Bad Day For The RIAA: Two High Profile Cases Go Against RIAA
from the judges-getting-things-right dept
Well, well, well. The RIAA is not having a particularly good week. In the Tanya Andersen case (where the RIAA sued an innocent person), the court has awarded Andersen $108,000 in legal fees from the RIAA. You may recall that the RIAA had protested having to pay legal fees, which the judge smacked down. Note that this is entirely separate from Andersen’s racketeering case against the RIAA.
However, the much bigger news concerns the infamous Jammie Thomas case. As you’ll recall, the RIAA won that case, even though it now admits that it said false things under oath. Much of that decision hinged on the fact that the court said that “making available” was infringement, which is the opposite of what many other courts have been saying. In fact, it turns out that it went against the binding precedent in a different case within the same circuit. The judge has now admitted that he may have committed a “manifest error of law” in his jury instructions, and it sounds like he’s going to order a new trial.
This is a big deal. The RIAA has been holding up the Thomas case over and over again as proof that (a) “making available” is infringement and (b) that courts will award huge fines for those caught file sharing. If that decision gets tossed out (not even by an appeals court, but by the judge who ruled in the first place), it will suddenly make the RIAA’s claims relating to that case disappear completely.