An attorney for the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) has suggested that the organisation should not have to provide proof of piracy in future trials.
MPAA attorney Marie L. van Uitert wrote in a filing in the case of Capitol Records versus Jammie Thomas (PDF) that the plaintiff should not have to provide evidence as it is often difficult to collect.
Thomas is accused of making 24 songs available to downloaders and is being sued for up to $150,000 per song.
"Mandating such proof could thus have the pernicious effect of depriving copyright owners of a practical remedy against massive copyright infringement in many instances," said van Uitert.
"It is often very difficult, and in some cases impossible, to provide such direct proof when confronting modern forms of copyright infringement, whether over P2P networks or otherwise.
"Understandably, copyright infringers typically do not keep records of their infringement."
Thomas has already been fined $220,000 for copyright infringement after the judge in the original case instructed the jury to accept the argument that storing songs in a shared folder was sufficient evidence of piracy.
The judge has since admitted that he may have made a mistake and has asked for more information.
"The specious 'making available' argument threatens to brand people as thieves when the evidence is not really there," said Michael Kwun, senior intellectual property attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
"We are pleased that the judge is taking a second look at this critical question."
Thomas's legal team is claiming that there is no case to answer as there is no evidence that anyone actually downloaded the music. The judge is now deciding whether or not to allow her leave to appeal.
The case was the first piracy action for music file sharing to come to trial. The win was seen as a major victory for media companies that would make future prosecutions a lot easier.
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