawyer

    '"This is what can happen if you don't settle," Gabriel said. '

    Kind of sounds like a protection racket to me. Where's RICO? "You'll give in if you know what is good for you ... see? see?"

    And then there are still those here in the US (where I, sadly, am trapped^H^H living) who still wonder why our legal system is viewed as a huge joke by citizens of other countries.

    The US system of law and order is truly dead.

    (I'm sure we'll get a few RIAA mouthpieces inserting "Oh? Oh yeah? Move to China!" - save your breath - at least there I would *expect* this kind of justice)

  74. Jeff


    "This case’s appeal is going to put a busted ostrich egg in the face of both the judge AND the RIAA. The instructions were clearly outside of the scope of the law, and on top of that, the RIAA never actually proved that DAMAGES occurred. Also, why has no one argued that the DOWNLOADER is responsible for infringement rather than the person “making available?” In the real world, if you make a copy of a CD for someone else, you’re infringing, but if someone makes a copy of a copyrighted item that you, the library, or a rental chain like Blockbuster lends or rents to them, THEY have committed the infringement. There is no feasible way to defeat this analogy."

    I hate the RIAA as much as most, but that analogy is rubbish. The music content was specifically linked to (even if from a BitTorrent or P2P site) and made available to a global audience, with the implicit intention of BT/P2P as making a copy for oneself. Blockbuster, as far as I know, does not advertise content that's for the intention of copying. Furthermore, Blockbuster et al have a special license to rent out copyrighted content - consumers do not, hence the 'you may not copy, rent or publicly show' message that accompanies all videos and DVDs.

  75. Svein Skogen

    Want to do RIAA/MPAA some real damage?

    How about you start to simply ignore them.

    An artist publishes through RIAA? Fine. Ignore him/her. Don't buy the music, don't visit the concerts, don't show any interest whatsoever.

    A movie comes from the MPAA studios? Same there. Simply ignore it. Don't talk about it, don't buy it on DVD, don't visit the cinema.

    Why is this so damaging to RIAA/MPAA?

    Their primary income is from heavily commercialised works. If people start giving a huge yawn to anybody doing business with them, their business WILL collapse. They have a large "war-reserve" of money, but not an infinite one. Start spreading the word that all media coming out of the companies behind these associations are to be ignored, and their power will diminish. Tell the truth that buying into this is just as immoral as buying products manufactured by terrorists, because what these organisations are doing IS terrorism. They are terrorising all Americans.


  76. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Trygve Henriksen

    "Just because something is technically possible doesn't mean it's legal."

    yeah, just because something is made legal, doesn't make it _right_. very easy for you to sit there in your nice-and-permissive-digital-rights-country and point out that everyone who doesn't like an unfair scenario is a whiner.

  77. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    To everyone banging on about Radiohead: It's all very laudable for them to give their album away for transaction costs+whatever you want to pay for it, but how do you think they are able to do this? They got lucky in that their talent was noticed and fed by a record company. The record company pumped a shit load of cash into them allowing them to produce seven popular albums, go on tours have publicity etc. Now they are out of contract with said record company the cash that they got from gigs/CDs/etc. allows them to pull this cheapass publicity stunt or 'experiment' as they are calling it. This has basically been funded by the record industry, because it's almost certain that you'd never of heard of Radiohead if they started out a la the Arctic Monkeys.

    There are many bands with talent competing in the noise of the Internet.

    PS. I am in no way suggesting that the RIAA aren't tossers.

  78. Cambrasa

    Totally disproportionate

    A drunk driver who causes bodily harm to a pedestrian gets fined $2000 and 30 hours community service.

    A woman who uploads 24 songs each worth $1 gets fined $200,000.

    The legal system in America has gone nuts. It's no longer about justice. It's about protecting the interests of the powerful.

  79. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    When are they going after Apple?

    I was in a hotel a couple of weeks ago attached to their wireless network. Opening up iTunes showed several other users on the network 'sharing' their files (for listening only admittedly) via their iTunes - isn't this a 'broadcast' under the terms of the law?

    Isn't Apple supporting this broadcast (and therefore illegal activity)

    When will the RIAA be visiting Apple?

