Jammie Thomas was already famous enough to gain a Wikipedia entry all for herself. Now that she basically won the second trial against the powerful lobby Recording Industry Against America (RIAA) for alleged filesharing of copyrighted songs (24 apparently), has become a legend. As such, stories on the blogs bounce back and fro, but you get also glimpses of her private life and personality according to whom writes the piece (does it matter if she is a single parent or maybe on the dole? Is she a pirate or a heroine?). The verdict is of historical proportion and might change the normative landscape of the music industry forever: the potential gain from infringement by individuals is access to free music, not the possibility of hundreds of thousands of dollars in profits, said the judge.
Rights holders could not insist on exploiting exclusive rights any more in the age of Last.fm and mesh-ups, and private file sharing shouldn’t be seen as an act of infringement. By the way, I’d better get all my boxes of CDs from my friend James and secure my iPod with a password, you never know…pirates are out there!