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"This data should be music to Napster's ears. It is very difficult to win a case by attempting to change jurors' preexisting attitudes."
—David Davis, VP, DecisionQuest

JURY TRIAL COULD HELP NAPSTER

Survey Shows Potential Jurors Believe In Free Downloads, Love At First Sight, Easter Bunny
Napster would have a good chance of survival if the RIAA's lawsuit against the file swapper were to be brought before a jury, according to a survey of the potential jury pool released Tuesday.

About 41.5% of 1,000 men and women over 18 years of age believe that taking copyrighted music off the Internet should be free if it's for personal use, according to a National Law Journal survey commissioned by DecisionQuest, Newsbytes reports.

Even though it isn't a majority, it is a big enough chunk to make prosecutors nervous, the site said.

"This data should be music to Napster's ears," said DecisionQuest VP David Davis in a statement. "It is very difficult to win a case by attempting to change jurors' preexisting attitudes. Add to this that judge's instructions are often ignored, and we have a scenario where the barrier to persuading a unanimous jury to find against an alleged Internet 'pirate' may be a note that is too high to reach."

The study found that while nearly 42% of those asked think taking copyrighted music off the Internet should be free if it's for personal use, only 19% believe it should be free for commercial use as well.

"If I were a lawyer representing a company whose copyright had been infringed, I'd be very worried after reading these results," said Patrick Oster, editor-in-chief of The National Law Journal. "I would have to rethink my chances of getting sizable damages, and seriously consider settlement."

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