  80. Matthew Joyce


    Time perhaps to begin creating some RIAA honey-trap machines. Logged, audited and sharing 'files' between one another with RIAA-provocative names. Come the court cases, there'll be a few short, sharp legal shocks about evidentiary procedure. Racketeering laws should enable the countersuit to better than match the intended RIAA gouging.

    That way they might at least have to do some work to prove future court cases contain someone they can actually label a 'criminal' rather than just 'some bod off the street wot used P2P, must be guilty, eh?'.

  81. Luke Wells
    Thumb Down

    to the people who think the fine is ok....

    Unless I have missed something, there is nothing to prove that the defendant was actually sharing any files, its all down to a piece of paper with a list of tracks and ip addresses, the RIAA could have just made it up. Remember the previous cases where they have tried to sue 7 year old kids, 80 year old grandma's and even PEOPLE WHO DONT HAVE A COMPUTER!

  82. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Play the record backwards....

    It means amanfrommars is involved.

  83. khtulhu

    You missed a bit

    In the words of a certain band...

    "The lawyers get fat while the law gets bought."

    ..."I believe in getting the bastards, getting the bastards, getting the bastards, NOW"

  84. Chad H.
    Paris Hilton

    Can she win on appeal

    Anyone know her chances on appeal, roughly?

  85. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Boycott means boycott

    Svein Skogen has it completely right. If you want to boycott the RIAA, that doesn't mean you go out and show off the fact that you're the thief they say you are. That means you completely ignore their music. You don't download it, you don't listen to it, and you certainly won't have any motivation to buy it.

    Unfortunately, the ones who "get it" have probably been doing that for a few years now, so not much will change.

  86. Jason Smith

    Making available illegal

    Well as for buying the CD's that wasn't the issue of the court case, the woman could of purchased the music found. She was prosecuted for "Making available" the songs. The judges ruling could be used if effect to sue a library, which makes books available, especially if there might be a photocopier around.

  87. Demian Phillips


    "If you share music which you didnt create what gives anyone the right to then distribute it."

    In the case of the torrent I seed of the Kosmic Free Music Foundations archive CD set, it has a license that says anyone is allowed to distribute it (put there by the artists).

  88. b166er


    There really should be a way to donate some money toward this womans cause. It would be a fine way of telling RIAA to fuck off. For every 'case' they 'win', we can donate the amount of the fines between us, kinda like buying some of the songs we may download from p2p and the money going to a good cause.

    To all those who are countering this with the fact that illegal filesharing is going on so therefore what's the problem, the majority of this thread and countless others across the net, share the same sentiment, the recording industry is behaving like a cartel, and we find it unacceptable. How would you propose that we stop these people from acting unacceptably? Perhaps you would front the money needed to take on these assholes? You are obviously such well-rounded(whatever that means) people, that everything in your life is fine and dandy and completely above board, sheep!

  89. Paul Gray


    It saddens me to think that this can happen to anyone. It's not as though she profited by her actions. The fine is totally out of line with any reason. How can any person be expected to pay such a huge sum. That would be pretty much game over for anyone on minimum wage for the rest of their lives. And for what?

    It annoys me now that I once sent a demo CD from our band to these labels to see if they wanted to produce us. I am glad that I never heard back from them. We make music for fun not to fill the pockets of some sicko. In fact I have just made our demo available for download, and next time we go and record (at our own expense) I'll put that on our site for free too. How do you like that RIAA? Go download it if you want from

  90. Ash


    ... and this isn't on your top 3 stories?

    Somebody needs to sort out just what gets put up there. Nobody with a social life cares about YouTube, or what the hell some kid with a botnet looks like.

    THIS is a story that has scope far beyond the IT world, and should be heard by as many people as possible if any change is to come about.

    Plus, what the sweet buggery are these icons for?! Am I to pick a mood next? "Baffled" is my current state of mind! Should I write you a poem and post pictures of myself looking melancholy from a high angle?

  91. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    RE: Judge and jury should be executed

    ROFL! I would so tally download that 'Metallica - Unforgiven.mp3' if you shared it Chris. Thats is awesome.

