October 9, 2007 4:00 AM PDT

For RIAA, a black eye comes with the job

Almost everybody agrees Jammie Thomas is thumping the recording industry in a battle for hearts and minds.

The single mother of two who makes $36,000 a year was ordered by a jury last week to pay the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) $220,000. She was not accused of stealing music, but the jury found that she made 24 songs available online--allegedly for others to download. On Monday, Thomas announced that she has decided to file an appeal.

The image of a rich and gargantuan corporate entity steamrolling a woman with limited resources is etched into the minds of many onlookers, say public relations experts. So why, then, if the RIAA is taking a PR beating, is the group continuing to pursue Thomas? Why not target people who tug a little less on the public's heartstrings?

"It's usually inadvisable to turn someone into a martyr," said Jonathan Bernstein, president of Bernstein Crisis Management, a Los Angeles-based public relations firm. "I would think they could have pursued someone that drew a little less empathy. What they risk is creating a long-lasting image. On the Internet, it's simple to create martyrdom (all over the world) and this is particularly damaging thing to do. It can be very harmful to a company's reputation."

Jammie Thomas
Jammie Thomas

But according to industry insiders and the RIAA itself, the group has little choice but to continue to file civil complaints against file sharers--bad PR or not.

"Yes, this is a form of tough love but it is a necessary one to protect the rights of artists," said Jonathan Lamy, an RIAA spokesman. "Look at the extensiveness of the coverage on Friday. Every single newspaper and TV station carried the story that a jury of Thomas' peers found her guilty of copyright violations. This sends a very clear message that if you steal music online there can be real consequences. There is a lot of deterrent value to that message becoming public."

Thomas, 30, denies file sharing. She said that she doesn't use Kazaa, the peer-to-peer service she is accused of using to make more than 1,700 songs available. In a phone interview on Monday, she said that her IP address could have been hijacked by a music pirate.

The case is quickly becoming a rallying point for the file-sharing community. Already, a site has cropped up called Freejammie.com, started by a supporter who has never met Thomas. More than $2,500 has been raised by the site. Others have sent donations to Thomas' lawyer.

'No longer my fight'
In a phone interview with CNET News.com, Thomas said that she never meant to become a standard bearer for the file-sharing community.

"But at this point, I really don't think I have much of a choice," Thomas said. "As soon as this case went public, it was no longer my fight. It became everyone's fight. Just because it's my name on the case, doesn't mean I'm alone. There are so many other people who have taken up the case with me."

It's hard not to be struck by just how ham-handed the RIAA's legal maneuverings have been. While old RIAA foes such as file-sharing companies Napster and Grokster may not have gained a lot of sympathy in the heartland, people like Thomas do. Even college kids running file-sharing networks on the sly in dorm rooms can look sympathetic compared with giant corporations with a reputation for overcharging customers and not sharing profits with the artists.

The RIAA's antipiracy efforts have sometimes been vilified and other times ridiculed. Even members of Congress poked fun at the RIAA's attempts to take legal action in 2003 against Brianna LaHara, a then 12-year-old honors student from New York.

"Are you headed to junior high schools to round up the usual suspects?" Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., asked an RIAA executive during a senate hearing.

The image of a sweet-faced LaHara appeared in scores of media outlets with many publications asking how the RIAA, with its seemingly bottomless war chest and army of attorneys, could really be threatened by the likes of LaHara. The RIAA moved fast to settle the case with LaHara's mother agreeing to pay the RIAA $2,000.

CONTINUED: RIAA has a job to do…
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182 comments

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They could at least admit one truth...
I am sick of hearing the line "we are trying to protect the artists."

The industry association is not charged with protecting artists. It's goal is to protect the industry and it's members.

For decades the industry has run roughshod over the artists and now it wants to play the "we're protecting" card?

No...no...no.

Folks what we have here is a denial of sorts. Bands like RadioHead and Nine Inch Nails have dumped labels and are going on their own. Many other artists have made inroads into popularity without using labels.

Acts here in Texas have been raking in cash by going it on their own and using only distributors for their wares.

There are two things to consider here

1) The Internet has been very good about removing middlemen and that is just what the RIAA's members are, middlemen. They do not create a product; they create an image of a product which they then try to sell to the market. It's up to the public whether or not to buy into that manufactured reality. Take poor ol' Britney as an example. She doesn't have talent but she has looks and the studios have computers that can enhance her voice. So voila...some palatable tunes were produced but not due to artist talent.

2) The other thing to consider is that the RIAA's members are dinasaurs. The RIAA and MPAA are trying to save mastadons from extinction. In the 1970's and early 80's these organizations' members had party-like atmosphere's. If you had an in, you could get a cushy job there doing little. But that began to change in the mid-80's and as home-recording grew, the industry was stuck with an archaic methodology of bringing artists/pushing artists onto their pedestals.

