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First RIAA Case Victim Finally Speaks Out 204

Posted by Zonk
from the bad-couple-of-years dept.
An anonymous reader writes with a link to an article at P2P Net about the very first victim of the RIAA's file-sharing litigation sweep. The site gave Jammie Thomas the chance to explain in her own words what the last two years have been like. She recounts her experiances with subpoenas, Best Buy, and most of all, stress. Even after all this time, her case is still in legal limbo: "As for what's next, my attorney filed a motion to have the verdict thrown out or to have the judgment reduced based on the constitutionality of the judgment. This is not an appeal, this is a post trial motion. We are currently waiting for the plaintiffs to file their response to our motion. The judge will not make a decision on that motion until after the plaintiffs have filed. The timeline for appeals is we have 30 days after the judge decides all post trial motions before we file any appeals ... I do know personally I cannot allow my case to end this way, with this judgment. My case will be used as a sledgehammer by the RIAA to force other people caught in the RIAA's driftnets to settle, even if they are or are not guilty of illegally sharing music online."
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First RIAA Case Victim Finally Speaks Out

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  • I'm glad... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Enderandrew (866215) <enderandrew@gmai l . com> on Saturday November 03, 2007 @05:30PM (#21226413) Homepage Journal
    I'm glad that this person is not thinking solely of themselves, but of further cases down the line. They are fighting on principle against the RIAA to help other people out.

    I wonder if people can donate to their legal fund?
    • Re:I'm glad... (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Seumas (6865) on Saturday November 03, 2007 @05:36PM (#21226459)
      No. This person was solely thinking of themselves and then decided to align themselves with an existing movement to gain support and assistance based solely on that association for further personal gain. This is a person damaging an existing sentiment and position by trying to make themselves "our" poster-child for being victimized. And because they are such a poor example of other real, legitimate victims in this arena, they have done nothing but deteriorate our position in the long run.
      • by Solder Fumes (797270) on Saturday November 03, 2007 @05:57PM (#21226609)
        Did she jump on the bandwagon, or are you a rat trying to leave a sinking ship?
    • I'm glad that this person is not thinking solely of themselves, but of further cases down the line.

      The jury left the box convinced she was a liar, and showed absolute contempt for her defense as a whole. The most she can expect to accomplish now is to minimize the damage.

      The one fact that can't be erased is that a jury found for The Big Bad Wolf and not Little Red Riding Hood. That should - but almost certainly won't - silence talk of Jury Nullification.

      The jury is small-C conservative. It believes in th

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Enderandrew (866215)
        She is a liar. If I recall she blamed a neighbor for leeching a wireless signal when she wasn't even using a wireless router. And personally I don't believe anyone is entitled or right for stealing products.

        However, she is a kid with no money. They aren't really going to be able to collect anything, and if parents are smart, they'd look into a good bankruptcy lawyer to protect what they can. Continuing to fight the case isn't about her, because she was wrong. However, that doesn't make the RIAA right.

        D
        • by westlake (615356)
          Did they obtain evidence legally? Did they entrap her? Have the RIAA used illegal tactics such as illegal file sharing themselves?

          You are thinking in terms of the criminal law.

          The RIAA is not a government agency. This was not a criminal trial.

          The instinct of a judge in a civil case is the pare the issues down to their bare essentials. He does not want to see "the big picture." He wants to bring a mercifully quick end to the dispute.

      • by jedidiah (1196)
        This isn't about "geek entitlement".

        This is about the "time fitting the crime".

        The "victim" can't even be bothered to present some guess as to what harm was done.

        • by westlake (615356)
          The "victim" can't even be bothered to present some guess as to what harm was done.

          You cannot take a guess into court. The rights holder doesn't have to take a guess into court. The rights holder can stand on his demand for statutory damages.

          But be careful what you ask for:

          Your rip of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows has been downloaded 20,000 times, according to estimates that are reliable enough to go before a jury.

          Do you want to chance being assessed civil damages based on retail list or the

  • by timmarhy (659436)
    please can you posters cut the retarded anti RIAA spin you put on EVERYTHING?

    she was NOT the "victim" of the RIAA, they were judged to be the victim of her actions if anything.