  92. david mccormick

    My tupennys worth

    Although Jammie's gonna need a whole lot more:)

    Fraser mentioned how the reduction of funds to small bands hurts them. I'm sure it may but I don't know anyone who shares the music of small bands. I also don't think the RIAA will be giving them any money.

    The Artic Monkeys are a good example of how the internet helps people to choose. If the band are any good, people will want to pay for the music. Perhaps they should be looking at the model they created. People know good music when they hear it.

    Personally, I can't see it as being a big deterent to file sharing. A quick scan of The Piratebay shows how much of a losing battle they are fighting. They need to reform the music and movie industry. The image of faceless money grabbing corporations who use bully boys is their biggest problem. People don't care about them. People won't think of piracy as stealing from the artists as long as the record companies act like idiots.

    1720 songs = 170 cd's 170*£8.99=£1528.30

    So thats about $3000 which the Artists and Record labels would have got and $217000 to the lawyers and the RIAA.

  93. David Barrett

    Open your windows people.

    Making them avaliable is enough to be infringement?

    So If I play a CD with my window open and passers by hear it.. Im infringing copyright?

    Or if I leave a CD in my car with the window open and the disk gets stolen?

    How about if I have the current number 1 as my ringtone?

    How about if my PC gets infected with a virus that shares my hard drive and connects me to limewire (without me actually installing limewire)? Whos fault is that? Mine for not having Anti Virus software? Maybe. If I have anti Virus is it then symantecs fault for not having a signiture for the virus avaliable quickly enough?

    The recore company sold me the CD... and I share it... Isnt it really their fault?

    PS. I do not condone sharing licenced material over the internet.

    And after reading what I have written above I have come to realise that I need a dictionary because my spelling is crap.

  94. Andraž Levstik

    I have yet to buy anything produced by the craptastic labels...

    I don't buy music... or dvds...

    Music because it's mostly all crap...(other than the classics and last I checked they are in the public domain)

    DVDs... I don't buy anything with DRM... don't touch DRM etc...

    I also don't have any € 0.00 priced music around... All I have is music that is freely available...

    and guess what... it's much better than the labels...

  95. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Twenty to one

    I heard a stat on the radio today which claimed that for every legally purchased track, 20 are downloaded illegally. It sounded a lot to me at the time but having seen the comments here I can believe there are that many freeloaders out there.

    I don't steal music. I don't steal anything. I either pay for things or do without them.

  96. Brian Miller

    Someone set up a support page.

    I'll donate a tenner to this fine woman. We should John Smeaton her fine away. I reckon that there are several people out there with enough heart to donate a few bob, and don't forget that the pound is worth more than 2 dollars. that means that only 13500 of us need to donate a tenner and the fine could be cleared. John Smeaton tackled terrorism here in Glasgow and got a lifetime of free drinks at his local by a similar effort from online heroes.

    I would also argue that maybe we should set up a secondary fund to pay for her TEAM of lawyers that we should get on the case. The first only being an insurance that this brave woman will not be burdened by fear of the RIAA terrorist thugs.

    Now to speak metaphorically and hypothetically. IF someone on this sight was a damn good hacker, and they located the judges computer/the courthouse systems and further still installed numerous M$ software illegally and then reported them to the whistleblower hotline that awards $1million for reporting them, then maybe the judge might see how easy it is to be set up in these kinds of things. ;^ )

    Alternatively, the hypothetical hacking team could target RIAA senior memberswith the same strategy.

    I would never suggest this to actually occur (smirk) but IF it did I think that justice would sort of be served.

  97. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The sense of entitlement is larger than the damages awarded

    The defendant was wrong, she knew it, she lied, she had a chance to settle cheaply and passed on it. She decided to roll the dice and play tough against very deep pockets, and she lost. No sympathy from me.

    If you want copyrighted music, pay for it. Or do without it. Or keep on obtaining it illegally - but if you do that, please have enough guts to quit trying to rationalize it as a crusade of economic class warfare, or a battle against corporate power. Have the guts to admit that you are taking it for free, even though you know it is wrong, simply because you can. Period. Spare us your noble excuses.

