In his closing argument, an impassioned and even a bit angry Joe Sibley virtually conceded that Thomas-Rasset's computer was used to infringe more than 1,700 of the plaintiffs' copyrights via the Kazaa peer-to-peer network. But, said the defense attorney, of Houston's Camara & Sibley, the evidence at best only points to Thomas-Rasset's computer -- not to Thomas-Rasset herself. "The only evidence they have is that [her] computer did it," said Sibley. Concluding that Thomas-Rasset was the one who actually used Kazaa requires "a $3.6 million leap of faith," said Sibley, reaching that figure by multiplying the maximum permissible statutory damages of $150,000 per work by the 24 songs on which the labels are proceeding. Among Sibley's other main points:
- Thomas-Rasset doesn't steal music; she buys CDs.
- Thomas-Rasset's ex-boyfriend Justin Gervais or her then 8 and 10-year-old sons were the likeliest culprits.
- Other family members used the "tereastarr" user ID.
- Plaintiffs' argument about the date of the hard-drive swap is a "nitpick." Thomas-Rasset's original testimony that she had the hard drive replaced in 2004 was an honest mistake, not an effort to cover up her infringement.
- If the labels can sue Thomas-Rasset, they can sue any of you (the jury). "This could happen to any of us."
- The labels have pursued the case relentlessly, like "the Terminator." "She has suffered enough."
- The labels are trying to "ruin" the lives of Thomas-Rasset and her family; "Do not sentence her to a life of indebtedness."
Next up was Timothy Reynolds for the plaintiffs. Mild-mannered and methodical, Reynolds hammered home the points that the forsensic evidence of infringement on her computer was virtually uncontested, and that Thomas-Rasset's attempt to divert blame to her ex-boyfriend and kids was a desperate, last-minute ploy inconsistent with both her previous testimony and the facts. The ex-and-kids-did-it defense was "raised for the first time yesterday," said Reynolds, a partner at Holme, Robert & Owen in Boulder, Colorado. Thomas-Rasset's defense is based on "misdirection, accusation, and a brand new possibility," said Reynolds. "All fingers and all evidence point directly at Jammie Thomas." Other points:
- Ownership of the copyrights was uncontested.
- The conclusions of MediaSentry and Charter Communications witnesses, as well as plaintiffs' expert Dr. Douglas Jacobson, were essentially uncontested.
- Thomas-Rasset "controlled the computer; she was the administrator."
- Thomas-Rasset testfied she had "never seen Mr. Gervais listen to music on her computer, not one time, ever."
- The music in the "tereastarr" Kazaa shared folder included music she herself liked, including such non-mainstream acts at Lacuna Coil, Dream Theater, and Disturbed.
- Rasset-Thomas was no stranger to p2p; she had written a report about Napster while in college. Her testimony that she had never heard of Kazaa until this lawsuit thus lacks credibility. "This defendant knows about file-sharing. She knows that file-sharing is illegal."
- Thomas-Rasset's story about the "2004" hard-drive swap was no innocent mistake. Her ruse was only exposed when her expert "ratted her out" after he saw a sticker on the hard drive indicating that it was manufactured in January 2005.
- Plaintiffs are not asking for $3.6 million; "My clients have never demanded $3.6 million." Reynolds did not ask the jury to award a specific amount: "How much in damages is for you to decide. We leave this in your good hands."
- "Online copyright infringement has significant and real impact on the music industry and everyone in it."
- "The need for deterrence here is great."
The jury will deliberate until 5pm today, and be back at 9am tomorrow if necessary. And so we wait...