Judge Grants New Trial in Music Piracy Case, Requires Proof of Copying
Posted Sep 25, 2008 9:47 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss
A federal judge in Minneapolis has granted a new trial for a woman ordered to pay $222,000 in damages for illegally sharing 24 copyrighted songs on Kazaa.
U.S. District Judge Michael Davis ruled he made an error when his jury instructions failed to require proof that the music was actually downloaded by others, the Associated Press reports.
The woman, Jammie Thomas, was found liable for copyright infringement last year in the first case to go trial in the record industry's campaign against Internet piracy. She said she expected the companies to appeal, and the issue will eventually be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Davis didn’t rule on an argument by Thomas’ lawyer that the damages were constitutionally excessive. But the judge did call on Congress to change the law to prevent excessive awards in similar cases.