RIAA awarded $80,000 for each file-shared song

In her second, but almost certainly not final, trial, Jammie Thomas-Rasset (née Thomas) has now been ordered by a federal jury to pay $1.92 million to the RIAA for the 24 songs she is charged with sharing online. That comes out to $80,000 per track, considerably more than the $208.33 per track the RIAA, according to their legal summation at trial, had offered to let her off with in their original "pay or we sue" letter.

According to Wired, Thomas-Rasset (then simply Thomas) was ordered in her first trial to pay $222,000 (or $9,250 per song) by that trial's jury, but then a mistrial had been declared.

The RIAA has said that it has always wanted and continues to want to settle with Thomas-Rasset, as it has (technically) done with more than 30,000 people the industry pressure group has only threatened to sue over the years, but she has told Arstechnica that she will not be paying.

What are the songs now deemed to be worth $80,000 each by the federal jury?

Aerosmith: "Cryin'"
Bryan Adams: "Somebody"
Def Leppard: "Pour Some Sugar on Me"
Destiny's Child: "Bills, Bills, Bills"
Gloria Estefan: "Here We Are", "Coming Out of the Heart" and "Rhythm is Gonna Get You"
Goo Goo Dolls: "Iris"
Green Day: "Basket Case"
Guns N' Roses: "Welcome to the Jungle" and "November Rain"
Janet Jackson: "Let's What Awhile"
Journey: "Don't Stop Believing" and "Faithfully"
Linkin Park: "One Step Closer"
No Doubt: "Bathwater", "Hella Good" and "Different People"
Reba McEntire: "One Honest Heart"
Richard Marx: "Now and Forever"
Sara McLachlan: "Possession" and "Building a Mystery"
Sheryl Crow: "Run Baby Run"
Vanessa Williams: "Save the Best for Last"

American copyright law allows up to $150,000 to be awarded per song to those whose rights are abused. Many, though, feel this figure is extortionate and beyond anything remotely realistic.

The RIAA has said that it is ending its legal threats and lawsuits against consumers. However, it is very unlikely that this will be the end for Jammie Thomas-Rasset, as there will no doubt be a third trial. Like hundreds of others, her case is still "live" and will likely be so for some time to come.

Mike Masnik at TechDirt concludes that Thomas-Rasset should have settled some time ago and that "the RIAA [has been] handed a gift. A verdict that it can gloat about and misrepresent to its own advantages. What might be interesting is whether (for all the RIAA gloating) this ruling has a similar impact as The Pirate Bay victory had in Sweden--galvanizing people to support the Pirate Party. Somehow, the story isn't quite as compelling though."

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What's the point of suing someone for an amount they can never pay? Or asking someone to pay something you know they can't? They'll just run or end it. You wonder why America is currently in an economic slum.

Divide that amount by 100, maybe it'll be reasonable.

It's just a fear tactic, designed to stop the younger generation from doing something that they are never going to stop doing at this point. This whole case is a holdover from a time when the studios were still in denial. They know the horse has left the barn now.

So, they're trying new tactics, like CBS buying last.fm, just to kill it.

I would say her lawyer sucks big time... they convicted her on the pure basis that she had the same MAC address as the person who downloaded these files... like you can't change MAC address, and what if you have an unprotected wireless network because you don't know how to set a key on it and someone is using your wireless network do download music with your MAC address on the internet? I would but kick the lawyer right away...

I would love to see the RIAA headquarters get raided, burned to the ground, and **** on. Then go after the people who the RIAA has in their pockets. The American Music Revolution anyone? This country is in need of another one anyways.... seems about that time :).

if there are any artist that are on this site. this has just set a precedent, you no longer own your copyrights, the RIAA does.

thought you couldn't sue someone for copyright if you don't own it? this is what they did, they did not have the correct paperwork because they could not obtain it

and mediasentry is not licensed as a private investigator in MN, and the court let them use that also

the legal system in the country is getting screwed, yeah she did share mp3 files, but when she gets fined $1.92 million for 24 songs... on illegally obtained evidence? WTF

The judge threw out the "private investigator" argument.

Also, the RIAA companies have obtained the copyrights for all copyrightable material. It could be argued that this was under duress, since they own a monopoly (actual a cartel of 5 companies that own or control all distribution channels and who racketeer/price fix between themselves).

