updated 01:20 pm EDT, Mon October 8, 2007
RIAA victory to be fought
Jammie Thomas, the defendant who recently lost her file-sharing case initiated by the RIAA, says she is appealing the $220,000 verdict. Thomas has been fined $9,250 per track for sharing 24 songs via Kazaa; she denies even having a Kazaa account however, and is now challenging the verdict based on one of the instructions given to her jury. Instruction 15 suggested that Thomas should be found liable if she made the songs available through a file-sharing network, "regardless of whether actual distribution has been shown."
Though the RIAA has cited legal precedents for this view, recent cases may aid the defense. One such precendent was Atlantic v. Howell, but its decision has since been reversed. Similarly, the ongoing Warner v. Cassin is being fought on the basis that, due to the manner in which file-sharing operates, it is impossible to determine whether anyone other than an investigator has illegally downloaded music. This exact argument will be used by Thomas' attorney, Brian Toder.
If the verdict is overturned, it may still be prosecuted again, though any monetary gain may be insufficient. The party with the most to lose though may be Thomas, who has incurred $60,000 in legal fees in addition to her fine. [via Ars Technica]