back to article Record industry refused Jammie Thomas appeal

The judge in the Jammie Thomas filesharing case has refused the Recording Industry Ass. of America's (RIAA) attempt to revive arguments that "making [music files] available" is copyright infringement. The record industry had been asking to appeal a decision in September, when federal judge Michael J. Davis ruled that his …


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  1. Paul Sanders

    Recovery of previous settlements?

    I wonder if an enterprising lawyer is preparing an attempt to recover all those out of court 'settlements'?

  2. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects

    Frog's three wishes.

    Watch out Frenchie, the European Courts await you.

    Funny how the Yanks can see reason when it doesn't involve dark skinned people being butchered.

  3. James Woods

    Amount should be commensurate to the value of the theft.

    You can buy a track on the web for 70p so the punishment should be relative to the value. If I stole a snickers bar for 70p I would be asked to refund the value. In this case 24 songs at 70p should be fined £16.80 and perhaps a hundred pounds for the suffering to the record company.

    It’s a shame the courts a blocked up with such trivial cases. The large companies should remember that the harder they squeeze the more grains will fall through their hands.

    A better solution would be for the industry to accept that we are in a different age and innovate their own products to make them so attractive and so valued that people would want to spend their money with the company and not to download for free.

  4. Gareth Jones Silver badge


    ...all we can expect is reduced damages.

    I think the recording industry need to realise that threatening people with massive damage claims is pointless. Damages of that size are totally pointless, at least in this country, where the defendant would would either be declared bankrupt or plead poverty and end up paying £10 a month forever. Now while it may be a deterent such massive claims undermine their case.

    If they claim such massive sums from individuals then surely they realise that they stand no chance of recovering them. In which case they are admitting that those massive sums are really a deterent. And so they are surely admitting that they don't really think that a single illegal file sharer is really damaging them that much.

    So I don't agree with the recording industry's arguments, but neither do I agree with the freetards. The idea that somehow we all deserve free music is ridiculous. I wonder how many freetards think that they don't deserve to be paid for a days work.

  5. Ian Michael Gumby


    Sorry you can't apply this ruling retroactively and I believe that the majority of those settlements were agreed upon outside of a trial.

    The interesting thing is that this case sets up a precedent that the burden of proof is on the RIAA to actually catch the transaction occurring and not allow the court to assume that because the files are out there that an illegal sharing did occur.

    IMHO this could be reversed by a higher court.

    As it stands, if the RIAA were to continue with their witch hunt, then they have to show that a transaction or rather a file was shared and they'd have to go after both parties.

    I believe that the RIAA has stopped these suits because they negative publicity has not stopped those who are going to share from sharing. Also that there has been a negative backlash. People are just saying no to music sales.

    While I agree that there should be some protection from the artist, I also believe that there has to be a paradigm shift in the music industry. If the Grateful Dead could exist and make money on tour, allowing their fans to freely record their live concerts, then there exists a possible new model where artists can exist and fans get the music that they want.

    In truth, it may mean that these 'rock stars' no longer make the multi millions that they make from record sales and that the music industry shifts from their current business practices of grooming acts and then pimping the acts to the radio stations.

  6. Mark


    Other laws are being retroactively applied.

    Like McKinnon's acts not being a crime when he did them yet still being charged with the new retroactively applied crime.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    In how many other industries ?

    Does one days' work (i.e. in a recording studio) result in being paid for it for the rest of your life.

    There should be strict (and short) limits on how long payments for "artistic" work are made - no-one else gets paid to sit on their a** for the rest of their lives after 12-24 months of work, so why should an "artist" ?

  8. kain preacher


    Is this the real reason why it has stopped suing people? The threshold has just been raised.

  9. sam bo
    Thumb Up

    @ Gareth Jones

    - I wonder how many freetards think that they don't deserve to be paid for a days work.

    I would like to make a copy of my days work , and then sell it repeatedly to my boss with no further effort on my part. Sounds like a wonderful system.

  10. Paul

    more RIAA lies - still suing

    The RIAA claimed they'd stopped suing individuals months back, yet carried right on. Since the most recent listed on is for 15 Dec 2008 its fair to conclude they're just lying, like they lie about everything else.

    Useless parasites stealing artists income however they can.

  11. Andy Barber
    Thumb Down

    @ Ian Michael Gumby

    "If the Grateful Dead could exist and make money on tour, allowing their fans to freely record their live concerts..."

    But the GD were rubbish, they ripped off money, from the stoned hippy's, who didn't like music!

  12. James Pickett


    "the GD were rubbish"

    In your opinion, assuming you've actually listened to them. I liked them, despite never having smoked anything other than tobacco, and I like most music, from Albinoni to Zappa.