That's the real interesting factor here. The Senate just started touching on this with the big cell phone companies, regarding how they all jacked up the price of text messages (which cost them NOTHING btw) to the same price at the same time.

Since the cost of sending these messages did not go up and since not a one of them kept their prices low to compete against one another, this was a clear sign of anti-competitive practices, aka collusion/racketeering.

It sounds as though she deserved to be found guilty as she wasn't just sharing 24 songs it was 1000+ However fining an individual anything like that amount is plain stupid but, from what you read about cases in the US, it doesn't suprise me.

So what happens when an individual is told to pay $millions? Do they have their house and all assets taken and they pay for the rest of their life?

Many, though, feel this figure is extortionate and beyond anything remotely realistic.

that's the bottom line.

it's fricking music for christ sake. it's not like they stole lots of money from average joe's etc etc.

the sad thing is HOW would a jury actually allow that it goes against common sense. lol

p.s. could this person just file bankruptcy or something to avoid paying it? ... because there's NO WAY i would pay that much back it's just wrong and not even remotely close to 'fair'.

The instructions from the judge left them no room, unless they had the intellectual acumen to say NO. And most jurists are just average, older Americans. Most of them (like judges, for example) don't even have email yet.

Keep that in mind.

excalpius said,
The instructions from the judge left them no room, unless they had the intellectual acumen to say NO. And most jurists are just average, older Americans. Most of them (like judges, for example) don't even have email yet.

Keep that in mind.

good point... but still, fines like that? ... just don't make sense.

but basically it appears from what your saying that the judge just dont understand technology at all (and probably the Jury don't either?) and my guess is he's viewing that stuff like physically stealing something from a store which in my opinion downloading music is totally different from actually going to a store and stealing something.

Yes, the wheels of justice turn slow, but that's the constant battle between progress and regress. In this case, the younger generation represents progress (re: digital distribution of content), proceeding faster than the big 5 megacorps want to adapt. They represent regress (since they invented this horribly rigged at both ends system) and have done everything possible to stop or slow down this progress.

This is just one of their fear tactics, designed to stop what is clearly an inevitable and unstoppable tide.

Information *will* be freely accessible.

I read the same article with more details and it said she used Kazaa to share the songs.
Sooo in that case, she absolutely deserves it. It's been known for what... 10 years now that the govt tracks that.
If you don't know any better by now, then you have it coming.

On a side note, downloading is not illegal. Sharing is...

JHH said,
Aww, a thief got fined excessively, it's the end of civilization as we know it.

It may not be the end of civilaztion, but it should be the beginning of the end of copyright law as we know it. Current copyright laws and the the fines they impose we're obviously meant to be directed at huge companies not the average Joe. There needs to be a new law one which separates the single person from the corporation. Smaller fines for individuals should be set, not these absurd amounts that no average person could ever pay in a lifetime.

Mrs_Angel_D said,
It may not be the end of civilaztion, but it should be the beginning of the end of copyright law as we know it. Current copyright laws and the the fines they impose we're obviously meant to be directed at huge companies not the average Joe. There needs to be a new law one which separates the single person from the corporation. Smaller fines for individuals should be set, not these absurd amounts that no average person could ever pay in a lifetime.



The law as written addresses that concern. It allows fines between $750-$150,000. The jury decided she deserved a $80K fine so that's what they levied.

Which just happens to be the middle ground...

I guarantee there wasn't a jurist under 40 in this pool...ahem.

This is absurdly unjust...and everyone knows it.

Even the RIAA is unhappy with this. It's too high. It doesn't even pass the smell test with grandpa and grandma.

Self-publishing, independant artists get my money. They have for a long time now.

Music corporations and mainstream artists can both go to hell.

Yeah, Soulja-bouy with a pitchfork in his butt FTW!!

Did you know that in order to challenge the fact that most artists are going independent of the studios for just this reason, the big 5 studios have started signing artists like CRAZY...and then...NOT releasing their music!

Just to keep them off the market, removing them from competition from their own prepackaged boy bandz, the studios are paying big signing bonuses to new bands (filled with promises that are lies) and then never releasing their music.

It's beyond sick.