    95% of the responses so far are typical of the whiny entitled Me Generation. Gimme gimme gimme, because I want it and I shouldn't have to pay for it.

  98. David Wilkinson

    Hearts and minds.

    The real battle is the battle for public opinion.

    This is a situation where legal authority and the common person's sense of what is right and wrong are in conflict.

    What the RIAA seems to forget is that in a free society legal authority ultimately derives from the common person's sense of what is right and wrong.

    Yes corporations can influence the law making process to run counter to the wishes of the people, but that influence is only possible when the voters are uninformed and apathetic about the issue.

    The RIAA actions is forcing people to pay attention at a time when the consensus opinion is not in their favor.

    Bad move.

  99. JeffyPooh

    United Saudi of America

    The USA legal system has gone insane.

    I once read about a guy that had a tower in his backyard with a burned-out red light at the top (a light that he had installed just for laughs). Burned out light = one MEELEEON dollar fine from the FAA. They hadn't even told him that they'd logged his light and it was on FAA charts.

    Recently some clever dudes tried to transport empty beer cans from a $0.05 deposit state to a $0.10 deposit state. They got caught and charged with fraud (maximum sentence five years). Okay. But the prosecutor also bitch-slapped with some obscure racketering charge with a 20-year term. For moving beer cans around. 20-years.

    Extreme punishment is a very bad sign of where your country is headed.

    Next thing you know they'll be lopping off arms for shoplifting, and beheading teenage boys for winking at cute chicks. Or whacking ladies a quarter of a MEELEEON dollars for joining a P2P network.

    Civilized countries do not allow this sort of crap.

    Be afraid. Be VERY afraid.

  100. This post has been deleted by its author

  101. Nentisys


    Man, what a sad day... Although, that stupid bitch had it coming, I mean who uses KAZAAA these days?! I mean, man, thats her own fault, someone should tell her about a little thing called torrents or maybe about newsgroups?

    Also... RIAA please come suck my balls, parasites that you are.

  102. J

    Talk about fascism...

    Yeah, she was wrong. But what happened with the "cruel and unusual punishment" stuff?

    These mafia tactics remind me of a movie I've watched recently: "America, from freedom to fascism". It used to be freely available to watch (legally) on YouTube. The second half is a bit too loony, I'd say. But the first part, about how the US income tax is illegal (or at least irregular) and how the IRS behaves using mafia tactics and ruining people's lives (even when they are innocent) reminds me of these RIAA things.

  103. Bronek Kozicki

    The whole entertainment industry is a parasite

    ... sad thing, people keep buying violent games, sadistic movies and mind-numbing music. No wonder our kids aren't wiser than we are.

  104. b166er

    Who's that clip-clopping over MY bridge?

    95% of the responses so far are typical of the whiny entitled Me Generation. Gimme gimme gimme, because I want it and I shouldn't have to pay for it.

    95% of the responses so far are not trolling w*nkers

    So, according to your (il)logic, providing we don't want to pay for it, we can either stop buying it or continue stealing it, either way, it's the end of their empire. So we may as well bitch-slap them on the way out the door for having taken the piss ;-p

    I pay for many things, many, many things. In fact so many things it's difficult to save anything. This is the same for most people, it's how the economy is built. I don't subscribe to your trolling opinion that this is gimme,gimme,gimme. Faker, back under your bridge.

  105. the Jim bloke
    Dead Vulture

    Big Record labels are Dinosaurs


    long past their epoch in history


    small brained and vicious.

  106. heystoopid
    Paris Hilton

    Just the Usual White Men Speak with Forked Tongue

    Just the usual all white men speak with fork tongue double standards they have when dealing with any "Native American" or minority up before the courts ! Mind you the penalty awarded is way out of line considering the actual value of the music in real terms is around two dollars give or take !

    It I was on that jury that would be the maximum I would have voted for not exceeding $2-00 absolute !

    As always with the Yankees , they hold all original natives of the land to be treated worse then dogs from the very first settlement on !

    Perhaps that trashy heiress of hotel fame with the name of a town in Lamar County with a population of twenty five thousand souls in the state of Texas , can ride to the rescue !

