p2pnet news view RIAA | P2P:- As expected, Jammie Thomas-Rasett and her lawyers won’t be taking the bizarre Minnesota jury decision that she owes the obscenely rich record labels $1.92 million for sharing 24 songs, lying down.
From the beginning, she’s insisted she’ll stand firm to the very end, whatever that the end may be.
And now she, Kiwi Camara (left) and Joe Sibley, the Texas lawyers representing her, will appeal the decision.
“The recent judgment begs constitutionality questions to be answered,” she told me today, going on »»»
Will they be answered in my favor? I truly hope so because then every other person who has been targeted in the RIAA’s litigation campaign might have a better fighting chance.
I will admit this battle is wearing me rather thin, but I have to continue as I don’t know of anyone else to have ever reached this point, and we might help to establish a more fair set of laws in a new digital age.
I didn’t ask for this, it was thrust upon me by the RIAA and now they get to deal with the consequences of their extortion litigation tactics of using the law as a hammer to squish innocent bystanders in their war against everything new and not under their control.
Wish me luck.
Said Egan Orion in The Inquirer shortly after the ludicrous finding was made public »»»
Questions that didn’t come up in this trial include:
- whether the recording companies had valid copyrights to the tunes she was accused of having downloaded
- whether the RIAA’s ferrets at Media Sentry were licensed as private investigators
- what her own technical expert witness found
- whether the RIAA’s technical expert’s procedures and findings were sound
- what precisely were the legal elements of what she was alleged to have done and whether those were established by the plaintiffs, that is, actual “distribution” of copyrighted music files
- what facts the RIAA companies needed to establish in order to claim statutory as opposed to actual damages
That was a lot to leave off the table in such a trial, we would think.
Therefore, forget the courtroom theatre, including the RIAA cartel companies’ wailing that this defendant, at the time a single mother, somehow must pay penalties of nearly $2 million, and Thomas-Rasset’s performance as the defendant in the witness box where she showed her anguish at all of the one-sided proceedings against her.
No, this trial was merely the prologue for the real battle, which we believe will be played out in the appellate courts. Jammie Thomas-Rasset’s lawyers are, we think, playing a long game, and we’ll see how that all works out, over several more years.
Why was Jammie ordered to pay this huge penalty?
Because she’s alleged to have infringed the copyrights on 24 corporate music industry songs, and that they were each worth the absolutely ridiculous amount of $80,000 for a total of $1.92 million, here`s the play list »»»
Vanessa Williams – Save the best for last
Sheryl Crow – Run baby run
Reba McEntire – One honest heart
Janet Jackson – let`s wait awhile
Guns `n Roses – Welcome to the jungle
Guns `n Roses – November rain
Def Leppard – Pour some sugar on me
Bryan Adams – Somebody
Aerosmnith – Cryin
Warner Bros Records
Linkin Park – One step closer
Green Day – Basket case
Goo Goo Dolls – iris
No Doubt – Hella Good
No Doubt – Different people
No Doubt – Bathwater
Sarah McLaughlan – Building a mystery
Sarah McLaughlan – Possession
Sony BMG Music Entertainment
Gloria Estefan – Rhythm is gonna get you
Gloria Estefan – Here and we are
Gloria Estefan – coming out of the dark
Journey – Faithfully
Journey – Don`t stop believin
Destiny`s child – Bills, bills, bills
And number 24 on the list is Now and for ever by Richard Marx for Capitol Records, owned by EMI.
As a longtime professional songwriter, I have always objected to the practice of illegal downloading of music, Marx says in a public statement. I have also always, however, been sympathetic to the average music fan, who has been consistently financially abused by the greedy actions of major labels, he said, adding »»»
These labels, until recently, were responsible for the distribution of the majority of recorded music, and instead of nurturing the industry and doing their best to provide the highest quality of music to the fans, they predominantly chose to ream the consumer and fill their pockets.
So now we have a judgment in a case of illegal downloading, and it seems to me, especially in these extremely volatile economic times, that holding Ms. Thomas-Rasset accountable for the continuing daily actions of hundreds of thousands of people is, at best, misguided and at worst, farcical. Her accountability itself is not in question, but this show of force posing as judicial come-uppance is clearly abusive.
Ms. Thomas-Rasset, I think you got a raw deal, and I`m ashamed to have my name associated with this issue.
‘The RIAA is NOT owned by the Bg 4 labels!’
In Janury, in RIAA drops case against Michigan students, Vivendi Universal, EMI, Warner Music and Sony BMG`s RIAA was finally forced to fire MediaSentry, its inept `private investigator,` replacing it with Dtecnet, a Danish firm whose reputation is also less than sterling, said p2pnet, continuing »»»
The RIAA says it`s trying to get US ISPs to take over as Vivendi Universal, EMI, Warner Music and Sony BMG copyright enforcers in a ploy also picked up in other parts of the world, notably in the UK.
Leaving aside the question why it would even need yet another private eye if, as it claims, it`s going to halt its sue `em all marketing campaign, a p2pnet reader says we`re wrong to add pos `s` to the RIAA.