    • She's NOT a victim for having to pay $222,000 because she was "making available" 24 songs? Give me a break. The RIAA are THIEVES and murderers of family lives. They deserve utter and complete financial destruction. With fireworks if possible.
      • by wizardforce (1005805) on Saturday November 03, 2007 @05:46PM (#21226527) Journal
        Why do people keep supporting these F---s? Stop feeding their legal tirades; stop buying their music, stop copying their music. The last thing you want to do is make their music more popular. Support indie bands instead, put your money where your mouth is and hopefully that will help create a new music-based economy that isn't so draconian.
      • by numbski (515011) <numbski@hksil[ ].net ['ver' in gap]> on Saturday November 03, 2007 @06:01PM (#21226639) Homepage Journal
        Uh...you modded this flamebait? The parent is about as correct as correct gets. You feel it is appropriate to cast a person into financial ruin over what amounts to ~3*24MB of data? We'll call it 100MB for grins.

        Financial ruin for the rest of your days over 100MB. Fair? Not even close. $222,000. $2220/MB. Those had best have been some seriously good songs to be worth $6-7000 per song.

        The RIAA has been playing an extortion game all along. The settlement was probably not fair either, and anyone in their right minds knows that. No, what needs to happen is a large-scale act of civil disobedience (and in reality, that's already happening) and whether or not this one person gets things set straight or not could very well set the course for how this all plays out here in the US. I don't necessarily buy into the poster-child image, but anyone that the RIAA has come after for downloading can wear the title of "victim" and be correct in doing so IMHO. If you're not pressing CD's or running a large-scale piracy ring, they have no business coming after you. I don't care WHAT the law says. I wish I had the magic wand that fixed the fact that they aren, but I don't. :(
        • by Plutonite (999141)
          I RTFA and others to try and find out if this woman actually did try to SELL the music (not the kind of "piracy" I am guilty of on a daily basis) but I could find nothing. I don't know where the OP who are so against her are getting their info. Can anyone please confirm if she is being sued for downloading music or if it is a much more serious case of "real piracy"?

          In either case, a poor mother of 2 probably can't handle hundreds of thousands of dollars, even for trying to sell a few songs. There is no doub
          • by shark72 (702619)

            "I RTFA and others to try and find out if this woman actually did try to SELL the music (not the kind of "piracy" I am guilty of on a daily basis) but I could find nothing. I don't know where the OP who are so against her are getting their info. Can anyone please confirm if she is being sued for downloading music or if it is a much more serious case of "real piracy"?"

            You've misunderstood the relevant definition of the word "piracy." It's much more broad than you thought. E.g. dictionary.com:

            the unautho

            • by Plutonite (999141)
              You haven't answered my question. Did she or did she not attempt to sell the stuff as some people here appear to be claiming?
              • by shark72 (702619)
                Of course she didn't. I haven't seen any posts from anybody who claims that she did... can you point me to an example?
              • by Plutonite (999141)
                http://yro.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=349403&cid=21226667 [slashdot.org]

                There - he got modded up plenty when I first saw the comment (RIAA bandits moderating ./) . That has been fixed now. I do not disagree that what she did was illegal, but like another poster said - we need to start some heavy civil disobedience if this is what "legal" means to the courts. I don't even care if she did or did not download the fscking songs. She was using - in a non-commecial manner - information given freely to her. If this MAY hav
      • by westlake (615356)
        She's NOT a victim for having to pay $222,000 because she was "making available" 24 songs? Give me a break.

        The jury is never told the net worth of the parties - neither the defendant's to pay damages or the plaintiff's ability to absorb the loss.

        There is no way to know how many downloads can be traced back to her as a source. I am not sure I would want to billed - at 99 cents a track or $20 for the video - if that ever beomes possible.

        The jury applied the existing statutory formula for calculating dama

    • by hedwards (940851)
      You can't say that because she was found to be guilty that she committed the offense. People are falsely accused of civil offenses all the time, and people that should be in jail for criminal ones aren't.

      Juries don't have the power to compel somebody to go into the past and commit a crime so that their actions in all cases match up with a guilty verdict.