Mmmmmmmmmm..... no.
How do I know you're wrong? Simple: If this was a police state, you wouldn't have been allowed to post what you just did.

Erich said,
Any nation, where the RIAA is allowed to do this, should be defined as a corporate police state.


Humm... A country that has a legal system where the law was passed in an open manner like all laws... Where the court was comprised of a jury that were normal citizens judged the case... That is a police state?

Wow I wonder what you'll describe a democratic system as.

The jurists were given orders to obey the letter of the law.

And the lobbyists paid very good money to write this law.

The point is that this is not a law of the people, by the people, for the people.

It is an extreme and painfully obvious example of corporatism.

And, this absurd judgement is going to backfire on the RIAA something wonderful. 8)

Frazell Thomas said,
Humm... A country that has a legal system where the law was passed in an open manner like all laws... Where the court was comprised of a jury that were normal citizens judged the case... That is a police state?

Wow I wonder what you'll describe a democratic system as.


You're a total joker. How many laws do you actually think citizens get a say in these days? Evidently not many because if they did, the penalty would be an amount far saner than $150k per song.

This is a law to protect the profits of the minority, don't kid yourself for one second into thinking the RIAA and MPAA are doing the public some kind of service

Frank Fontaine said,


You're a total joker. How many laws do you actually think citizens get a say in these days? Evidently not many because if they did, the penalty would be an amount far saner than $150k per song.

This is a law to protect the profits of the minority, don't kid yourself for one second into thinking the RIAA and MPAA are doing the public some kind of service


The law allowed the jury to fine as little as $750 per song and UP TO $150K per song. That kind of variation allows the jury to set judgements that are very fitting to the case. If the defendent is an individual they could fine them them min. amount and let it go as it should. Just because they chose to fine her near the middle doesn't mean the law was written incorrectly. The JURY decided the amount NOT a politician...

Also, if the citizenry don't get a say it is because they don't want a say. At least in America. Nothing prevents people from running for office directly and nothing prevents people from voting out the bad politicans as they see them. Choosing to have a "bad" system doesn't aleviate the citizens of their responsibility. Corporations can lobby all they want, but they can't elect politicans. Ultimately, the choice on who governs the people is the people's choice. (again, at least in America)

Airlink said,
Mmmmmmmmmm..... no.
How do I know you're wrong? Simple: If this was a police state, you wouldn't have been allowed to post what you just did.

They have you brain-washed. A ruling like this is precedent that your country is not looking out for your best interests. They are enforcing the best interests of a corporation, AND I do not live in your country... In fascist-nazi-germany the citizens felt like they had it really good too, try again.

Erich said,
A ruling like this is precedent that your country is not looking out for your best interests.


A government that claims it does things because they were looking out for the best interests of the citizens is more often than not a police state. I for one do not want someone else looking out for my interests, I'll do that on my own, thank you.

roadwarrior said,
I for one do not want someone else looking out for my interests, I'll do that on my own, thank you.

How'd that work out for you over the past 8 years? For the rest of us, the laissez faire approach nearly destroyed our nation's Constitution, led to the needless deaths of 4,000+ US soldiers (and a million Iraqi civilians!), and has brought the world to the brink of bankruptcy.

So, I for one, would like to get back to the government looking out for my interests INSTEAD OF just those of the oil sheiks and megacorps, thank you very much. 8)

ok, so there's been a re-trial and she's STILL being charged over $9000 per song (harr-harr), AND even more than the last time...wtf?!

EDIT: This freakin lawsuit shouldn't be allowed through, it'll only encourage the RIAA to go and STEAL everyone elses' money who have COPIED music files. I suppose the only way forward is for EVERYONE to just go and boycott paying for music/share all the music they pay for, then see the RIAA scramble trying to get everyone...no wait, that last part is starting already!!

American copyright law allows up to $150,000 to be awarded per song to those whose rights are abused.

Wow... and THIS is constitutional?

mindscape said,
Wow... and THIS is constitutional?

I think the RIAA is a lobbyist to the congress, they pay to the congressmen a lot of money so they can kiss the ass of RIAA to every law the RIAA have in mind.

First, let's keep in mind that the person who downloaded illegally is the criminal, not the RIAA.