Twenty years ago, if you had a cd, tape, or vinyl album, you were often encouraged to make copies of these. There supposedly was some fee added to the cost of every cassette which covered the consumer. We made mixtapes and shared with our friends. Many times, the original tapes wore out, got stolen, misplaced, or tossed out a car's window.

The consumer would then dutifully march to the store to buy a second copy. Me, I have paid for four copies of Styx's "The Grand Illusion" and three copies of Rush, "2112."

This was additional revenue tacked to sales of new music products. The industry came to expect it. But fast forward 20 years years and now individuals are smarter than that. We now make cd-quality copies of our media and keep the copy in the car, a digital (mp3/mp4) copy in our media player, and keep the original nestled with its brothers in the cd rack at home. It's safe there and if the copy gets damaged, I can always burn another.

This is where fair-use comes into play. This is what we need lawmakers to address. This is the crux of the consumer's position and it drives the industry crazy because every time I burn a copy of a piece of media for my own use, I am depriving the industry of another sale that it used to count on.

This is where the industry has lost money. They should stop counting the cd sales lost because of alleged acts of piracy. I would venture that 95% of those downloading those songs by those artists, would never, in fact, open their wallets to pay for those songs. They were available, so the downloader took them and they would not be willing to pony up 15.99 to 16.99 to pay for the cd, especially ones with built in copy protection/drm.

And that opens another can of worms and I'm out of time to write about it.
Posted by jachamp (84 comments )
Reply Link Flag
YES, indeedy.
First: you bought "Grand Illusion" four times? Good lord... :-)

Meanwhile, I cannot find a single flaw in your post. It's biz-biz-biz: This is about money, not "rights" or "talent" or "protection", unless those rights, talent, and protection lead to the pot at the end of the rainbow. To this day I have three cases with hundred of old cassettes in them - old-school mashups, metal tape of Japanese pressings of Pink Floyd (and, um, a copy of "Grand Illusion), and whatnot. I still have about a thousand LP's in storage around here somewhere. I "own" all of this, right? I can rip them to MP3, I can put a copy on my PC and my iPod and un the deck in my car. Even though I bought that copy of "Dark Side of the Moon" twenty five years ago, I own it. Fair play.

So here's some questions for the fray: can I, as an owner of Styx's "Grand Illusion" on vinyl, and a cassette copy I made as well, download that song from Napster without punishment? Do i own the right to that album, or do I own the "instance" that I bought back in 19-whatever?

Better: What if I have a wireless network and I share my folder of perfectly legal ripped music so my media PC in the den can pick up the songs via Media Player to play back on my stereo - am I breaking the law if my neighbor hacks my security and copies my songs?

Opportunity knocks, and there's money on the table.
Posted by Schuylercat (8 comments )
Link Flag
patently untrue:
"Twenty years ago, if you had a cd, tape, or vinyl album, you were often encouraged to make copies of these."
Not true - never was. There is a tax on blank media, but copying commercial media was still viewed as illegal by the industry. There was just no realistic way for them to know about it occuring. copies passed around on the "sneaker net" even today enjoy this status. Trafficing on the open internet leaves all sorts of footprints which can be traced to you and the industry has siezed upon this as a way to finally go after casual copiers.

You rant avoids the idea that this was not a case about fair use. This was a case about P2P filesharing, which even in my anti-industry view does not fall under fair use in any way shape or form.
Posted by skeptik (590 comments )
Link Flag
Agree 100%
I'm with you on every thing that you stated.

There's a bunch of stuff I have bought multiple times due to loss, or damage. Cassettes were the worse back in the 80s. I had a ton of them get eaten alive in whatever deck they were in. I still see tapes thrown out on the side of the street, unraveled with 50 yards of it's inner guts.

CDs get scratched or cracked and as a consumer, you should have the right to make a copy of that and use the copy while leaving the original safely tucked away.

I'm a huge Radiohead and NIN fan so this recent news pertaining to them is ecstatic.

I think I am on my 5th copy of Pink Floyd's THE WALL. This time it's ripped in MP3 V0 and FLAC so if it's lost, it's not gone for good.
Posted by SeizeCTRL (1333 comments )
Link Flag
Don't forget about....
don't forget how they've tried forcing net radio out of business by imposing taxes that even over-the-air stations don't need to pay. They would like to continue shoving their shallow, mass-produced crap down our throats.

we're watching the death throes of a dinosaur here folks. Take notes.
Posted by Wickedashtray (44 comments )
Link Flag
What Case
"In all the talk about the RIAA beating up on Thomas, Lamy wanted people to know that the RIAA doesn't choose any of the people it files suits against. There is no way for the RIAA to know anything about the people it files lawsuits against, Lamy said.