      The allegations that she deliberately destroyed evidence won't result in a second trial, because there is no evidence at all that she had destroyed any. The
      • The verdict may very well have been correct, but even in that case, there was no reason why the RIAA had to trash her life and drag out the proceedings to ruin her life.

        Sure there is, if you're not looking for redress of grievance but deterrent effect.
  • my attorney filed a motion to have the verdict thrown out or to have the judgment reduced based on the constitutionality of the judgment.

    That would be true, except that in this country the constitution is not so much a law, as it is a theory.
  • 20/20 Hindsight is always better. Some attorneys have a tendency to throw stuff at the wall and see what sticks. -- I think that destroys credibility. On the other hand, some attorneys do not introduce theories that make sense because they do not quite understand it.

  • What an odd way to spell Jamie. It reminds me of a song:

    Strap on that there jammie pac.
    Get a grip on your soul.
    Sip on that there family flask,
    And I'll guide you towards the door.
    She don't feed me in the mornin',
    And I can't take no more!
    So strap on that there jammie pac,
    And get up off my floor.
    Strap on that there jammie pac
    And slide a double dime my way.
    Dry off your distributor cap,
    And hip me to the game you play.
    She's jonesin' for a jammie
    With a girl that I call "Tammie",
    So strap on that there jammie pac,
    It

  • The issue of legality is one thing. As it stands, it is still illegal, and thus those who get caught should be held accountable to the law.

    However, how they should be held accountable is another thing altogether. These lawsuits are the only thing I can think of where the damage cost is in the thousands for an item marketed for under a dollar.

    It's like if you stole a pack of pens from Wally World. Not only were you charged for the price of the item, but were also charged the price of the pack for every poten
  • My concern here is that she was found liable with absolutely no technical proof, other than what the RIAA presented, because she couldn't afford an expert witness. When you get to the heart of the matter, if she is telling the truth that her hard drive was replaced two weeks after the alleged incident, by Best Buy, not by her own accord, then without that forensic piece of evidence, how can she be found innocent or guilty? This should have been thrown out. I say this because if she is honest and there was
    • by shark72 (702619)

      "This should have been thrown out. I say this because if she is honest and there was never Kazaa software or other p2p software on her machine, doesn't that automatically make her innocent?"

      You see, that's the thing: she wasn't honest. One of the things that nailed her was her use of the same "Tereastarr" username on all of her accounts, including the Kazaa account that was in use at her IP address.

      She also plays with words a bit. She states that Kazaa wasn't installed on her new hard drive. That's no

    • by westlake (615356)
      she couldn't afford an expert witness

      if you can't afford the expert witness

      and your gut tells you it will be suicidal to put your client on the stand wihout damn good back-up

      you settle out of court.

  • by jelton (513109) on Saturday November 03, 2007 @08:19PM (#21227571)
    Okay, time for a language lesson so that [some] of you might at least sound like you know what you are talking about.

    This was a civil trial, not a criminal trial. In civil trials:
    1. The parties are referred to as plaintiffs and the defendants. There is no prosecution.
    2. There is no finding of guilt, only of liability. Guilt is a term used in criminal trials
    3. There is no punishment, only damages. Punishment is a term used in criminal trials

    To sum up:
    • In criminal trials, the prosecution seeks a finding of guilt and, if found, the court then imposes a punishment.
    • In civil trials, the plaintiff seeks a finding of fault and, if found, the court imposes damages.

    When you mix these terms up you sound ignorant, like when your mother confuses the difference between USB and ethernet cables or your sister confuses the terms uploading and downloading.

    "Your mother" jokes to follow, I'm sure.
  • I don't have to worry because I have a policy of not lying in federal court.
  • by matria (157464)
    I had three boys and caught them on "inapropriate" BBS systems more than once, but I had the computer in the living room, right by the kitchen door. Every single "inappropriate" BBS I caught them connected to was being run by a schoolmate with a computer in his room. And believe me, they were pretty raunchy.

    Fast-forward to modern times. I have a divorced friend whose son lives with his single mom. Let's call the kid "Johnny". Johnny has a lot of after-school activities, plus his grandparents live a short di

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