The Inquirer-Home

RIAA law-suit plan faltering

Avoiding jury trial
Tue Sep 11 2007, 15:31
THE RIAA seems to be desperately avoiding a jury trial in the piracy case of Virgin Records, et al v. Jammie Thomas.

According to Ars Technica, RIAA lawyers are asking the judge to rule that some matters are not in dispute. This will leave the jury left with little to rule on.

However there is a fair bit of dispute from the defendant about what the RIAA wants the judge to say. This includes that the record labels own the copyrights to the songs allegedly shared, that copyright registrations are in order and that the defendant was not authorised to copy or distribute the songs flagged by SafeNet, the RIAA's investigator.

In short this will take the guts out of the defendant's case.

Not surprisingly Thomas is fighting the motion, saying that the RIAA has given some flaky proof and the only way she can challenge it is under cross examination. They also need to prove that there is an act of infringement.

There is a lot to lose if the RIAA takes the case to court and loses. So far its policy has been to run away if it looks too close to trial.

If they lose, other defence briefs have a winning template to pull apart the RIAA's arguments. The RIAA has so far filed 20,000 lawsuits and not one has got to trial.

If the judge denies the RIAA's motion, then it will be interesting to see if Virgin Records, et al v. Jammie Thomas goes go to trial on October 1. µ


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