The first RIAA lawsuit to go to jury trial has resulted in Judge Michael J. Davis barring Recording Industry Association of America President Cary Sherman from testifying. "I don't want to turn this case into a soap box for the recording industry," said Thomas' counsel Brian Toder. Even after Judge Davis' decision, RIAA counsel Richard Gabriel continued to press on, arguing that Sherman is needed to help the jury see the "massive problem of file sharing," and that the RIAA is not out to make money but "to prove a point." Judge Davis remained stalwart, refusing to reconsider.
Capitol Records vs. Jammie Thomas is significant because it is the first case among the RIAA's litany of more than 18,000 lawsuits to make it to jury trial. With most of the suits, the RIAA tends to push for a settlement to avoid costly litigation. Defendants, facing overwhelming legal fees and the costs of going to court, usually settle for amounts that range from around $3,000 to $11,000.
Update: Jammie Thomas was found guilty of sharing copyrighted music online and levied $220,000 in damages against her: $9,250 for each of the 24 songs she was found guilty of pirating.
News source: DailyTech