I would like to make it clear that thousands of record labels are members of the RIAA and that it is NOT owned by only four of them, as you wrongly state in every story in which the initials RIAA appear, s/he says, adding:
It is a trade organisation which acts for its members. It is not a subsidiary.
You`re welcome. But we beg to differ.
This comes up every now and then, as it did in the spring of 2008.
Here’s what I said back then »»»
Since I started running stories about the P2P file sharing travesty initiated by the major record labels, I`ve had four or five emails complaining about the fact I refer to the perpetrators as the Big 4, the organised music cartel/gang, and so on. And I had another yesterday complaining about that, and the pic I used for Maine students target RIAA `discovery` machine.
Check the pic out, but if you don`t want to be bothered, it features a flock of vultures with the caption, `RIAA legal staff mull tactics over lunch`.
Anyway, You are WRONG!!! – said the email among other things (more on that anon).
There are a lot more than 4 record labels in the RIAA and they don`t own it, they are only members of it.
Yes, there are a lot more then four companies listed as members but, To all intents and purposes, EMI (Britain), Vivendi Universal (France), Sony BMG (Japan and Germany) and Warner Music (US) are the only record labels in town, I wrote a while back, going on »»»
In much the same way Organized Crime is universally known as OC, p2pnet calls the Big 4 the Organized Music cartel.
Because what they say goes. Their demands dictate corporate policy and they`re principally responsible for instructing the many and various `trade` copyright enforcement units such as the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America), BPI (British Phonographic Industry), IFPI (International Federation of Phonographic Industry) and CRIA (Canadian Recording Industry Association of America).
Recording Industry vs The People has a list of the record labels which show up most often on the RIAA`s Frequent Plaintiff List.
They are: Arista; Atlantic; BMG; Capitol; Elektra; Fonovisa; Interscope; Lava; Loud; Maverick; Motown Priority; SONY; UMG; Virgin; and, Warner.
Separate companies. Right?
Nope. They`re part and parcel of the Big 4.
I did a by no means exhaustive search to see who owned them and here`s what I found:
* Arista is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sony BMG
* Atlantic is owned by the Warner Music Group
* BMG is the German half of the Sony BMG partnership
* Capitol is owned by EMI
* Elektra is owned by the Warner Music Group
* Interscope is owned by Vivendi`s Universal Music Group
* Lava is owned by owned by Warner Music Group
* Loud is owned by UMG
* Priority Records is owned by EMI
* Maverick is owned by the Warner Music Group
* Motown Priority is owned by Vivendi`s Universal Music Group
* SONY is the Japanese half of the Sony BMG partnership
* UMG is Vivendi`s Universal Music Group
* Virgin Music is owned by EMI
* Warner Music Group is Warner Music
Only Fonovisa Records, an American Spanish language label, has the slightest appearance of being separate from the Big 4.
It`d be interesting to know exactly how many other companies on the long RIAA list are associated directly or at a distance with one or other of the Big 4.
Meanwhile, to go back to the idea that the Big 4 are the only game in town, in January, Colorado`s Law Weekly ran an article on Richard `Rich` (he probably is by now) Gabriel, the Holme Roberts & Owen RIAA attack lawyer, says a link provided by a p2pnet reader.
Reproduced in full by HR&O, it extols Gabriel`s virtues in fulsome detail (I wouldn`t advise reading it on a full stomach).
It says, in part, Gabriel`s – and the Recording Industry Association of America`s – case against a Minnesota mother of two has been called one of the most publicized cases in U.S. patent law in 2007. It was the first [and is still the only] case to go to trial against a defendant accused of illegally downloading music on the Internet. The record companies claimed Jammie Thomas, 30, of Brainerd downloaded 1,702 songs to her computer from the music site Kazaa. The record labels then sent Thomas a letter with a settlement offer. But instead of settling for a nominal amount (typically $4,000), Thomas declined.
Four thousand dollars may be nominal to the multi-billion-dollar Big 4 and to Gabriel, who pulls $375 an hour, plus expenses and disbursements, for his labours of behalf of the organise music gang. But it most certainly isn`t nominal to Thomas or any of the other 30,000 also very ordinary RIAA victims, who include children as young as 12.
But to return to my thesis, me judice, the Big 4 are where it`s at and to all intents and purposes, they alone ultimately control what the various so-called corporate music industry trade associations say and do, and, using the likes of Richard `Rich` Gabriel [now 'iz onor] as their fronts, they alone are responsible for putting their own customers through hell, calling them criminals and thieves.
Gabriel serves as national counsel to the recording industry association, as well as the specific record companies involved in the lawsuit, including Capitol Records, Inc., Sony BMG, Arista, Interscope Records, Warner Bros. and UMG Recordings, Inc, says Law Weekly, from which I clipped a section of Chris Williams` excellent photo of Gabriel.
* Capitol = EMI
* Arista = Sony BMG
* Interscope Records = Universal Music Group
* Warner = Warner
Say no more.
Jon Newton – p2pnet
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