Will Thomas Trial Verdict Stop Illegal Downloading?
October 8, 2007 at 5:30 AM (PT)
The jury's guilty verdict this week in a file-sharing trial could deter others from pushing back against the recording industry's copyright claims. However, it is unlikely that it will completely stop music files from being swapped on the Internet, according to a music attorney specializing in online sales and copyright, reports INFORMATIONWEEK.COM.
The RIAA won its first trial this week when a jury ordered JAMMIE THOMAS of DULUTH, MN to pay $220,000 to six separate record companies -- SONY BMG, ARISTA RECORDS, INTERSCOPE RECORDS, UMG RECORDINGS, CAPITOL RECORDS and WARNER BROS. RECORDS. The amount covers 24 copyrighted songs illegally downloaded on her computer.
"The fact that this case went to trial and there was a verdict -- whatever the outcome -- was a good thing, because there's some kind of sense that these cases don't have merit," said CHRISTIAN CASTLE, a LOS ANGELES lawyer.
As for THOMAS, she got off easy, according to CASTLE, who said she could have been fined $150,000 per copy rather than $10,000.
"I think the jury was telling her 'We don't buy your story. You're guilty of doing this intentionally. We're going to give you a verdict that will sting but is not the gross national product of a small country," he said.