"We know someone was using a computer and IP address to distribute songs. We know information like the time they used it but we don't know anything about that person." I realize the burden of proof is much lower in civil court but doesn't the above statements pretty much prove there was never a case against this woman? I wonder what was said in court.
Posted by theworminator (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
they don't need a strong case
Unfortunately at this time, legal precedent says that as the owner (leased from your ISP) of an IP and computer, you're responsible.
Much the same as if you own an automobile and your son takes it out and kills someone in an accident: you can be party to the civil lawsuit.
Posted by skeptik (590 comments )
Link Flag
Bad Law...
I doubt very seriously that this case will stand, simply because of the fact this issue has never been litigated, so there is no precedent. The jury instructions were made up especially for this case, (jury instructions are, generally, the same for each type of tort claim, seldom is anything new used without a fuss about it). The RIAA, essentially, got the court to give a jury instruction that fit the facts - in other words, to define what the defendant did as a tort, rather than staying with with established law.

To me, this is another act of the desperation by a dying dinosaur. The current political climate has allowed the RIAA, MPAA, et cetera to write the law as they saw fit. Often this is in direct conflict with previous statutory and case law. Hopefully, the appellate courts will see this and throw this turkey out.

There is no existing law that says that an IP address is the same as a person. Most systems use DHCP or dynamic IP addressing and it would be impossible to associate a particular IP address with a particular person. The trial court didn't see this, but I think the appellate court will.

As has been pointed out several times here, the RIAAs position on file sharing is so incredibly vague and ambiguous that it is meaningless. Appellate courts don't like vague and ambiguous laws.

BTW, the standard for evidence in civil trials is "preponderance" of evidence - 51%. This is a much easier standard to meet than "beyond a reasonable doubt" in criminal cases.
Posted by MTGrizzly (353 comments )
Link Flag
Tell The RIAA That You Hate Them!
Here are a few things that you can do to help.

1.) Jinx.com sells Anti RIAA T-Shirts. Everyone who owns an iPod
should also wear Anti RIAA clothing. Wouldn't it be great to see
kids on MTV sporting this swag? Post if you know of other
companies that sell Anti RIAA merchandise.

2.) If you code, participate in a DRM-cracking community.

3.) If you don't code, contact your local newspaper and write an
editorial.

4.) Everyone, tell your local music store managers that you are
not buying RIAA Member music and why.

IS THERE GOING TO BE A PROTEST RALLY DURING THE APPEAL
PROCESS?

IF YOU HAVE ADDITIONAL IDEAS PLEASE POST!
Posted by systemlag.com (6 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Another Protest Form
to avoid criminal prosecution -- as i myself have been sued in federal court for copyright violation (12 counts for $50,000) -- simply do the following: go to your local public library. download as many files as you can to their system. allow RIAA to sue and close down your local libraries. this will give everyone a clue to what is coming and planned by RIAA, MPAA and the like -- you rent intel 'property' but never own them. in short, you rent your freedoms, too, because they are, after all, only intellectual property rights, not inalienable rights. it is too late. shop wal-mart guilt-free. resistance is futile.
Posted by Damned_Liberal (13 comments )
Link Flag
RIAA
Lets all stop buying CDs, MP3s, and music from iTunes for a few days or weeks if possible.
That will send a clearer message to the RIAA than anything else.
And we don't have to stop listening to music either.
There are hundreds of ways to get free of charge the same music we have been purchasing.
Posted by mortega98 (4 comments )
Link Flag
Clearly jury is stupid!
if the hard drive in question never has Kazaa then the jury is stupid as hell. I would say her biggest mistake was handing over the drive in question.

So I can sue anyone for anything and get away with it with no proof of wrong doing?

In cases before this it was proving that RIAA has paid people to hack into people computer. It is so easy to fake an IP address who to say the hire hackers didn't do it?
Posted by Randall Lind (29 comments )
Reply Link Flag
But..
"In cases before this it was proving that RIAA has paid people to hack into people computer. It is so easy to fake an IP address who to say the hire hackers didn't do it?"

But they didn't prove that her IP address was "hacked". So therefore they have to take it as being the real deal, and used by her to download the music.

I hate how everyone is saying that IP addresses are easy to "hack". You can't just up and do it *easily* despite claims from those uneducated enough to actually do so, but claim that they can at the flick of the wrist.

I doubt anyone really spoofed her public IP address, and I doubt anyone would go to the trouble of routing their music downloads through her computer (acting as a proxy of sorts I suppose) to get their content. Why bother? Why go to the trouble?

It doesn't make sense. She used Kazaa, she's lying, and she uninstalled it before handing over evidence that could prove that she did it. Seems the most logical course to me.
Posted by brass2themax (31 comments )
Link Flag
"Made available"
I think one could argue that the record companies themselves made the tracks "available" the moment they made the tracks digital. I've never heard of anyone file-sharing vinyl....and didn't some of the folks that are RIAA members invent the digital format in the first place? Don't some of these companies make hardware designed specificly for ripping and copying (ahem..Sony)?
I think the dude in the article hit the nail on the head...this will end when an artist has the balls to sue RIAA for not protecting their rights.
Posted by cidman2001 (223 comments )
Reply Link Flag
I think you are totally on the right track
What people think, is society is a certain way...and thats it, deal with it.

