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RIAA file-sharing case goes to appeals court

Jammie Thomas was found guilty last week for downloading and sharing music files on the Internet. The Jury ordered her to pay $220,000 for copyright violations to the RIAA for sharing songs.

Thomas is set to appeal the guilty verdict.

Brian Toder, Thomas’ lawyer, said they are planning to appeal based on the federal jury’s findings that making songs available online violates copyright laws, not the person doing the file-sharing.

With this make-available theory, Thomas said that this move would stop the RIAA dead in their tracks with the approach. In other words, the RIAA would have to prove that a file was actually shared.

Making a song available for sharing doesn’t copyright laws, but a successful share that’s transmitted is. In other words, the RIAA would have to prove that the file was shared, not just on the Internet available to be shared.

This approach might be seen as splitting-hair.

Technology and the Internet have taken the job of music stores and record companies. These tools have provided home users the ability to get songs immediately without purchasing them.

The Internet has become the new promoter, record company, publisher, and distribution company, so to speak.