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CONTACT: Amy Smorodin
September 25, 2008
(202) 289-8928
Sydnor Statement on Overturn of Thomas Verdict

WASHINGTON D.C. - Last night, the jury verdict in Capitol Records, Inc v. Jammie Thomas was overturned. The following statement may be attributed to Tom Sydnor, Senior Fellow and Director of the Center for the Study of Digital Property at The Progress & Freedom Foundation:

"Yesterday, the Court in Capitol Records, Inc. v. Thomas concluded that if a KaZaA user shares two files—one encoding pornography and the other encoding a song—then she has "distributed" the pornography but has not "distributed" the song.

That conclusion makes no sense, and the reasoning needed to achieve it is both predictably and fatally flawed. Indeed, to reach this odd conclusion, the Court had to contradict itself repeatedly by adopting internally inconsistent interpretations of both statutory text and judicial precedents. The Court also had to hold that Congress and the President have, at least eight times, executed international obligations of the United States unreasonably or maliciously by concluding that our Copyright Act actually means what it words actually say. The Thomas Court, in other words, accuses multiple Congresses and Presidents of unreasonably executing the Treaty and Foreign Commerce Powers conferred upon them by the Constitution.

Such reasoning is unlikely to survive serious scrutiny. I hope that yesterday's decision in Thomas will be appealed and overturned."

Sydnor is available for comment. Please contact Amy Smorodin at 202-289-8928 or

The Progress & Freedom Foundation is a market-oriented think tank that studies the digital revolution and its implications for public policy. It is a 501(c)(3) research & educational organization.



The Progress & Freedom Foundation