Baulderdash. The internet was built with certain goals in mind. Now the RIAA has certain goals in mind. All they can think about is to sue 12 year old girls and single moms 'because they have no choice.'

Wrong! They could, all along, develop a system that works better for this issue. (not saying there is any way to stop someone from playing a song into the air and re-recording it via a microphone)...but within reason the music distribution system can be completely different.

The internet is very unsecure, now...but those who could change that, aren't the one's being sued.

The system is broken, and the RIAA doesn't have a clue what to do, or what is effective. Maybe they are hoping if they harm enough little girls that will drive Congress to fix the real issue.

Maybe...but they are some pragmatic sob's if that is the case.
Posted by rdupuy11 (908 comments )
Link Flag
Oh No!! I'm in trouble now
I turned up the volume too loud and I "made available" the sound from the speakers to my neighbors. Omg! They're comming to take me away... oh, ho... they're comming to take me away... ah ha...
Posted by Seaspray0 (9714 comments )
Link Flag
RIAA
sad to say: it's a sue anyone nation.
Posted by kerdalst (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
RIAA Hahahah
Okay. On top of their supercilious hypocritically self righteous "victory", the RIAA has to deal with the Radiohead Hydrogen bomb. In the UK, Oasis and Jamiraquai and in the US, Nine Inch Nails have all followed suit in defying record label slavery. Yes, it has been confirmed that Radiohead will eventually release a physical cd version of their album. But the traditionally primary release of a physical disc has been replaced by downloads (not just of tracks but the entire album) and reduced to a less exciting secondary afterthought for the more conventional masses .

Right now, the RIAA is in a crumbling building. Record executive themselves are saying that the old model is outmoded, that it is time to embrace the digital age. One estimate is that 95 percent of music downloaded is illegal. Well, that would mean that the RIAA would have to sue 95 percent of the people who listen to digital music then. Good luck. NOT.
Posted by gestaltent (5 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Are You Kidding Me??
Everyone knows that what she did is illegal. It's been illegal for years. She should stop everything and just own up to her mistake. What kind of example is she setting to her kid(s)? That if you do something illegal, just cry and sue them back?? She needs to grow up. People need to stop donating money to her stupid website. She could've just paid the $24 or so it would've cost on iTunes to get a legit copy...
Posted by iheartmonday (9 comments )
Reply Link Flag
You've got it all wrong
....downloading is not illegal, UPLOADING is. She's not being
sued for downloading music--she's being sued for sharing it.
She may have owned the music already; we have no way of
knowing.

The law (DMCA) is such that you can download all you want and
it is technically legal; but if you share even one track on line the
RIAA can come after you with the full force of the law. Many
who get caught in this trap are not even aware that they are
sharing--it is the default setting on Kazaa and other such
programs. You have to be a bit tech-savvy to change the
settings, and most of the folks being sued are not.
Posted by lubaluba (2 comments )
Link Flag
punishment fits crime?
All the same, if you got a speeding ticket in Podunk, Iowa and the fine turned out to be $220,000 for 10mph over, I suspect you would have a very different attitude.
According to this article she was found guilty of sharing 24 songs. (Though it also mentions she was accused of sharing 1700, so I'm not sure what's real.)
Posted by skeptik (590 comments )
Link Flag
Hypocrites?
What I don't understand is all these big companies, such as Sony are so much against P2P and filesharing, etc...

Yet you can go down to the average "Buy More" and get a stack of 100 DVD-R's or CD-R's and burn til your hearts content at home. Not to mention the device used to do the copying/burning is usually designed and manufactured by the same company.

What else are these blank DVD/C-R's supposed to be used for if not to burn tracks and movies that people have copied???

It is like these big corporations are trying to have their cake and eat it too. They are saying "Don't do this... but here, have all the technology and devices at your disposal that are only used for that specific purpose."

Like saying, "don't smoke marijuana" while handing you a joint.
Posted by wiles01 (4 comments )
Reply Link Flag
The unintelligent speak...
When I see comments like this : "What else are these blank DVD/C-R's supposed to be used for if not to burn tracks and movies that people have copied???"

Its easy to determine that we live in the decline of the American civilization.

This woman has lied and is trying to make herself a martyr. Dick Durbin is using this as a way to get votes. (Sen Durbin, you've already lost my vote ...)

Lets get real. She broke the law. While Kazaa may have legitimate purposes, it takes a concious act to make works available via Kazaa to the public. Knowingly placing copyrighted works that you don't own the copyright to means that you knowingly broke the law.

Why such steep fines? Simple. Its a deterrent. How many of you have done what she did and haven't been caught?

But back to the quote from the poster wiles01.

I do burn DVDs. Oh, not the movies that you rent from video stores. I burn back ups of portions of my hard drive so that in case of an emergency I have those documents available.

I also burn training videos for my wife's company.
(Internal training that they produced for their sales associates.)

I've also burned DVDs of my photos that I've taken at friends' weddings, and our trip to South Africa.