That said, none of those songs are worth $80,000. In fact, they aren't even worth someone's time to legally tape-record off the radio to play back later.

C_Guy said,
First, let's keep in mind that the person who downloaded illegally is the criminal, not the RIAA..

Debatable to say the least - first, let's bear in mind that this was a civil case, not a criminal one - hence you can't be branded a 'criminal' (you kinda need to be charged with a 'crime' oui?). Secondly, if you took a straw poll here at who people think is the 'criminal' I think you'd find the results stacked somewhat against you. That's ignoring the simple fact that had this been a 'criminal' case then the RIAA wouldn't of got a conviction because it's fairly obvious that 'beyond reasonable doubt' would be nigh impossible to achieve for the prosecutor.

Don't kid yourself C_Guy it has already been shown that the RIAA and MPAA are not above breaking the law to get results, like using illegally obtained evidence, or using FOSS under GPL license without making the source code available.

I don't agree with piracy but the RIAA and MPAA are going above and beyond the call of duty

C_Guy apparently works for the megacorps, or so I have been led to believe by other posters.

Whether or not this is actually the case, he can always be counted on to reliably recite their positions verbatim in these forums.

The RIAA has said that it is ending its legal threats and lawsuits against consumers.

Lies, the RIAA loves the press it's getting, even if it is all bad.
Besides, now they have precedent.

chaosblade said,
I wonder when will the law wake up and do something about these whole absurd situations.

I have the same feelings, specially when you see the RIAA abusing their powers to screw consumers with their non sense lawsuits.

"We the people" let our congressmen and senators get bought and paid for my music industry lobbyists via campaign contributions.

The same goes for the NRA, Wall Street/Financial Firm lobbyists, etc. etc.

And only "we the people" can let our congressmen know why we won't be voting for them if they don't fix this...

I know for almost sure,

if the defenent (sp?) go and ask the judge and any of the RIAA children, it will be almost 99% sure, that one of them or more of their children have downloaded music. And that they are listening to them with any mp3 player.

The law is indeed WAY out of sync with the will of the people.

My momma (and Sesame Street) taught me to SHARE the things I love. 8)

And pay for those things I want to have for myself.

I proudly do both.

RPDL said,
God damn terrorists.


Exactly the RIAA might as well be the IRA, Terrorists, I think all RIAA executives should be jailed and executed.

xpablo said,
Exactly the RIAA might as well be the IRA, Terrorists, I think all RIAA executives should be jailed and executed.


your an idiot, can there on the same level as peadophiles and murders and rapists aren't they...

i dnt believe in the way they go about things but you download a song and dont pay for it, its theft... if i stole your telly because i didn't want one and a body like the RIAA was in charge of protecting ur telly and all ur future tellies i would possibly cosntantly steal you'd love them...

theft is theft digital or not...

redmanmark86 said,
if i stole your telly because i didn't want one and a body like the RIAA was in charge of protecting ur telly and all ur future tellies i would possibly cosntantly steal you'd love them...

theft is theft digital or not...

That is a horrible comparison. Stealing someone's TV is substantially different than downloading(making an unauthorized copy) of a copyrighted mp3.

Imagine someone has a machine to clone your TV and did this for all of your future TVs... would that upset you as much?

What's more is that this women isn't being sued for downloading, she is being sued for uploading, or sharing. Which is similar to loaning your friends a CD.

I love to hear what these the artists have to say about this.

Lamp0 said,
That is a horrible comparison. Stealing someone's TV is substantially different than downloading(making an unauthorized copy) of a copyrighted mp3.

Imagine someone has a machine to clone your TV and did this for all of your future TVs... would that upset you as much?

What's more is that this women isn't being sued for downloading, she is being sued for uploading, or sharing. Which is similar to loaning your friends a CD.

I love to hear what these the artists have to say about this.

I agree in everything you said, I think when you share something, it is more severe than some guy trying to download few songs to listen in his MP3 device.

Lamp0 said,


That is a horrible comparison. Stealing someone's TV is substantially different than downloading(making an unauthorized copy) of a copyrighted mp3.

Imagine someone has a machine to clone your TV and did this for all of your future TVs... would that upset you as much?

What's more is that this women isn't being sued for downloading, she is being sued for uploading, or sharing. Which is similar to loaning your friends a CD.

