RIAA Test Case Ready For the Jury

October 4, 2007

RIAA Test Case Ready For the Jury As we reported yesterday and today, the case of the Capitol Records, et al v. Jammie Thomas continues on, and it appears it is now ready to go to the jury, but with some new twists.

According to reports by Ars Technica, the plaintiffs’ counsel, Richard Gabriel, wanted to call RIAA president Cary Sherman to testify to how piracy is harming the music industry, but Judge Michael J. Davis wouldn’t allow it.  He did not see the value to the testimony, and the defendant’s counsel, Brian Toder, of course agreed.

The other twist of the day came as Jennifer Pariser, of Sony BMG, continued her testimony indicating what is, and is not, piracy.  According to Ms. Praiser’s definition of piracy, even the act of “ripping” a song from a CD you purchased to the MP3 format to play on your iPod is a violation of copyright law, and hence an act of piracy.  This brought up the subject of “fair use” in copyright laws, a muddy area of the quickly aging copy right statutes. 

Jammie Thomas, the accused pirate, took the stand towards the end of the day and testified, as one would expect, that she was not aware she was sharing the 2,000 files the recording industry claims she was.

For a case of this magnitude, with a possibility of $1.2 million in damages, it is surprising to see testimony lasted only two days, but the opposing counsels and the judge are already sitting down to agree on the jury instructions.  The closing arguments will take place on the morning of October 4th, with the jury to go directly into deliberations after that. 

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