So you see, there are legitimate uses for DVD burners, just as there were legitimate uses for the VCR. (But that's probably before your time.)

Don't make this woman a martyr because her hands aren't clean. "Hacker-X again..." oh please.
Posted by dargon19888 (412 comments )
Link Flag
um, legitimate uses?
OK, so we know what you do with all your blank media, but there are far more legitimate, legal uses for blank media than illegal ones.
But fear not, if the RIAA/MPAA had their way, you would not have the ability to do this because any recording device (starting way back with the VCR) would be illegal to own or operate. So don't encourage them.
Posted by skeptik (590 comments )
Link Flag
Fatalism becomes you, RIAA
I like the defense the RIAA puts forward for their actions in the article: what else can they do?

Indeed, what else can you do but assume the worst of your customers, treating them like pirates before they've even shown themselves as such, and then proceed to sue them for more money than they ever would have individually given or taken from you, combined.

Want to prevent the artists from tanning your hides? How about taking action to update your business models so that customers who are willing to engage in a legitimate, good-faith exchange of goods aren't increasingly put off by the shackles you attempt to put on fair use.

The best way to protect copyright is to ensure that the **products** you produce from it are attractive to a wide range of customers. Copyright doesn't entitle you to anything if you aren't making it into a product that people would actually buy.
Posted by purpleLightning (87 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Where the money is at for the artest.
Ask almost any musician where they make their money and everyone I have asked (including some fairly well known ones in rock and country music) and they will tell you that the majority of their money is from concerts, not records.

They way they make their money is by selling seats to their shows. Anything that can be done to sell those tickets is worth it to them, record sales is small in comparison. Record sales is simply a way to advertise for concerts.

In the say of file sharing, one of the best things that can be done is to let people sample their music for free. This lets people be introduced to their product with much easier than if they are required to spend $15-18 to purchase it.

Besides, didn't CNet report on a study done a couple years back that found that people who fileshare spend more money on average to purchase music than those that don't?
Posted by startiger (50 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Ask the average poster...
whether or not is right to break the law and they'll say sure why not.

The truth is that the music industry is a bit more complex than making records vs concerts.

You need to make records that get air time so that you can get people to your concerts where you make the most of your money.

No records, no audience, no money. Sure you can attract the groupies and make a local name for yourself, but its the CD that gets you your audience.

If you're suggesting go indie and put your work on your website or make it freely available? That might work. But now you're one of a million garage band dreamers who never get the massive audience that they crave.

What is amazing is that no one has talked about how fair use is getting trampled upon by the RIAA. Instead you focus on a woman who made a mistake of fighting it

You want to try your theory out, find an unknown band, record a music video and put it on U-toob. ;-) Let see how many concert goers they attract.
Posted by dargon19888 (412 comments )
Link Flag
Money
Many artists have said as much in articles they've written
recently; Courtney Love had a long piece at Salon which
explained the workings of the record industry, and Janis Ian had
a lot of information at her site.

With the exception of Metallica, who are the RIAA's best friends,
most artists don't like this RIAA crusade. As noted, they make
very little money from CD sales anyway, and, if they are
industry-owned, next to nothing from legal downloads either.
They make their money from concert tickets and gear.

The recording industry, in its infinite wisdom, is now also
cracking down on over the air and internet radio stations,
demanding payment for the playing of their music. Stupid,
stupid, stupid--how else do they expect their artists to get
exposure?

If you want to support an artist, go see their show or buy a T-
shirt.
Posted by lubaluba (2 comments )
Link Flag
Let us all reply to their message with a message of our own.
Everyone STOP buying the CDs, DVDs, LPs... of the RIAA members for even just four months starting in NOVEMBER and especially through the Christmas season.
Posted by ClaudeCJ (5 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Hear, hear!!
Damn right!
Posted by tersue1 (4 comments )
Link Flag
I'd help ifI could ...
... but I stopped buying CDs, tapes and vinyl several years ago when this RIAA bullying started. I make do with the radio and the stuff I already have. If everyone were like this, the RIAA and entire music industry would have gone down the tubes years ago.
Posted by maniac42 (31 comments )
Link Flag
Who paid off the author of this article?
Funny, every major music label pull out of the recent RIAA lawsuit and urged the RIAA to DROP THE SUIT and walk away, yet the RIAA continued with it anyway... yet the author of this article says that the RIAA had "no choice" but to pursue the case. Hmm, when the members of your organization say DROP IT and you CONTINUE, I think that speaks volumes for the egos of those in charge at the RIAA.
Posted by partytildawn-20159620461052270 (38 comments )
Reply Link Flag
The "chosen people"
...who else do you think?
Posted by Wickedashtray (44 comments )
Link Flag
I hope the RIAA wins.
Next thing people are going to say is "I bet he works for the RIAA!" OMG! Well, sorry, I don't.

