Woman ordered to pay for file-sharing will appeal

A woman ordered to pay $222,000 for downloading and sharing music files has decided to appeal the case. A happy Jammie Thomas said on her Myspace.com blog that the appeal was announced by her lawyer, Brian Toder, in an interview with CNN. "My attorney announced, on national television, with the RIAA watching I'm more than certain, we're going to appeal," she wrote in the blog entry. Winning the appeal will "stop RIAA in their tracks," she wrote.

Thomas was ordered last week by a jury in the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota to pay $222,000 in damages to six music labels, representing $9,250 for each of 24 songs illegally downloaded and shared over the Kazaa file-sharing network. The case against Thomas was filed by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), an umbrella group representing music labels.

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News source: InfoWorld

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16 Comments

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Also, she owes her lawyer $67,000 for his fees. Which explains why no one ever takes this to trial.

For those of you who aren't aware of it. It was the JURY who awarded the RIAA this money. Which is just sickening.

And from some of the comments of the Jurors. They sure sound like someone who has been paid off by the RIAA/MPAA.

They said they "wanted to make a statement". Oh jee, I wonder where they would get a little comment like that from.

That amount of money is a life-ruining sum for someone like her. It is inhuman and insanely greedy for the RIAA to seek that much. It's taking someones life away.

Exactly what ground is she going to appeal? That she can't afford the consequence of her crime? That she's above the law?

C_Guy said,
Exactly what ground is she going to appeal? That she can't afford the consequence of her crime? That she's above the law?

She was found guilty of violating the rights of the intellectual property holder. She can appeal on numerous grounds. Remember that this is handled civilly and is not consider a crime unless there can be strong evidence of direct and measurable loss. There is none in this case. It is not theft to copy IP or even post it somewhere were others can see or hear it (like the RIAA Nazis are brainwashing you to believe). It might violate certain statutes in IP law, but IP law and physical property law are very different (for good reason). The copyright holder still owns the rights to the IP. She never STOLE those rights from the holder and the holder can not prove direct and measurable loss in this case... maybe she would have never purchased the music in the first place and did she benefit by posting it? Are you sure beyond measurable (not reasonable since in civil court) doubt that is was her that allegedly violated the IP holder's rights. There are a lot of very gray areas in IP law and that is why it is treated very differently in the US courts.

I'm all for IP owners protecting their rights, I'm just not for the tactics that the RIAA and MPAA are using.... including the brainwashing, extortion, taking advantage of legal systems and politicians who technologically clueless, and sleazy legal loop-holes they are trying to use in these case. Instead they should be fully embracing new technology and finding ways to profit from it (like the movie companies did after Sony won the Betamax case... how ironic).

Ironically she'd be charged less if she'd just stolen 6 different albums from a store and been charged with petty theft.

That's why there is a difference between intellectual property laws and physical property laws. Stealing from a store would be handled criminally, while in most cases, violating a copyholders rights (don't let the RIAA brainwash you... is not considered theft) is handled civilly. They are really apples and oranges in the US.

Speaking of being brainwashed...

Taking something without paying for it is theft.

In the US theft is a crime.

Therefore, taking something without paying for it is a crime.

Yeah, it really is that black and white.

So is she not facing any jail time for these charges? (just monetary charges?) however, if she physically stole something up to that price. There would be jail time? How do they classify the difference?

These are not rhetorical questions. Its just something that crossed my mind just now so please answer if you know. That is just how I understood it.

C_Guy said,
Speaking of being brainwashed...

Taking something without paying for it is theft.

In the US theft is a crime.

Therefore, taking something without paying for it is a crime.

Yeah, it really is that black and white.


You do realise that she's not being charged for downloading the songs, but in actual fact she's being charged for other people possibly downloading them off of her.
So no, it's not that "black and white".

C_Guy, you need to re-check the differences between "copyright infringement" and "theft". They are different, and covered under different laws.

If I bought Vista, then made copies of it and gave them away (or sold them), that is "copyright infringement", not "theft". Yes, I could have impacted sales of Vista and deprived Microsoft of revenue. But even though there is potential financial impact, it is not theft.

Financial impact due to lost sales does not constitute theft. If it did, then Microsoft could go after negative reviews of Vista that recommend not buying it for depriving them of income.

C_Guy said,
Speaking of being brainwashed...

Taking something without paying for it is theft.

In the US theft is a crime.

Therefore, taking something without paying for it is a crime.

Yeah, it really is that black and white.


if it really is that black and white, then they woudl have charged her with theft, as previously stated gwtting a lighter sentance

i hope she wins her case or something cause $222,000 is just unreasonable (cause it aint like she's rich either)... the RIAA should be counter sued for pretty much ruining her life!

cause when is all said and done... the RIAA's claims of there so called "damages" are exagerated quite a bit when it comes to reality and how much they actually lost.... and how can they prove how much they lost? .... cause the way i see it is unless they can prove exactly how much people downloaded from her she should get off with minimal penalty... cause even if they did prove that say 1000 people downloaded songs from her... not everyone of those 1000 people would actually "pay" for the music if they actually had to buy it from a store... hence, no money loss!

Awesome, thats good she is fighting this kudos to her(220,000 is insane especially for a single mom that only makes 36,000 a year, she doesnt deserve that, not one bit)...here is a snippet taken from her site which has a youtube video posted...

http://www.freejammie.com/

In this Youtube video, Jammie confirms that funds collected here at freejammie.com are going to her. Funds are going directly into a client trust account created for Jammie by her attorney, Brian Toder. The funds are to be used for legal expenses, and for a PENDING APPEAL which may ultimately go to the Supreme Court.

Having tried the case and thereby set the stage for an appeal that, if successful, has the potential to stop the RIAA’s harvesting machine dead in its tracks, a legal defense fund has been created, and we need your help. All funds will be deposited in a client trust account at the offices of Jammie’s counsel.

[ Total Amount Donated = $3,853.19]
last updated 10:22 pm, October 8th, 2007