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CONTACT: Amy Smorodin
June 19, 2009
(202) 289-8928
Rule of Law Prevails in Capitol Records, Inc. v. Thomas
Thomas Sydnor Statement on Filesharing Verdict

WASHINGTON D.C. - The jury in Capitol Records, Inc v. Jammie Thomas has found the defendant liable for copyright infringement.  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:

The jury in Capitol Records v. Thomas upheld the rule of law and sent a message: copyright piracy is illegal and morally wrong.  Nor does the jury's award appear to be unconstitutionally excessive.   Legally acquiring a license to give copies of a song to potentially millions of KaZaA users might well have cost $80,000 per song.  Moreover, if the jury concluded that the defendant falsified her testimony, it could fairly seek to punish and deter such flagrant wrongdoing.

The verdict should also reminds us that responsible technologists and copyright owners must cooperate to ensure that distributors of piracy-software can no longer use single mothers as human shields to protect their business models.  Defendant Thomas' conduct strongly suggests that if copyright owners could have invoked a notice-and-takedown or graduated-response process, neither a lawsuit nor a verdict would have been necessary. 

Sydnor is available for comment. Please contact Amy Smorodin at

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