In a decision sure to please music and file sharing fans everywhere (and give Lars Ulrich a rash), the judge in the Jammie Thomas vs. the Recording Industry Assholes of America (RIAA-holes) tossed out the verdict that sentenced her to pay $222,000 for having mp3 music files on her computer uploaded through the infamous KaZaA software.
A federal judge dealt the Recording Industry Association of America and record labels a setback Wednesday by throwing out a $222,000 verdict against a mom who was convicted of illegally sharing music over the Internet.
U.S. District of Minnesota Chief Judge Michael Davis ordered a new trial for Jammie Thomas, saying the jury's punishment was "unprecedented and oppressive." Davis said that the term "distribution" does not apply to simply making music available. It requires actual dissemination, he said.
A jury convicted her of putting 24 songs on Kazaa's file-sharing network and ordered her to pay $9,250 per song.
24 songs at $9,250 per, which is "more than five hundred times the cost of buying 24 separate CDs"? This was a ridiculous case with an even more ridiculous verdict, and the overturned verdict is a crushing blow to the RIAA and its slimy lawyers, who no doubt wished to make an example of the Minnesota mother.
It couldn't happen to a nicer bunch of backwards-thinking, price-fixing, copyright-changing, money-grubbing assholes, who incidentally won the coveted Open Hockey Blog 2007 Dicktards Of The Year Award.
The website RIAA Radar is fantastic, and allows you to search for music acts and songs that are NOT affiliated with the RIAA, so you can purchase with a clear conscience knowing that your money is not lining their greedy pockets.
As a basic rule of thumb, most independent labels (Sub Pop, Merge) and indie rock bands are usually not part of the RIAA, whereas the big labels are (Sony, Geffen). Hence, the early albums by the Black Keys are not RIAA-affiliated ("Rubber Factory") where the newer ones are ("Magic Potion"). The site also has great charts (including an Indie Top 100 list) and is directly linked to the AMAZON.com store for purchasing discs and mp3s. Sure, most major artists are RIAA members, but you can find some decent new bands on here. I think I'll be buying that Robyn Hitchcock collection and Fleet Foxes EP I've been meaning to add to my mp3 collection. I already picked up Black Mountain's "In The Future".
SUCK IT, RIAA!