Saturday, October 13, 2007

More on RIAA

A few days ago I posted a criticism of RIAA entitled "Music Nazis". Today from C|Net News (my favorite technology news site, BTW) I got a chance to read the more complete story on Jammie Thomas, the woman ordered to pay $220,000 in damages to RIAA for music downloads.

I'm not sure that Thomas is actually guilty of the charges against her, but that's beside the point. What is bothersome is that one of the jurors on her case is a self-admitted Internet moron illiterate who has never even bothered to try to get on the Internets.

Like the notorious case of Jule Amero from last summer, it's dangerous to have on your jury people who are complete idiots when it comes to technology. Even under the best of circumstances the opposing counsel can run rings around the poor jury members and convince the less-savvy among them that up is down, black is white and left is right. I've been on a jury and I could see it happening.

It becomes a problem if the jurors have no technical grounding in the subject matter. They are left to try to make a decision based on which attorney "sounds" better, or worse, which one had the better suit, or which one was "cuter" (I swear to god, that was one of the reasons put forth in the jury deliberation room).

I don't know how you would get around this, but I certainly wouldn't want my fate dependent on someone who was a complete moron.

Wait a minute, that's what we have now with Baby Doc in the White House...