  13. James Pickett


    That is good news though, isn't it? If the RIAss.A can't even make the case stick against someone as inept as Jammie Thomas, they really should think about giving up. Personally, I'd like to see a labelling system on CD's that shows how much of the purchase price gets returned to the artist and how much to the other participants in its production. I assume (in the absence of any other info) that a £3 album download from Amazon is as rewarding for the artist as the full-price version in HMV, but it would be nice to know.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    no, the worst part of this

    Is that the RIAA and MPAA are trying to get the major ISPs in the US to do their dirty work for them by implementing a 3-strikes type rule (which may or may not have the correct "target") and which may or may not remove any safe harbor provisions currently protecting the ISPs and which may or may not have any appeal process for the alleged "infringer". Now, why the ISPs would even THINK about getting into this is beyond me; since they will most likely have to shoulder the cost of maintaining logs of every internet access and then go back through them to get "evidence" for a non-judicial case against a user (who can presumably be correctly identified as not being a printer) and then have a procedure in place to guarantee delivery of said "strikes" to the alleged infringer and waiting for their reply (I wasn't sharing; I wasn't sharing illegally, I wasn't infringing copywritten material; you have the wrong person, etc., etc.) and furthermore, how do you know what i was sending across my private connection to another person? You been getting help from the NSA for your deep-packet snooping on my email and interweb usage?

    Now you get to the second and third strikes...right or wrong. ISP has just packed up a bundle of costs for the contacts and review of records and review of replies and decides to ??? What, you going to cut of a long-paying customer because the RIAA or MPAA says so? Yeah, now that's just stupid. There are other ISPs out there, though the dearth of high-speed providers in the US may make high speed access problematic. Once can only hope that the ISPs take a long hard look at this and back away quickly.

  15. Robert Armstrong

    @ Andy Barber

    So sad to be you, Andy, isn't it?

    You can't refute the fact that the Grateful Dead made lots of profits on concert ticket sales and the GD allowed people to record the live shows on their own kit at no cost. The GD never went after those who shared their recordings. They realized that their fans enjoyed sharing the concert recordings and even set up sections where people could sit near the soundboard to tape the shows.

    Since he can not refute the facts,what does Andy do, he creates a strawman, the stoned hippy, and then attacks the straw man while ignoring the facts. Very good, Andy, are you an attorney or government stooge or are you just naturally ignorant?

  16. Winkypop Silver badge

    Isn't the capitalist system all about.... and demand and competitive pricing?

    1. Record shop: Physical CDs from $1.99 - $20.00...

    2. uTorrent: MP3s from $0.00 - $0.00

    OK, so the 2nd option is currently illegal.

    Still, this is the sort of space where the RIAA should be investing their time and money.

    They desperately need a NEW business model.

    Otherwise its just going to be "litigation until death"

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    @ Andy Barber

    For being "rubbish" they have a very large following to this day, a lot of them fans for many years (30+ in a most instances)

    They did what good bands do...tour, unlike so called "pop princesses" who mime..mmm which footballers wife did that again?

    Or like some new so called "bands" which are manufactured groups, none of them can play instruments, mime when singing "live" and have all their songs written for them as none have ANY talent.

    GD arent a band I listen to a lot, but they arent bad.

  18. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge

    I think you will find...

    @ James Woods

    " If I stole a snickers bar for 70p I would be asked to refund the value. ..."

    I think you will find you are asked for a little more than that.

    A breach of the Theft Act 1968 (retail theft) carries a maximum of six months/£5000. You would be unlikely to get imprisoned for a first offence, and your fine would depend on your circumstances, but I might suggest a starting tariff of between £100-£500, knocking off amounts for your subsequent behaviour, remorse, etc....

    Mine's the coat with the wig in the pocket...

  19. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge

    Whistler had an answer...

    "Does one days' work (i.e. in a recording studio) result in being paid for it for the rest of your life?"

    When Whistler's "Nocturne in Black and Gold: The Falling Rocket" was exhibited in 1877, the famous art critic John Ruskin declared: "I have seen, and heard, much of cockney impudence before now; but never expected to hear a coxcomb ask two hundred guineas for flinging a pot of paint in the public's face."

    Whistler immediately took up the challenge, issuing a lawsuit for libel. During the trial Ruskin's defense wanted to know how long the painting took to do, and on being told, asked in contempt: "The labor of two days is that for which you ask two hundred guineas?" Whistler responded: "No. I ask it for the knowledge I have gained in the work of a lifetime."

  20. Anonymous Coward

    @Dodgy Geezer

    "Mine's the coat with the wig in the pocket..."

    You obviously either stole it or are a drag artist.

    The most likely outcome of this [stealing a 70p bar of chocolate] for a first offence would be a caution, but in the unlikely event it went to a magistrate's court, you'd get fined about £20.

