CCIA Asks Court For New Trial In Copyright Distribution Case

BY CCIA Staff
June 20, 2008

The Computer & Communications Industry Association joined with several organizations today in urging a federal court to grant a new trial to Jammie Thomas, who was fined $222,000 in October 2007 for allegedly violating copyrights.

Thomas was found liable for unlawfully distributing music on a file sharing network, notwithstanding the lack of evidence that she had in fact done so. Her liability was based upon a startling jury instruction that the plaintiff record labels need not have proved that she actually distributed any music on the Internet to hold her liable for distributing music on the Internet.

“If this outcome were allowed to stand, it would set a dangerous precedent for copyright law,” said Ed Black, President & CEO of the Computer & Communications Industry Association. “Before you hold someone responsible for an offense, in this case distributing protected songs, it’s probably a good idea to prove they actually committed the offense.”

CCIA, along with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Public Knowledge, and the U.S. Internet Industry Association, did not take a position on the merits Thomas’s alleged liabilities and defenses. Instead, the brief argues that this jury instruction, which adopted the Plaintiffs’ so-called “making available” theory of infringement, had no basis in the Copyright Act and threatened innovative, legal e-commerce and Internet businesses.

Given the “extraordinary penalties that can follow from a finding of infringement” and the fact that “there is no need to allege or prove actual damage”, the brief argues that the jury instruction incorrectly expanded the scope of the distribution right, in a dangerous manner.

For Brief Click Here

Related Articles

CCIA Statement on the European Commission’s Copyright Guidelines

Jun 4, 2021

Brussels, BELGIUM — The European Commission today presented its long-awaited Guidance on the implementation of Article 17 of the Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market. EU Member States have to transpose the Directive into national law by 7th June. The following can be attributed to CCIA Senior Manager, Alex Maglione: “We encourage EU…

CCIA Reacts To European Parliament’s Digital Markets Act and Digital Services Act Reports

Jun 4, 2021

Brussels, BELGIUM — Two Members of the European Parliament have published their draft reports on respectively the Digital Markets Act (DMA) and on the Digital Services Act (DSA) proposals. The European Commission originally presented its legislative proposals in December 2020, which will now be discussed and amended by the European Parliament and the Council of…

Supreme Court Decides Landmark Google v. Oracle Case On Copyright, Interoperable Tech Products

Apr 5, 2021

Washington — The Supreme Court has issued its ruling in the Google v. Oracle copyright case, which has been litigated for more than a decade. The outcome, which has sweeping implications for the tech industry, means the reuse of certain program elements necessary for interoperability is fair use and not an infringement of copyright law.…