Jury to decide fate of illegal file swapper

The case against Jammie Thomas, accused of illegally distributing 1702 music files using Kazaa, goes to the jury this Thursday.

The case against alleged illegal file swapper Jammie Thomas goes to the jury Thursday. Thomas is accused of illegally distributing 1702 music files using the service Kazaa by the Recording Industry Association of America. The trade association is suing Thomas in a Duluth, Minnesota federal court. Wednesday was the second day of testimony and prosecutors put Thomas on the stand.

Here are the highlights from Wednesday:

Thomas maintained that she never downloaded music from the Internet and that she owns CDs for all music tracks on her PC that she listens to. According to a report by the Duluth News Tribune she did however admit to using her PC to rip and burn copyrighted music for her friends, when asked by the plaintiff's attorney.

Much of the recording industry's case was focused on Thomas' hard drive at the time the alleged file sharing took place. Thomas, who uses the online moniker "Tereastarr" for e-mail and several other online accounts, could not explain why a folder investigators found on her PC for the Kazaa file sharing program was named "Tereeastarr's Kazaa" folder, according to Wired, which is covering the trial.

Additional questions were raised as to whether Thomas intentionally misled investigators when she said her hard drive had been replaced in 2004, when it was actually replaced in March of 2005. This is important because Thomas is being accused of illegally downloading and distributing digital audio files online on February 21, 2005.

Thomas acknowledges that she incorrectly stated the date the hard drive was replaced, according to an Associated Press report.

According to press reports, RIAA attorney Richard Gabriel also questioned Thomas on her views about file sharing. In a line of questions put to Thomas about her days as a college student, Thomas acknowledged writing a paper on the original Napster file-sharing program which she concluded, at the time, was not illegal.

Thomas's lawyer, Brian Toder, only briefly examined Thomas asking her to explain why so many songs were loaded onto her PC in a short period of time. Thomas explained and demonstrated using her old PC how easy and fast it was to rip music tracks to her PC. In a demonstration it took Thomas about 10 seconds to rip one track to her PC.

The time it took to rip a track was key piece of evidence for the attorney for the plaintiff. RIAA lawyers contended that digital music tracks believed to have been downloaded illegally from Kazaa were saved to Thomas' PC in time intervals of 15 seconds a piece. RIAA lawyers claimed that the only way music files could of been saved to her PC that quickly would have been via downloads from the Internet - not ripped from a PC.

According to news reports Gabriel dismissed the defense's courtroom demonstration of file ripping, stating that software used to demo how long it takes to rip a file was using more up-to-date software than what was available in 2005, when Thomas claims the files were copied from a CD.

Closing remarks were scheduled for Thursday morning.

RIAA is seeking damages in relation to 24 songs that it alleges were illegally downloaded and distributed over the Internet. Copyright law allows damages of US$750 to US$30,000 per infringement, or up to US$150,000.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Tom Spring

PC World
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?