  107. david mccormick

    Why are the innocent hiding?

    Those exclaiming their innocence in not stealing artists hard earned pennies are posting annonymously. Is it a case of hiding secret guilty consciences?A dodgy Metallica mp3 hiding on the IPod is there :)

  108. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    The law was made to order

    There is no way any normal person can win a case like this. The entertainment industry paid for the law they wanted and our politicians sold it to them. The law is written to get the outcome they paid for. What is "just" or "common sense" doesn't determine guilt or innocence. What the politicians made illegal does. Such things will always happen so long as corporate political donations are allowed and the Government gets tax revenue directly or indirectly from the sales of the product. Freedom and Bittorrent makes the Government no money. Us being locked in a DRM straight jacket and paying sales tax on inferior downloads does. Which way do you expect lawmakers to go?

    The unfortunate result of this is that people lose respect for our politicians and the laws they create. Many people now believe that something being against the law doesn't mean it's actually wrong and that it's OK to ignore laws you don't agree with. These are obviously bad things for society as a whole.

    What the RIAA have bought here incenses me. If it comes to my attention that someone has established a fund to pay her fine then I will contribute. Will the Reg publish details if such a fund emerges?

    "What the RIAA seems to forget is that in a free society legal authority ultimately derives from the common person's sense of what is right and wrong."

    This is the theory taught in politics classes but I refer you to the answer I gave a few moments ago... The other problem is that there are so many different policy areas that parties have positions on that it is unlikely that one such as this would be a big vote swinger. Don't forget also big companies can afford lobby firms who can actually get to the people we elected with a united message. The RIAA doesn't give a damn what is good for the country, only for what is good for the RIAA. Their lobbying reflects this. The result is that the status quo (not the band) will continue unless a party with a different policy gets elected due to different factors. Single issue parties almost never get elected. The Swedes proved this admirably.

    In a way I hope someone invents the perfect DRM system that is never broken. People ignore copyright because they can and it therefore isn't a huge issue to the man on the street. If the law can't be broken then it will become a bigger issue and something may get done about it.

    It seems to me that the RIAA's "settlement" demands aren't huge (relative term, a few thousand dollars, a lot of money to many people). If you download illegally look at the retail price of everything you've downloaded. If the settlement the RIAA demand is cheaper then you're still in profit even if you get caught. If you can't afford the settlement in one go, get yourself a tin and put a few dollars in it every time you download. Based on current odds of getting busted you'll probably have more in the tin than the fine before it happens. Remember you ARE breaking the law. If you can't take the punishment don't do the crime.

  109. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just a thought here...

    I tend to download one or two tracks, or a mess of random bits. And then, if I like what I hear, I will go to the artist's website and buy the music there, or buy at their stall if I see them live.

    If there was no file sharing, then the artists in question could lose a fair bit more money from people like me. Who wants to gamble £10 on a CD they may not like?

    Artists on major labels end up with less than 10p/CD in the most extreme cases. The artists only get slightly more from the large corp. than they do from the file-sharers. Surely there should be some kind of legislation implemented which demanded that artists get a minimum of 50% of sales made (exceptions made to allow donation in charity cases, of course)

  110. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hmmm - very very unlikely, but worth keeping in mind

    For those that like conspiracy theories...

    What if the whole thing is a prearranged stage play? It seems like the defense attorney wasn't very skilled, and they appear to have put themselves in the line of fire. Maybe the whole production was bought and paid-for by the RIAA? All that is lacking at this point is to roll the credits...

  111. Joe M

    You missed the point

    You have all missed the point! I have earned every cent in my life by producing so called "intellectual property": software, books and artwork. I got well paid for the effort I put into creating these. For me to ask to be paid over and over again, for work that I had long ago completed, because I supposedly have some mysterious, magical ownership rights to it, is so ridiculous that a moment's thought should be enough to lay this idiocy to rest. Yet this is what the manufactured rights to "intellectual property" are all about and this is what makes all of you argue so heatedly about the current case. What has actually happened is that a bunch of unscrupulous con-artists have convinced our society that they somehow have ownership of the music and that they can buy and sell it, and consequently that it can be stolen from them just like any other property. As the few posts in this thread, which carry on about "theft" and "shoplifting" show, many of us have swallowed this nonsense whole. But millions of people around the world continue sharing music regardless of these idiotic laws because they instinctively realise whom the thieves really are. In years to come our descendants will look back on us in amazement and wonder what kind of fools would have allowed the wholesale theft of the public domain.

