Friday, October 19, 2007

Another view on Minnesota downloading case

I mentioned this case in Why juries make lawyers nervous.

The IP ADR Blog also wrote on this case under "B" is for Bully: Jean Valjean at the Music Store. In my earlier post, I used the case to show some of the vagaries of juries.

"A woman facing a $222,000 music-sharing verdict asked a judge Monday to overturn it.

Jurors in a case that six record companies brought against Jammie Thomas found that she violated the companies' copyrights by offering 24 songs over the Kazaa file-sharing network. They ordered Thomas, a mother of two who makes $36,000 a year, to pay the companies $222,000.

In a motion filed Monday, Thomas' attorney, Brian Toder, did not argue that she hadn't violated the copyrights. Instead, he said that because the songs could have been purchased online for about $24, the $222,000 verdict was disproportionate and amounted to punitive damages.
IPR ADR Blog summarizes some facts which some interest besides and beyond the point I made earlier. However, this post does make the point made in my earlier post:

Why the Jury Likely Made the Thomas Award So High

If you've been following this story, you don't have to do much guess work to believe the jury was likely punishing the defendant for lying to them on the witness stand. Although the defendant denied file-sharing on direct examination, documents produced at trial pretty well demonstrated that she was not telling the truth.