Last week, a jury that we are not a fan of awarded the RIAA $222,000 for 24 songs shared via Kazaa. The first RIAA lawsuit brought to trial, it sets a pretty lousy precedent and it's seen as a big ol' victory for the freedom-haters that rep the major labels. Jammie Thomas, the woman who lost the court battle, isn't done fighting yet, however: she's gonna appeal the decision.Her appeal is going to hinge on jury instruction no. 15, which told jurors that she could be found guilty even if it couldn't be proved that anyone actually downloaded the tracks she was sharing. Whether or not just making something available counts as distribution is a murky issue, one that doesn't have a clear precedent.
As Thomas so eloquently explains on her MySpace blog (sigh), her lawyer laid it all on the table in a CNN interview:
During the interview, he was asked what the next step is. I figured he would give the same answer I have given many, many times already in numerous interviews; "we're still strategizing about what our next options are." Standard lawyer speak if you will. But surprise, surprise, my attorney announced, on national television, with the RIAA watching I'm more than certain, we're going to appeal!!! That's right, you read that correctly: WE'RE GOING TO APPEAL!!! I could have kissed Batman when I heard that.
He explained how we're going to take the RIAA's theory of making available and appeal it. He also explained how if we win, this would stop the RIAA dead in their tracks!!! Every single suit they have brought has been based on this making available theory, and if we can win this appeal, they would actually have to prove a file was shared and by someone other than their own licensed agent (read MediaSentry).
It seems strange to me that her lawyer would announce that she's appealing on national TV without telling her first, but I guess Batman, Esq. is in control at this point, which seems like it's for the best. I guess. We'll keep you updated on the progress of Batman the lawyer and the MySpace blogger's quest to take down the RIAA as it happens. [Ars Technica]