Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Ars Technica: questions for Jammie Thomas

From Nate Anderson's day-two wrap-up:
Why was her hard drive story so wrong? Why had the drive been swapped out in the first place? Was she trying to deceive the recording industry?

Why was Thomas-Rasset's password-protected computer running KaZaA in February 2005, and with the "tereastarr" name, if she had not set up the software? And since no one else had the password, and since her kids were young and had a computer account of their own anyway, who might possibly have used a machine in her bedroom to share thousands of songs without her knowledge?

Good questions.... Read the whole thing.


  1. Good stuff, Ben. Please find out of if plaintiff's have any case at all if it turns out Jammie Thomas has/had in her possession CD's of the actual 24 songs. I mean, if I buy a CD, and instead of ripping it, I download the same exact songs for the purposes of my backup and listening pleasure, how is that different than ripping a CD for the same purposes? I mean, the actual act of sharing/uploading/downloading/making available is NOT illegal as far as I can tell. It only depends on what is being shared, and if I have legally paid the labels/artists/RIAA their money with a single CD purchase, why am I not entitled to get a backup of it however I see fit?

  2. I don't believe Thomas has ever contended that she legally purchased the 24 specific songs at issue.

  3. Good point...she is not saying that. However, I recently read that she had over 250 some CD's at the time of the infringement. I wonder if she and her defense team verified that none of the 24 songs were among them. Surely they thought of that. Would she have to provide a sales receipt for them to be proven hers? Anyway, just an interesting line of thought, to me.

  4. This leads to an interesting question I have been pondering. Let's say I own an LP, which doesn't have a CD version (or mp3 version for that matter). My copy is old and scratched. I find a merchant who has a "clean" copy of the album and sells that LP with a "backup CD" that contains the songs on the vinyl record. Essentially, the purchaser receives both the original LP and a digital transfer.

    Would this be fair use in your opinion? What are the legal issues?


Comments here are moderated. I appreciate substantive comments, whether or not they agree with what I've written. Stay on topic, and be civil. Comments that contain name-calling, personal attacks, or the like will be rejected. If you want to rant about how evil the RIAA and MPAA are, and how entertainment companies' employees and attorneys are bad people, there are plenty of other places for you to go.