A variety of news sources report that the verdict in favor of the major music labels in the Thomas downloading case will be appealed. Declan McCullagh has a good analysis of why they won. Among his points:
3. "Making available." Jury Instruction 15 is more important. It says that the RIAA doesn't need to offer any evidence that rapacious Kazaa users actually downloaded songs from Thomas' computer. All they need to do is claim that Thomas left the songs in a publicly accessible directory where they could have been downloaded. Big difference.
This is not an outlier, by the way. A Pennsylvania judge came up with the same making-available-is-infringement conclusion in February. Marybeth Peters of the U.S. Copyright Office has argued that "making (a file) available for other users of a peer to peer network to download... constitutes an infringement of the exclusive distribution right, as well of the reproduction right." Judge Davis' interpretation of the law may not be the only one, but it's a defensible one. Here's his reasoning.