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Music File-Sharing Lawsuit Now In Jury's Hands

October 4, 2007

After two days of testimony and a morning of closing arguments, the filesharing download trial pitting most of the U.S. recording industry against accused filesharer Jammie Thomas is in the jury's hands.

Of 26,000 such suits filed beginning in 2003, the action against Thomas is the first to go to trial.

The record companies involved in the lawsuit are Sony BMG, Arista Records LLC, Interscope Records, UMG Recordings Inc., Capitol Records Inc. and Warner Bros. Records Inc.

The AP reports just before the case proceeded to closing arguments Thursday, U.S. District Judge Michael Davis ruled that the record companies did not have to prove that songs were actually transferred to other users for Thomas to be found liable. The act of making the files available would constitute copyright infringement, he said.

Some 26,000 lawsuits have been filed starting in 2003, but the case against Jammie Thomas, a mother of two from Brainerd, is the first to go to trial. Numerous other defendants have opted for a cash settlement instead- usually for around $3,000 or so.

RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) head Cary Sherman told the AP's Joshua Freed Wednesday evening that he's surprised it took this long for one of them to go to trial.

After four years, he said, "it's become business as usual, nobody really thinks about it. This case has put it back in the news. Win or lose, people will understand that we are out there trying to protect our rights."

Sounds like the RIAA is planning more such suits.

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