  112. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    Oh come on now...

    >> I don't steal music. I don't steal anything. I either pay for things or do without them.

    You are stealing server resources to post insane stuff.

    So, someone gets ripped to shreds by jury trial?

    Life goes on.

    Just get rid of the illusion that you are living in a "civil" or "free" society. Be careful out there. Then make sure you share using the lowly USB stick.

    (Btw, did Hillary Rosen's review of the Iraq copyright laws pass or not? Is it now illegal to fileshare in Baghdad? Inquiring minds want to know...)

  113. Nev

    Time for action!

    Time to organise a month long embargo on CD and DVD purchases.

    Maybe these racketeers will sweat a bit after a month of zero sales and give us what we want: realistic prices on up-to-date technology without all this node locked licensing.

  114. bruceld

    Rich executives get richer

    Heaven forbid you should have an unsecured wireless network. Imagine if someone decided to put copyrighted music and illegal porn on your computer and called the cops anonymously.

    What amazes me the most is that most likely NONE of the money brought in successfully from any lawsuit will never reach the artist that they're protecting. Here in Canada, we have a crappy Canadian Copyright Levy on every blank CD purchased, even if you could provide proof that you are using it for business only to back up files. The CCRL implies that everyone is guilty of copyright infridgement, and I mean everyone, and somehow I doubt a penny of the levy actually reaches the artists.

    Make no mistake, it's all going in the hands of the executives. They're the ones who are getting rich from all this, and I have yet to see one single famous music artist whose had to collect welfare just because of some 11 year old who downloads an mp3.

    It's all bullship...COMPLETE BULLSHIT!

  115. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Let's see now...

    Firing up my trusty emule client (only used for research purposes, natch), it reports 500 million files out there. Let's be conservative and estimate 10% of them are copyrighted songs - 50 million. The RIAA reckons that reasonable damages are $9250 per track, so their $50 billion industry is losing 462 trillion dollars to emule filesharers - roughly 7 times the GDP of the entire planet!

  116. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

    Boycotts are just hot air

    >> Time to organise a month long embargo on CD and DVD purchases. <<

    We've been here before, Nev.

    What happens is the only people who join the "boycott" are people who don't buy music anyway.

    Besides, everyone with broadband can get music for free anyway, so why rock the boat?

  117. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

    "There is no way any normal person can win a case like this."

    Is there a reason a normal person SHOULD win a case like this?

    Please explain the morality. If you get caught with your hand in the cookie jar, expect a slap.

    Remember - the chances of you getting caught are still somewhat less than being struck by lightning.

  118. mego
    Thumb Down


    Here I go sounding naive.. but, as I see it there are three sides so far.

    1) She got what she deserves. Smack her down!

    2) Well, she did it I guess, charged overboard though.

    3) Uh, did she even do it - no evidence really presented to prove she's involved.

    I'm leaning to the third side.

    Andrew Orlowski, I hope you never get accused of holding something on your pc that you didn't. I mean, it's not like they ever get it wrong.. Oh, wait. Their own "forensic scientist" has been put on record as being full of.. well, lets say the stuff my dog leaves behind that you don't want to stand in.

    How about the old granny accused of downloading gangsta rap?

    >>Please explain the morality. If you get caught with your hand in the cookie jar, expect a slap

    Sure. So, you're ten years old, your older brother calls your parents to say you stole a cookie. You get a hiding, even though you never even looked at the cookie jar. You're asking about morality? How moral is that?

    >>Remember - the chances of you getting caught are still somewhat less than being struck by lightning.

    Oh. Great. The chances of me being raped by a mad bull are probably about the same, should I be happy if it happens to me knowing it will reduce the next persons chances of being so rightly rogered by a mad bovine?

