RIAA Suits Up Against Jammie Thomas; Appeal Begins

A painful, multi-year battle between the recording industry and music fans continued this week.

The latest salvo comes from the RIAA, which is now appealing a recent decision to retry a case against Jammie Thomas.  That process is starting with a polite request, according to attorney Ray Beckerman, who noted that retrials are normally not subject to appeal.  “Normally, ‘interlocutory’ orders of that nature cannot be appealed,” Beckerman stated.

In the case of Capitol Records v. Thomas, a federal jury initially saddled Thomas with a $222,000 fine, though presiding US District Court judge Michael J. Davis ultimately reconsidered.  In September, Davis noted that initial jury instructions were based on whether Thomas made content available online, instead of actually downloading the content itself.

At first, the difference appears minute, though it raises important questions related to the investigatory techniques of the RIAA.  In its process, the RIAA induces a download from the defendant, instead of actually documenting an instance of independent downloading infringement.