The record industry is urging a federal court to let a copyright infringement verdict stand against Minnesota resident Jammie Thomas, MediaPost reports. Last year, a jury had found Thomas liable for copyright infringement for placing files in a Kazaa folder.
The report said that record labels are arguing that making music tracks available on peer-to-peer networks like Kazaa in itself constitutes copyright infringemen—otherwise they would not be able to protect themselves from piracy.
“Millions of people use services like Kazaa to make copyrighted works available for illegal downloading,” the record labels said in the report. “Copyright owners typically have no way to monitor—much less prove&mdashthe actual transfer of those files.”
As anti-DRM as we are, we have to agree with this one. We’re typically against the RIAA for suing individuals for stealing music, since it’s so hard to prove that any one person is responsible, and they end up suing homeless men and dead grandmothers as a result. Copy protection is also a mess that should have been dead and buried a long time ago. But if tracks are made available for free via P2P sites, that means that anyone can download them for free, which is a clear infringement. It’s a tough situation.