    Get real. All this case highlights, is that innocence is only as good as the government you own. All else doesn't matter.

  119. Joerg

    Bribes and judges .. just like the Microsoft case...

    ... and politicians and bribes ... RIAA, MPAA,BSA and Microsoft are killing the industry, are frustrating the population and are the main cause of lame people put in charge of multinational groups. Until those four are not banned and no one stops their power, real thieves "pirates" will keep selling copies on streets with illegal immigrants all over Europe and other countries while common citizens will get their life demolished by some unlawful justice.

  120. Andrew Tyler
    Dead Vulture


    She broke the law, that's true. It's silly to claim she doesn't have some sort of restitution to make, but the scale is disturbing. I don't care for punishments designed to 'set an example.' I don't care for the lawyers comments. We should settle? What? We shouldn't share music, yes. I believe the amount of the verdict is ridiculous.

    Clearly the record industry is one of the most threatened by the availability of cheap, generic information transfer. They no longer solely control the flow of information. They took advantage of their position by making control of distribution their greatest strength. They're losing, or have already lost, that.

    Rather than clinging desperately to their former model, they need to accept change and find a way to make themselves useful again. This is what angers me. It's not just them, either. Everywhere I look I see everything that made the internet great threatened by artificial, heavy-handed capitalist legal manipulation.

    If we're to truly believe in the free-market, we need to accept that technology will lower the cost of certain services. The music industry wants us to pay the same price for a few megabytes of data transmission as we paid to have something manufactured and shipped to us. I wish I could believe the cost of a CD was justified by all of the discovery, marketing and creation of music or to support the artists but I just don't buy it.

    The creators of the music should negotiate deals for the terms they want with the record companies, not the other way around. If they feel they need a multi-million dollar marketing campaign, that's fine but let it be reflected in the cost of that album alone. Let the people who need their music chosen for them pay for that service.

    This could easily happen now. After all, with the transfer of the music itself becoming such a marginal cost, marketing is all the record companies really do. I don't want most of the money I pay for some smaller band's album going to the marketing campaign for Britney Spear's latest single.

    I don't necessarily have anything against the RIAA, they have a right to defend their IP, but they really should be finding a way to make themselves useful again, at least for the sake of all the people who depend upon them for their livelihood. I'm surely no expert, but the entire situation seems to have gone terribly wrong. In the end though, it's up to us. Support your local bands, go see concerts. Find and buy good music from independent artists. Don't steal, use your money to make the free market work for us.

    That's just how I feel. Sorry for the long post, I didn't even bother taking my coat off in the first place. ;)

  121. Dam
    Dead Vulture

    Re: boycott means boycott


    "Svein Skogen has it completely right. If you want to boycott the RIAA, that doesn't mean you go out and show off the fact that you're the thief they say you are. That means you completely ignore their music. You don't download it, you don't listen to it, and you certainly won't have any motivation to buy it.

    Unfortunately, the ones who "get it" have probably been doing that for a few years now, so not much will change.



    Well actually, I was reading comments and wondering...

    Who still buys audio CDs ?

    I haven't, here, I haven't for over 8-10 years now, and I'm only 23.

    If I want to listen to music I turn on or any other webradio.


    STREAMRIPPER anyone ?

    It's as legal as recording radio on your old cassette 10 years ago.

    Next thing we know, people will be sued for whistling music, for singing it, for mimicking it in karaokes, and for actually existing.

    The only DVDs I've bought this year (and forthe last 5 years for that matter) are those of Kaamelott, to encourage them to continue.

    And yeah, I suppose they're DRM'd but I guess 2 DVDs in 5+ years is ok.

    The same scenario applies here, my ISP has a triple-play offer and the router/decoder they lend me has a hard drive that records the raw MP4 stream (no DRM crap, no encryption).

    It's entirely legal for me to record a movie on TV (men in black, recently) to MP4 then transfer it to my computer.

    Bring it on RIAA retards, my IP is , see you in court and enjoy.

    You can sue me over all the media files I have, none of them belong to you see, they belong to _me_ because they're private recordings.

