Nineteen students at George Washington University are about to become the next targets of the recording industry's wrath.
A federal judge in Washington, D.C., on October 11 approved subpoenas to uncover the identity of the 19 "John Does" listed as defendants by the Recording Industry Association of America.
U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly (best known for her role in the Microsoft antitrust trial) granted the RIAA's request to serve the university with an immediate subpoena.
She required that George Washington University to tell its students--or faculty or staff if they're the ones behind … Read more
Jammie Thomas, the Minnesota woman who was recently slapped with a $222,000 penalty for allegedly sharing music on the Kazaa network, is asking for a new trial.
Thomas' attorneys on Monday filed a motion asking for a new trial on grounds that the statutory damages that the jury awarded are excessive and therefore violate the U.S. Constitution's due process clause.
Alternatively, if U.S. District Judge Michael Davis refuses to grant Thomas a new trial, her attorneys have asked him to lower the damages to between zero dollars and $150. They cited an affidavit by analyst Aram Sinnreich … Read more
WASHINGTON--Prominent champions of tougher copyright enforcement from the entertainment, media and publishing industries took over a stately Capitol Hill caucus room on Thursday, staging an expo aimed at playing up the legal protections' importance to their livelihood.
The event was put on by the Copyright Alliance, which formed earlier this year to promote the "vital role" of copyright in the U.S. economy and job market, encourage inclusion of copyright protection requirements in trade agreements, urge tougher civil and criminal penalties for piracy, and dissuade any weakening of copyright law. Its 42 members include heavy hitters like the Recording Industry Association of America, the Association of American Publishers, the Motion Picture Association of America, Microsoft, Viacom, NBC Universal and Walt Disney.
Most of the major players had booths at Thursday's shindig, and some of their messages were hardly subtle.
The RIAA hung wrinkled T-shirts that read in bold print: "feed a musician, download legally."
Jammie Thomas is hard to rattle.
She doesn't raise her voice or get angry when a reporter asks her to read a story where she is called a "liar" by a member of the jury that found her guilty of copyright violations and ordered her to pay the recording industry $220,000 in damages.
She calmly reads the quotes by juror Michael Hegg that appeared Tuesday in a story by Wired.com. She then draws a bead on where Hegg said he is a father, former snowmobile racer and has never been on the Internet.
"I … Read more
One of the side issues of the Jammie Thomas controversy is whether someone may have steered her into taking on the recording industry.
The question came up last week shortly after Thomas was ordered by a federal jury to pay the record industry more than $220,000 for violating copyright law. Why would a 30-year-old mother of two, who makes $36,000 a year, want to go toe-to-toe with the recording industry, asks Chris Castle, an attorney, former music executive and owner of a small record label.
Castle, who routinely appears at conferences to debate the morality and legality of … Read more
The Minnesota woman who was slapped with a $222,000 penalty for "making available" songs on the Kazaa network is appealing her loss.
But can she actually win against the Recording Industry Association of America?
There's probably a 50-50 chance. On one hand, the RIAA has won some minor victories in the last few years with its "making available" arguments to expand copyright law beyond what it actually seems to say. Now that there's finally going to be some serious public and judicial scrutiny, however, the odds are closer to even.
(If the RIAA … Read more