Labels Win First P2P Consumer Trial
Twelve jurors in Minnesota decided unanimously this afternoon that single mother Jammie Thomas is liable for infringing 24 recordings she shared over peer-to-peer service Kazaa. The verdict for $222,0Twelve jurors in Minnesota decided unanimously this afternoon that single mother Jammie Thomas is liable for infringing 24 recordings she shared over peer-to-peer service Kazaa. The verdict for $222,000 came in the first trial held in a suit filed against a consumer by major labels for P2P file sharing.
"We welcome the jury's decision," the RIAA said in a statement. "The law here is clear, as are the consequences for breaking it. As with all our cases, we seek to resolve them quickly in a fair and reasonable manner. When the evidence is clear, we will continue to bring legal actions against those individuals who have broken the law. This program is important to securing a level playing field for legal online music services and helping ensure that record companies are able to invest in new bands of tomorrow."
Six labels sued for infringement of 24 recordings, a sample of the 1,702 audio files they claimed Thomas shared over Kazaa just after 11 p.m. ET on Feb. 21, 2005. The recordings included titles by Janet Jackson, Richard Marx, Journey, No Doubt, Green Day, Sarah McLachlan and Godsmack.
The labels claimed that on that night, their investigator, SafeNet, detected an individual using a specific IP address and the username tereastarr@kazaa to distribute 1,702 audio files in the individual's "shared" folder on her computer. Charter Communications was identified as the ISP associated with the IP address.
After the labels filed a "John Doe" lawsuit for copyright infringement, Charter responded to a subpoena, identifying Thomas as the subscriber on that day in February. The labels claimed that Thomas also used the tereastarr username for multiple purposes for many years.
Thomas denied that she was involved in any file sharing. The jury didn't believe her and awarded the labels $9,250 per recording, finding that Thomas willfully infringed the labels' recordings.