  21. Anonymous Coward

    @James Woods

    Not disagreeing with you in principle, the amount of the compensation should be equal to the theft involved. In this case its not 70p per track... Surely it should be however many times that track was downloaded from that person? They didnt just steal the track but supplied it to a number of people, so should be liable for that too? A bit like drugs law I suppose, a bit for personal use is a slap on the wrist, supplying is a different matter...

    Just a thought

  22. Anonymous Coward


    Are you alright mate? I think perhaps you should be on some sort of medication.

  23. William Bronze badge

    @Dodgy Geezer

    You really think the police are going to take someone to court for a 70p snickers bar. Maybe once, (when the theft act was written) but sadly not any longer.

    I guess you don't know many shopkeepers then. In fact, open a shop and try and report that you have been assaulted by a customer let alone seen someone steal a 70p snickers bar. Good luck with that.

    The police are too busy catching speeding motorists,hassling little old ladies, suing each other for racism and generally silence any opposition to the government.

    70p snickers bar. LOL.

  24. Anonymous Coward

    @ac - Wed 31st Dec 2008 09:55 GMT

    "Surely it should be however many times that track was downloaded from that person? "

    Erm, yeah....that would be a GREAT idea...except that you have NO IDEA if anyone, anywhere, any time actually downloaded from the so-called infringer. So let me do the math for your zero times any number you want to quote for a penalty is ??? You got it. And here's your check for zero.

    Most of the penalties were originally designed to allow for punishment of folks who mass produced copied of CDs for distribution and the RIAssA have managed to get this twisted around to fusk over any Luser they can convince (via their extortion threats) or get before a jury (of dolts).

    Sorry, no sympathy here.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "stick it to the man" they say

    Why don't they just give musicians and producers NORMAL wages, then they can sell music tracks for 1 bloody pence each and still make a profit.

    If you rip people off for years and they get a chance to break free and stick it to YOU, do not be surprised. As for them and their lawsuits...only making things worse. As for cutting off people's internet connections? 3 points.

    1- Where is the hard proof that people were downloading?

    2- Still making the situation worse, and fueling rebellion and hatred.

    3- Are they going to cut half of the nation's internet access off?

    mm..... I don't think so. I'm not sure that/how ISPs can cut off an internet connection unless they have a good case against the supposed downloader. I would also SERIOUSLY like to know HOW the ISPs know what their customers are doing or downloading ?? Anyone ??

    How do they prove it in the case of an unsecured wireless connection? I think it would fall flat if it ever got to court. The ISPs claim the bill payer is responsible for all (illegal) activities done through their connection, but clearly that does not make ANY sense in legal terms. In fact it directly conflicts with many areas of the law.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @AC 17:15

    Regarding the cutting off of internet access by ISPs:

    (1) Don't really need any hard proof. This is contract dealings not legal.

    (2) How would it really make the situation worse? Illegal downloaders are going to download each track/film/game twice?

    (3) Probably not. Most internet users probably don't download that much and will stop after the first warning. Only the hardcore and the "a bit thick" will get caught the necessary 4 times (after time 1 you claim unsecured wireless, aliens, dog ate my homework or whatever and get the warning annulled), on the second warning anyone but a complete tool would just change ISP.

    ISPs can cut your interweb connection at any time. You *may* have recourse to contract law to recover some loss (I doubt it though) but after two written warnings (three if you are smart and contest the first) you will have no chance of even that.

    Regarding wireless, it will never go to court, this is not a criminal charge and the ISP are not trying to sue you under civil law. They are terminating a contract through breach of contract. Likelihood is that a first warning will contain tips on securing a wireless connection and probably even a number you can call where some geek can talk you through it. anyway.

    Look, you* want to download stuff for free? Fine, don't we all. But you* have to grow up and take responsibility for your actions and if you* are caught doing something you* shouldn't then shut the fuck up whining and take your punishment like a man and not a spoilt little brat.

    *Freetards in general, not just you personally.

  27. Mark

    @Dodgy geezer

    that would be a MAXIMUM fine, yes? And whistler having been paid 200 guineas for a lifetime of learning how to paint no longer needs recompense for any work done before or after (since he has now been paid for the lifetime of learning).

    In short Whistler was talking bollocks.

  28. Mark
    Paris Hilton


    1) Yes and the contract doesn't say squat about civil infraction. Only the copyright OWNER can persue copyright problems, and that's not the ISP.

    1b) And yes, if they stop my connection I paid for, they have broken the contract.

    2) People will now be downloading to piss off the ISPs. Some will be downloading out of print works (no loss) or public domain (no copyright owner) or honey pot posts of benign works called "poison(BritneySpears).mp3" of someone saying how BS is poison.

    3) Except where the download is legal. People ARE *this instant* getting slower http connection because they have a BT client running and the ISP are throttling it

    Oh, and look at UCCTA. The ISP are in danger of mass lawsuit.

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