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Comment Re:"the Native American Minnesotan" (Score 1) 146

Why do we care that she's of tribal descent? Are we now saying tribal American's are exempt from copyright laws? I flatly refuse to redefine native they way the PC crowd does, if you were born in the US you are native. I happen to be of Cherokee linage as well, but that doesn't matter, I'm native because I was born here.

In this case, I personally believe that she was discriminated against by the jury, because she was a Native American. She was tried many many miles from where she lived and worked, and did not have a jury of her peers.

Comment Re:Question for NYCountryLawyer re illegal downloa (Score 2) 146

Was she really convicted of "illegal downloading?"

1. She wasn't "convicted" of anything; this wasn't a criminal case. She was found liable for copyright infringement by making copies through downloading, thus violating the record companies' exclusive reproduction rights.
2. She was also sued for "distributing" and "making available for distributing", but the judge threw out the "making available for distributing" claim, and there was no evidence offered of the "distributing" claim.

So yes, the only thing she was found liable for was downloading.

Comment Re:by my estimation (Score 1) 146

This case is Capitol vs Thomas, not RIAA vs Thomas. Capitol is a music publisher, and this case was about their works.

1. Capitol is but one of the plaintiffs.
2. The RIAA was in fact running the case, with the aid of the record company plaintiffs.
3. Capitol is a record company, not a music publisher.
4. The case was about the recordings of several different companies.

Submission + - Jammie Thomas takes constitutional argument to SCOTUS (

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes: "Jammie Thomas-Rasset, the Native American Minnesotan found by a jury to have downloaded 24 mp3 files of RIAA singles, has filed a petition for certioriari to the United States Supreme Court, arguing that the award of $220,000 in statutory damages is excessive, in violation of the Due Process Clause. Her petition (PDF) argued that the RIAA's litigation campaign was "extortion, not law", and pointed out that "[a]rbitrary statutory damages made the RIAA’s litigation campaign possible; in turn,that campaign has inspired copycats like the so-called Copyright Enforcement Group; the U.S. Copyright Group, which has already sued more than 20,000 individual movie downloaders; and Righthaven, which sued bloggers. This Court should grant certiorari to review this use of the federal courts as a scourge"."

Comment Re:First-to-file isn't a problem (Score 2) 183

Agreed. First-to-file is a bit of a misnomer. It's more like a first-inventor-to-file regime. If anything, the first-inventor-regime is actually more protective because it has an absolute novelty requirement. If someone else publishes before you file, you get nothing. You get no grace period over someone else publishing, using or marketing an invention -- you do get a grace period with respect to your own publication.

There is not going to be a rush to the patent office to file a patent on sex.

Comment Re:Good Lord (Score 1) 285

Thomas did not ruin the life of any of the involved corporation(s), nor did she ruin the life of any of their employees. It is simply not just to ruin her life in retaliation. That this goes on and is so widely considered legitimate is an example of our remaining barbarism.

I think most people, both in and out of the United States, see a result like this as absurd.

Comment Re:Piracy = theft? (Score 1) 285

Nearly 10k per song is just dumb. If a CD is 12 tracks and costs ~15 bucks, its a bit over $1 per song. So this is a 1000000% penalty. one million percent. Just insane, no way that isnt unconstitutional. The fines should be like 200, maybe 300% penalty, maybe even 1000% (10x). That's reasonable. The punishment must fit the crime and all that.

That's the issue all right. And I think the Court's decision is absurd.

Submission + - 8th Circuit upholds $220,000 verdict in Jammie Thomas case (

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes: "The US Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit has upheld the initial jury verdict in the case against Jammie Thomas, Capitol Records v. Jammie Thomas-Rasset, ruling that the award of $220,000, or $9250 per song, was not an unconstitutional violation of Due Process. The Court, in its 18-page decision (PDF), declined to reach the "making available" issue, for procedural reasons."

Submission + - Appeals court: You can infringe a patent even if you didn't do all the steps ( 1

reebmmm writes: In a much anticipated patent law case, an en banc panel of the Federal Circuit overturned existing law and came out in favor a new rule for indirect infringement: you can still be liable for infringing even if no single person does all the infringement.

This case consolidated two different cases involving internet patents. In McKesson v. Epic, a lower court found that Epic did not infringe a patent about a patient portal because one of the steps was performed by the patient accessing the portal. In Akamai v. Limelight, the lower court found that Limelight did not infringe because its customers, not the company itself, tagged content.

This is likely headed for the Supreme Court.

Comment No distribution here (Score 1) 312

I noticed some pro-RIAA posts saying that defendant was liable for distributing, not just downloading. This is simply not so. Distribution, within the meaning of the Copyright Act, requires a sale or other transfer of ownership, or a rental, lease or lending.... none of which occurred here. 17 USC 106(3)

Comment Re:My amicus curiae brief in this case (Score 1) 312

What is the State Farm/Gore test, and how is it conducted?

After the jury's verdict, if the judge finds the verdict for punitive or statutory damages to be out of all reasonable proportion to the actual economic harm sustained, it is supposed to reduce the verdict to a number that bears a reasonable proportion to the harm sustained. The Supreme Court noted that it will rarely be a number higher than 10x the actual damages. In finding the magic number, the court weighs various factors, such as the outrageousness of the defendant's conduct, etc. Regular copyright law also requires that copyright statutory damages bear some reasonable relationship to actual damages. In non-RIAA cases the courts usually sustained multiples of 2 to 4 times the actual damages.

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