I want the RIAA to win though. Why? Not because I'm against file-sharing. Not because I think the RIAA is "right" to pummel a single mom with legal fees she can't pay, but because: I'm sick of everyone on the Internet looking to a sob-story and taking the side of the "little guy" for the sole reason that they happen to be on the low-income side of society.

If it was a rich guy would could afford these fees, would anyone have cared *just as much* about who will win this case? Because it's a single mom on low-income, everyone jumps to her side, which I guess is expected, but nonetheless, it clouds the view of the overall case. It becomes about the "bad guys" (the RIAA) picking on the little guy, but it's really about the RIAA getting after *just another P2P user*. But people can't see it that way for some reason. Sympathy always comes first.

I'm against the RIAA just as much as the next guy, but focus on the facts people, don't just support her because she has two kids and makes less than $40,000 a year. Support her for the right reasons, if you can find any.

As for the site that was set up for donations, I'm not donating because I have my own bills to pay. She got into this mess one way or another, so she can get herself out. The world doesn't owe her anything, and her *cutesy little speech* about how "this isn't about me anymore, I'm not alone" has worked wonders on all of you people and brought you about to donate to her.

Can someone donate some money to me? I don't happen to have enough at the moment because I spent it all, but I really want a new cellphone. Don't you feel bad for me? Please donate to me.
Posted by brass2themax (31 comments )
Reply Link Flag
I do feel bad for you; you're fairly ignorant
Are you for real???
Posted by tersue1 (4 comments )
Link Flag
ass2themax remains without a clue...
ass2themax the only thing anyone needs to donate to you would be a brain.

#1, if it were a rich guy, he'd have zero 'need' for free downloads, you moron.

#2, maybe the reason people can't see it YOUR way is because they actually have a shred of intelligence...whereas you're simply shredded.

#3, the RIAA was ostensibly set up to protect intellectual property and thereby stimulate creativity. But, in this and prior cases, the majority of the 'artists' being 'protected' have expressed their desire that the RIAA (an industry-backed, NON-profit org, after all) NOT prosecute these loyal customers! Obviously, in ignoring these pleas, the RIAA demonstrated yet again that they exist solely for the purpose of protecting CORPORATE profits, NOT the artistic content providers.

#4 This woman's defense centers on her claim that it was her I.P. address. NOT her computer, that was held accountable of the offense of making copyrighted material available. Somehow, in your omniscience, you've declared her guilty anyway, but that's easily attributable to the simple and obvious fact that you're an ass.

#5 The charge should NOT be for making the tunes available. The 'crime' does not exist until that availability is exercised by the recipient...even moreso, as there is no direct profit to the supplier...

We don't feel bad for you...SAD for you perhaps. It must be terribly difficult making your way through life as a moron....
Posted by 1stCyberian (10 comments )
Link Flag
This teaches no one anything
She can't afford to pay the settlement therefor who cares if she lost. She won't pay them anything anyway.

They would have had a better chance if they just finned her 10K instead of 222K.

A settlement like this just promotes downloading because everyone will realize that they are going for the big bucks which you don't have anyway so people will just represent themselves in court get a huge settlement and not have to bother paying.
Posted by Darthorious (18 comments )
Link Flag
And how would you feel...
You're driving down the highway at 56 mph in a 55mph zone while other cars pass you doing over 120 mph. The policeman pulls you over to give you a speeding ticket, search you car, and check your drivers licence, insurance, and registration. While he's doing this, cars continue to go by doing over 120 mph. Is the public being served properly this way?

Now, lets parallel this to what happened. The RIAA sues a working mom who makes $30,000 a year for making 24 songs available on the internet (didn't sell pirated material, just made the material available). The RIAA wins a judgement of $220,000. The pirates in china continue to SELL more than nine times pirated material than legal, amounting to billions in lost revenue. Hmmm...

Now can you understand why many are upset about this?
Posted by Seaspray0 (9714 comments )
Link Flag
RIAA Mafia
I think the RIAA execs are the ones who should be doing time for
strong arming the public.

Sharing of cassettes has been going on for years and so have CD's
too! And now iPods are another way for folks to enjoy music.

The RIAA is just a bunch of sour grape types, who want to rake in
as much profit as possible for themselves and not necessarily for
the creators of the music.
Posted by ricoyote (4 comments )
Reply Link Flag
you always have a choice
the RIAA could invest in technology, which is proven to solve the problem. Or they can continue to go after 12 year olds and single moms.

This strategy also has a history...it is unequivocably proven to not work at all.

It just somehow feels good to certain people...to attack and harm, it gives them a good feeling.

But its so ridiculous. Suing a group of people to 'send a message'...hasn't worked much in the history of time, not when the people you are sending a message to, truly aren't avid court watchers. That generally only works with certain legal sensitive audiences.

No, what does work is seeding so many bad songs, that paying 99 cents to go to a store to get the song seems quite appealing. What works is putting responsibility on ISPs to curb downloading...i.e. don't let these people do it in the first place.