    PS: for the non technical, when your computer gets a 169.254.x.x IP, that means it couldn't get one automatically from the network and is falling back to a "random" address.

  122. ryan
    Paris Hilton

    what i can't figure out...

    is what the RIAA actually do?

    beyond suing people disproportionally large sums for alleged copyright infringement, and forcing intrusive DRM upon us.

  123. DaveC

    slap or GBH?

    >Is there a reason a normal person SHOULD win a case like this?

    >Please explain the morality. If you get caught with your hand in the cookie jar, >expect a slap.

    No so much a slap as GBH followed by having your balls cut off, legs broken, face smashed in and steam rollered just to make sure people get the point!

    Oh it was a she - well you get the idea!

  124. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Repugnant Inane American Authority.

    "Ooooh extort one or two unlucky people, make a LOT of noise about it and the whole world shall fear us".... or not.

    Bullies, thieves, hypocrites, cowards and liars all of them.

    Good artists will always make good art, and will flourish sufficiently to survive. They are not in it for the money alone. Those who are in it for the money alone probably do not produce art of any genuine worth or interest, being driven by profit and not passion.

    We do not need these talentless bullying leeches and parasites in the middle. What kind of individual _chooses_ to work for such an organisation? Surely noone is THAT deluded that they think they are doing any good whatsoever. "I did it for society and the little musician guy..." ahem....

    Just another example of corporate greed - move along, nothing to see here...

  125. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What ever happened to...

    The Record Industry ***Ass.*** of America captions?

  126. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    @Andrew Orlowski

    Hmmm, your test of downloading a top 40 album on the closed-to-comments rant you just posted seems to be a bit... pointless since all you've done is admitted a "crime" which could get you a million buck fine, to tell people something they've known for ages.

    Anyway, I still pay my ISP £24 a month for the fastest connection I could find, but I also pay Napster £10-15 a month (I forget how much it is exactly) to access their huge library. I don't think the internet is worthless without the free (you mean illegal) stuff.

    But I do want video on demand to catch up with music (and music services to sort out this obsession with DRM which just adds costs and doesn't work). It's quite nice being on a 12-16mbit connection and being able to download a 30 minute show from 4od in about 2 minutes, although they are price-gouging quite badly considering that you can buy the DVD's of most of the old content for cheaper than a short term rental. Now if only I could stream to something other than media player (pteeww) then the pre-download wouldn't be needed at all.

  127. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)

    The point is...

    "pointless since all you've done is admitted a "crime" which could get you a million buck fine, to tell people something they've known for ages."

    You obviously don't want journalists to their own research. That's OK - but could I suggest you try Wikipedia? No original research guaranteed!

    The point is: you seem to hate paying for music.

  128. Andrew Orlowski (Written by Reg staff)


    "Plus, what the sweet buggery are these icons for?!"

    We're all wondering that, Ash.

    "Am I to pick a mood next? "Baffled" is my current state of mind! Should I write you a poem and post pictures of myself looking melancholy from a high angle?"

    ROFL :-)

    Any idea what the green stick man is doing?

    Dismembering a child is my guess.

  129. Anonymous Coward

    Green stick man

    err.... getting his coat :wink:

  130. b166er

    closed-to-comments rant


    And why-oh-why is the El Reg triumphs in media battle of the wits item closed-for-comments too? What are you all afraid of today? ;p

  131. Anonymous Coward

    Health and Safety

    Or maybe it's me Andrew, fetching your flame-retardant suit for you following your inflammatory RIAA article, or a straight-jacket for your 'dismembering a child' comment ;p

    tsss Car 4 P-O-B over

  132. Gleb
    Dead Vulture

    @Andrew Orlowski

    First of all I think it's very cowardly of you to disable comments on those "pirates be damned" articles/blog updates/ramblings of a fool. But in a sense, you are admitting that you know that your opinion is unpopular; and since this is a question of policy and politics; you are, therefore, wrong.

    On a lighter note I'm happy to live in Europe, whose laws are there to protect the common denominator between people - our basic rights and freedoms, istead of bending over to the corporate greed. So screw america, and their RIAA. Long live piratebay. =)

This topic is closed for new posts.