Judge declares mistrial in RIAA filesharing case, sets aside $222,000 verdict

Nilay Patel
N. Patel|09.25.08

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Nilay Patel
September 25, 2008 1:34 PM
Judge declares mistrial in RIAA filesharing case, sets aside $222,000 verdict

We always thought that the RIAA's first-ever filesharing trial victory against Jammie Thomas was a little suspect since the labels weren't required to prove that Thomas even had Kazaa installed on her machine or was the person using the account in question, and it looks like the court agrees -- it's just declared a mistrial and set aside the $222,000 judgment on the grounds that simply making copyrighted works available for download does not constitute copyright infringement. That's a huge decision -- the "making available" theory is the basis for most of the RIAA's legal arguments -- and it means that the RIAA will now have to prove the unauthorized transfer of each song it wants to collect damages on at the new trial. We'll see what effect this has in the broader sense -- we've got a feeling we're in for a slew of appellate decisions on both sides of the "making available" debate -- but for now it looks like the good guys are finally starting to score some points.

[Via ZDNet, thanks JagsLive]

Read - Wired article
Read - Decision [PDF]
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