Making it so appealing to kids, and then tryign to punish their parents after the fact, is the most assinine idea ever, and saying they have no choice, is beyond absurd.

They have many choices.
Posted by rdupuy11 (908 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Yes, but so does Jamie Thomas
She also has the choice not to let her kids download music (ie. Use admin priviledges to not allow her kids to install programs, which would prevent P2P programs from being installed as well).

She also has the choice, if it's her downloading the music, to refrain, and go and buy it instead.

Like you said, there are so many choices.
Posted by brass2themax (31 comments )
Link Flag
RIAA-lly?
downloading democracy ("would be a lot easier if i wuz a dictatorship"), downloading Katrina ("heckuva jee-awb, Bruh-ownie"), downloading Constitution ("i'm the decider!"), ad nauseum. RIAA is just RIAA-lly another form of W's capital gods vs. the sheeple. one sheep got sheared, but we all are taking a fleecing. save Uber Richies. but they too shall reap what they raped.
Posted by Damned_Liberal (13 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Poor, too rich people
How pathetic are these industry bloodsuckers who represent music companies and artists who already make way too much money against little people who have nearly none... sad.
Posted by tersue1 (4 comments )
Reply Link Flag
That's not entirely fair.
A lot of "rich people" are rich because they worked hard to get there. There are exceptions, but that's the truth most of the time.

Rich or poor, the laws still apply to everyone. Poor people should not be shielded, even if it sounds harsh.
Posted by brass2themax (31 comments )
Link Flag
JUST REMEMBER!
I am 20 years in the IT business, and I deal with this issue all the time.

If the ISP can report who did the crime, the ISP could have just blocked the crime in the first place.

If you can report on it, you can block it.

They won't admit that, they don't believe it, they don't want it to be true. Becauase part of their value proposition is for your low monthly bill, you get the world of the internet, for free.

But this is exactly what computers do best...if you can report on it, you can stop it.

PERIOD PERIOD PERIOD

That's how computers work. Any download that you can discover via ISP records, could have just been blocked at the ISP level. If they can record the action...they can stop the download from taking place.


Why should an ISP be the police force? BECAUSE PEOPLE RUN SOCIETY. We don't want the 'tempt and punish' game, to be run any longer.

Just stop making the downloads easy.
Posted by rdupuy11 (908 comments )
Reply Link Flag
SAVE Jammie Thomas
We're ALL sick of the BS. SAVE Jammie Thomas
Posted by dannie francis (5 comments )
Reply Link Flag
CMON guys ths is crap
Jammie Thomas did f all. get serious. digital music can be paid for and shared and protected to protect the artist (even the label). lets not take the legal BS to persecute a single person. Pirates are out there... go get them. leave Jammie Thomas alone.
Posted by dannie francis (5 comments )
Reply Link Flag
If it wasn't for pirates, digital downloads wouldn't exist
File swapping is the only form of competition for the big monopoly. RIAA is a joke. HAVE NO GUILT DOWNLOADING AND SHARING!!
Posted by bobby_brady (765 comments )
Reply Link Flag
So she did something wrong...
According to the law and the RIAA she broke the law. She made a mistake either out of not knowing better or just wanting something for nothing. Everyone makes mistakes though the penalties needs to be appropriate. 200 grand plus is so over blown it amounts to a sick financial rape by the RIAA and our understanding justice system.

APPEAL!
Posted by onlyauser (220 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Go Look Up The Law
The law clearly states that the fine is $200k plus and you could get up to 3 years in prison. She should've realized what she was dealing with before she did the crime. Also, if it were less of a fine, do you think it would be such a deterrent? Maybe after this case, people will think twice before illegally downloading.
Posted by iheartmonday (9 comments )
Link Flag
Stop Yer Cryin' Already!
Much is being made about the Jaimme Thomas case. Let?s do a little background on this. Originally the RIAA would attempt to rubber-stamp cases through the judicial system. They managed to get a few people to settle out of court. Then some judges decided the RIAA wasn?t really presenting enough information to actually prove the guilt of the people whey were after. The cases started getting thrown out of court.

The RIAA tried a new tack. This time the RIAA actually presented what is known in the legal profession as ?evidence? to this group of people called a ?jury? and this ?jury? weighed the ?evidence? and found without a ?reasonable doubt? that Ms. Thomas had been making ?copyrighted? music available to others to take (which violates ?copyright?). Sounds like a reasonable way to determine guilt or innocence. But wait, it isn?t. That is because the RIAA represents a bunch of multi-billion dollar entertainment conglomerates and Ms. Thomas is a single mother of two. There?s no way that Ms. Thomas should be found guilty. My bad.

Oh well, that?s a lost cause. Let?s look at something else. Why is it when the RIAA?s role on this is discussed, we refer to them as ?greedy,? but when we discuss the people who swap files, we call what they are doing ?file sharing?? No one seems to mind taking off the gloves when referring to the RIAA; let?s accord the sharers the same courtesy: they are ?stealers.? Thus, they engage in ?file stealing.? Let?s be honest. The main purpose of peer-to-peer networks is to steal copyrighted works. I hardly think there?s much traffic in Aunt Minnie?s ?Bodacious Brownies? recipe.