I love to hear what these the artists have to say about this.


We all like to dance around the bush on this issue... Arguing that digital theft shouldn't really be called theft because of that one main difference between it and "normal" theft. The item itself still stays in the orginal place. So, unlike the TV, the theaf gets one and so does the owner. That is just splitting hairs really and is a moot point.

The orginal producer of the work is being robbed. He doesn't have the money he would have had otherwise. Not because you leant your buddy the work (like lending him your TV), but because you gave him a direct replica of the TV. Your buddy now never has to actually go buy the TV. That is the same as old world theft. The only difference is it is easier for you to do it.

At the bare basics... Stealing is taking of someone else's property. By downloading a song and not paying for it you are stealing the money (hense the property) of the person who owns that work. Period.

Splitting hairs on where the actual theft lies is a moot point. Theft is still theft.

Frazell Thomas said,
The orginal producer of the work is being robbed. He doesn't have the money he would have had otherwise.

I'll agree with you.

As soon as you can prove me, that the person copying would have bought the original if he wouldn't have the means to copy it for free.

CyberDragon777 said,
As soon as you can prove me, that the person copying would have bought the original if he wouldn't have the means to copy it for free.

He can't. No one can. Because it isn't true.

File sharing is the digital equivalent of radio...free music advertising to people who haven't paid for it, but might.

The studios still refuse to adapt to where consumers were in the 1990's and are dying because of it.

And they'd prefer to market fear (that's all this lawsuit it, inexpensive fear tactic advertising) in a vain attempt to slow an inevitable tide.

Hey redmanmark86, why don't you leave the analysis and opinions about what constitutes stealing and what's fair in the legal system to the big boys. Comments like yours have been used MANY times in discussions and it's mindless to say the least. You have A LOT to learn still and just as a suggestion, start with learning how to spell properly.

CyberDragon777 said,
I'll agree with you.

As soon as you can prove me, that the person copying would have bought the original if he wouldn't have the means to copy it for free.


Your position is pointless. It is just the same that a store owner can't prove that a shoplifter would have actually purchased the TV he stole. Maybe the shoplifter is a homeless man who would never be able to afford the TV. That doesn't make it any less of a theft.

In this case of a digital work. The person who "steals" the song, the program, the movie, etc. may never have any intention of buying it. Maybe he is too poor, too arrogant, or just doesn't care to. But that doesn't make it any more "right" or any less of a crime.

Really we need to stop splitting hairs and just own up to reality here.

excalpius said,
He can't. No one can. Because it isn't true.

File sharing is the digital equivalent of radio...free music advertising to people who haven't paid for it, but might.

The studios still refuse to adapt to where consumers were in the 1990's and are dying because of it.

And they'd prefer to market fear (that's all this lawsuit it, inexpensive fear tactic advertising) in a vain attempt to slow an inevitable tide.


It is not the digital equiv. of radio... Seriously why are people continuing to claw at the wind to find ways to defend theft? Most people have started to do it and I guess we just don't want to feel like we're doing something wrong? I don't know why you are doing it, but it isn't logical to defend the position...

The last time I checked radio stations pay royalties to air songs. TV Stations pay royalties to air movies or syndicate other network's TV shows. Although you might not want to pay the theater price to see a movie and will only watch it free on over-the-air TV doesn't mean the copyright owner got robbed. The same with if you choose to only get your music via the radio. Those ads you hear help pay those royalties the station has to play to air the song...

Now if you were paying a royalty everytime someone downloaded a song from you then, no, they nor you would be stealing. As long as the compensation was deemed fair on all sides...

Stop splitting hairs and respond with logical comments as it is sickening to see people defending stuff that defies logic. I hope it is only because many people are trying to find a way to justify their actions and not that we as a society are loosing the ability to discern right from wrong. Although, I'm not sure if either excuse is a good one in any event.

Don't understand the reasoning behind "As soon as you can prove me, that the person copying would have bought the original if he wouldn't have the means to copy it for". Does that mean that if I have no intention of purchasing a physical item then it's OK to steal it?

The argument is simple and has NOTHING to do with "stealing".

The PEOPLE don't feel file sharing is a crime of any kind. The megacorps do.

Eventually, we the consumers will win this one...by default.

