The first successful lawsuit by the RIAA has been thrown out by a U.S. District Judge in Duluth, Minnesota.
Judge Michael J. Davis determined he "erred in instructing jurors how to decide if" the defendant, 31-year-old Jammie Thomas, had violated the companies’ copyrights on songs she allegedly downloaded on the peer-to-peer network Kazaa. He added that she consequently deserves a new trial.
Consequently, the $222,000 verdict previously won by Vivendi SA’s Universal Music Group has been thrown out.
The judge also found the damages excessive.
The situation may now make it significantly more difficult for future cases on the part of the music companies. Lawyers who spoke with Davis earlier this year said it would set "an impossibly high-standard" for them to make their claims down the line.
This reporter spoke with Thomas in October 2007, who maintained her ground that she never set up a Kazaa account herself. Thomas claims that her username was forged, copied from various internet accounts she used the handle for, and that her IP address was forged as well.