?But we?re on a righteous crusade to protest the way the recording industry pays the artist for their music!? people say in defense of their stealing. Seems to me the way you protest something like that is to not buy the music. But that means you do without the music, period. Although some would say music is an essential part of their lives, no one is going asphyxiate if they don?t have the latest song from Britney Spears (though same may if they do). The possession of the physical manifestation of music is a luxury. If you need to hear music so badly, listen to the radio, or go to concerts. And by the way, where was all this protesting back when vinyl was king and there were no PCs? And if it?s so awful for the artists, why do so many people seem so keen to make it in the music industry?

Let?s look a little deeper into this. I was at a dinner party when this discussion came up. One of the guests haughtily proclaimed that he was not going to support the record companies when the artist?s only income from the sale of a CD was one dollar. If this person was the only one stealing music, I guess it wouldn?t be such a big deal. And I just had to admire his taking a stand on the artist?s behalf. I?m sure the artist would love to know this fellow was taking the moral high ground in support of the artist?s right to a bigger cut. I bet we could cure cancer if we managed to harness the moral superiority of 1,000,000 such high minded souls. The aura alone would probably stop global warming, fix the hole in the ozone layer and maybe even bring peace to the Middle East. Never mind that these people have now left the artist $1,000,000 worse off?as long as they have their principles.

The issue of file stealing was taken on in a South Park episode. One of the characters who had downloaded a file and was subsequently busted by the RIAA was driven around by an RIAA spokesman to be shown the ?hardship? caused by his reckless behavior. The gist of the ?hardship? was that the musicians would not be able to afford some ridiculous extravagance or another.

But why shouldn?t the musicians have their ridiculous extravagances? We exist in an entertainment economy. Why is it people don?t begrudge paying increasingly larger sums to watch a transitory athletic event which provides outrageous salaries to athletes who, let?s face it, are playing a game, but they bristle at paying a much smaller price for something which they can use over and over? I guess it?s because people haven?t figured out how to steal the experience of being at a stadium. Maybe when the home theater experience gets good enough?

Another argument is, ?the record companies haven?t lowered the price of CDs since they first came out!? Again, you don?t like it, don?t buy it. It seems that if people stopped buying CDs due to price (and people weren?t stealing the music), maybe the prices would drop?simple supply and demand. But amid all this noise, has anyone noticed the price hasn?t gone up either? I remember back in 1986 a CD cost around $15 ? 16. Nowadays you go into a Best Buy and the price is roughly the same (if not one or two dollars less). If we take the Consumer Price Index into account, then the $15 CD of 1986 should have cost $27.59 in 2006 (Source: U.S. Dept. of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, using the CPI-U for the entire U.S. [ftp://ftp.bls.gov/pub/special.requests/cpi/cpiai.txt]).

What other industries (I?m including the film industry now) have the misfortune of having their product so easily stolen and on such a massive scale? If these industries have to act like ogres to protect their product, so be it. Obviously, many consumers cannot be trusted to be honest?surprisingly many. It makes me wonder what other products would be treated in this way were it so easy. I guess I?m glad more can?t be?an economy can?t survive if nobody pays for anything.

Sure it seems heavy handed for a behemoth like the record industry to take on a single mother with two kids. Maybe Ms. Thomas bought into the cult of entitlement that?s sprung up around file stealing. But, the RIAA did everything right here, legally and morally. I?m sure Ms. Thomas has heard the old saw, ?You pays your money and you takes your chances.? Looks like it didn?t pay off this time.
Posted by btcnet63 (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Civil case
I won't respond to the whole article because frankly I am lazy.

I mainly just want to say that this is a civil case, so your sarcasm is misplaced. She was not found without a ?reasonable doubt? to be "guilty". She was found liable. Kinda like how OJ Simpson was found liable for his wife's death, but not guilty.
Secondly, I think that if a more reasonable share was given to the artist instead of the measly 1 dollar per cd you seem to defend, people would want to buy the music off the shelf because they would know they actually were supporting the artist directly.
Posted by Smoothjedi (4 comments )
Link Flag
Did the PR person admit they don't know who is shareing?
"We know someone was using a computer and IP address to distribute songs. We know information like the time they used it but we don't know anything about that person."

Kinda sounds like all they really know is that a particular computer is being used to share not who it is, which I think contradicts what they said in the trial.
Posted by Spyers (9 comments )
Reply Link Flag
mac address matching
Well, I think when you can match to the mac address you can know who perpetrated the incident. The point they were trying to make is that although they knew someone in that house was sharing, the did not know if it was a 12 year old girl or a single mom or Abraham Lincoln resurrected and squatting at that address.
Posted by Smoothjedi (4 comments )
Link Flag
 

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