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RIAA Downloading Trial Begins in Duluth, Minnesota


By: Spacelab Research Staff
This is what happens when you file lawsuits against 26,000 people. One of them is bound to take you on, no matter how much might be at stake in the lawsuit.

The first individual challenge to the RIAA's many P2P downloading legal 'challenges' has come to "face the music" in front of a judge in Duluth, Minnesota, as Jammie Thomas has taken up the RIAA's challenge on whether or not she or her children actually downloaded the music and whether or not it is even legal.

It's hard to believe that after all of these years, none of these cases have actually made it to court. I guess when you threaten to sue people for anywhere from $750 to $30,000 per song, you tend to scare people into submission. Most of us couldn't even afford to stand up to a lawsuit accusing us of downloading 100 songs at the low end of that range. It's no wonder most people settled out of court.

But not Jammie. She's looked the RIAA in the eye and decided to accept the first legal challenge to the end. It begs the question, why hasn't the RIAA strategy been to go for a couple of complete legal judgements rather than settling out of court with tens of thousands of people? A few actual legal decisions could go a long way as a legal precedent, and shut down any attempt to share music online. Maybe the RIAA is afraid to actually take it that far. It sounds like an empty strategy.

The RIAA has made the claim that SafeNet found 1,702 songs that Jammie had downloaded via the KaZaA file-sharing network. The suit focuses on 26 songs, seeking damages in the range of $1.2 million.

The outcome of this case will probably have a major impact on the way the future of RIAA litigation happens. Watch to see what happens, this could be big.


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