is at first interesting given that the RIAA claimed it was giving up on litigation.But that is false, a classic straw-man. The RIAA never claimed that it was "giving up on litigation" (and Techdirt cites no evidence of such a claim). Rather, as the WSJ article that broke the story made clear, the RIAA simply announced that the record labels were winding down their "mass suits" (it's right in the headline) against individual p2p infringers. The article also specified that the labels were not even completely stopping all such lawsuits; they were "reserving the right to sue people who are particularly heavy file sharers," and said that the RIAA expected the lawsuits not to completely stop, but merely "to decline to a trickle."
Also, the WSJ article said nothing about the record labels' other litigation, i.e., suits where the defendants are not individual accused p2p users. There are several major such suits pending, including litigation against Usenet.com and Limewire, LLC (summary judgment briefs here). The labels have made no announcement that they will stop suing such infringement facilitators and inducers. Which again disproves Techdirt's false statement that "the RIAA claimed it was giving up on litigation."
Techdirt also cites Pariser's testimony at the 2007 Jammie Thomas trial in Minnesota and claims that "she was caught outright lying on the stand" because she was "claiming that making a single copy of a song from a CD for personal use is 'stealing.'"(Techdirt's words). (See page 130 of this transcript for the context of Pariser's testimony.) After Pariser's testimony, RIAA President Cary Sherman said,
It turns out that she had misheard the question. She thought that this was a question about illegal downloading when it was actually a question about ripping CDs. That is not the position of Sony BMG. That is not the position of that spokesperson. That is not the position of the industry.And Techdirt accepted (at least "somewhat") that explanation, saying:
This actually is somewhat believable, as the industry does believe that downloading a single copy is the equivalent of "stealing just one copy," (even if that's questionable in itself).But now Techdirt says that Pariser was "outright lying" -- which is a far cry from giving a question based on a "misheard" question. Techdirt leaves its abrupt shift unexplained. (And Techdirt falsely states Pariser testified as an "expert" witness at the Thomas trial; actually, she was testifying as a percipient witness, not an expert.)
As long as we're discussing who "lied" at the Thomas trial, let's keep in mind what the jurors themselves thought. From a Wired post-trial story:
No "mishearing" there.
During a 45-minute telephone interview, [juror Michael] Hegg said jurors found that Thomas' defense -- that she was the victim of a spoof -- was unbelievable.
"She should have settled out of court for a few thousand dollars," Hegg said. "Spoofing? We're thinking, 'Oh my God, you got to be kidding.' "
"She's a liar," added Hegg, who just returned home following his 14-hour night shift [as a steelworker].