Frazell Thomas said,
it is sickening to see people defending stuff that defies logic.

It is indeed. You are defending a megacorp's right to fine a human being $150,000 for SHARING a song...a piece of art...that costs $1 to own the right to listen to legally. So I find your position illogical, out of all proportion, and therefore it makes me sick. 8)

And you missed my point entirely. The AMOUNT of the fine is what I am challenging when I mention the broadcasting cost. She's paying 1000 times more than it LEGALLY costs to broadcast these 24 songs to millions of people.

She shared them for (how man hours or days) to what, a few thousand people?

So any fine SHOULD be the cost to broadcast + punitive damages tbd.

Regardless, the people don't agree with the corporations here. And we're supposed to be the ones making the laws, not vice versa.

Frazell Thomas said,

Your position is pointless. It is just the same that a store owner can't prove that a shoplifter would have actually purchased the TV he stole. Maybe the shoplifter is a homeless man who would never be able to afford the TV. That doesn't make it any less of a theft.

In this case of a digital work. The person who "steals" the song, the program, the movie, etc. may never have any intention of buying it. Maybe he is too poor, too arrogant, or just doesn't care to. But that doesn't make it any more "right" or any less of a crime.

Really we need to stop splitting hairs and just own up to reality here.

It is not the digital equiv. of radio... Seriously why are people continuing to claw at the wind to find ways to defend theft? Most people have started to do it and I guess we just don't want to feel like we're doing something wrong? I don't know why you are doing it, but it isn't logical to defend the position...

The last time I checked radio stations pay royalties to air songs. TV Stations pay royalties to air movies or syndicate other network's TV shows. Although you might not want to pay the theater price to see a movie and will only watch it free on over-the-air TV doesn't mean the copyright owner got robbed. The same with if you choose to only get your music via the radio. Those ads you hear help pay those royalties the station has to play to air the song...

Now if you were paying a royalty everytime someone downloaded a song from you then, no, they nor you would be stealing. As long as the compensation was deemed fair on all sides...

Stop splitting hairs and respond with logical comments as it is sickening to see people defending stuff that defies logic. I hope it is only because many people are trying to find a way to justify their actions and not that we as a society are loosing the ability to discern right from wrong. Although, I'm not sure if either excuse is a good one in any event.


I do not believe I have payed a penny for radio. Another thing, remember the days where we had AM/FM Radios with Cassette recorders? I remember pressing record to record my favorite songs back then, which I don't believe was stealing and still don't.
However, I believe that the amount they are charging is absolutely ridiculous. $80k PER SONG??? Are they out of their ****ing minds? I could see charging at least $100 or $200 per song as a punishment, but $80,000 is just crazy.
Another thing for me: I like listening to songs before I buy them, lets say that youtube has whole songs on it, and i listen to it and buy an album off of iTunes (which I do). Sharing songs helps promote business too, at least more so now that MP3 players have their own program to buy music directly for the honest users.
BUT!!!! If the song or album sucks, why buy it? I would not buy a crappy album. This is pretty much the digital equivalent of drive or try before you buy.

excalpius said,
It is indeed. You are defending a megacorp's right to fine a human being $150,000 for SHARING a song...a piece of art...that costs $1 to own the right to listen to legally. So I find your position illogical, out of all proportion, and therefore it makes me sick. 8)

And you missed my point entirely. The AMOUNT of the fine is what I am challenging when I mention the broadcasting cost. She's paying 1000 times more than it LEGALLY costs to broadcast these 24 songs to millions of people.

She shared them for (how man hours or days) to what, a few thousand people?

So any fine SHOULD be the cost to broadcast + punitive damages tbd.

Regardless, the people don't agree with the corporations here. And we're supposed to be the ones making the laws, not vice versa. :)


I am sorry I missed your point. It happens though as we all read things a little differently :(.

With that said, I'm not discussing the fine value. That's not my place because the law gives the jury justifiable leeway. Without all of the testimony they heard I can't really say if they fined her too much...

But, laws aren't always fair that way. Should a person be put in jail for 5 years for stealing a $2K TV from Best Buy? Realistically he could work for two or three months a min. wage and pay back that amount. The punishment is supposed to be severe enough so that it becomes a deterent.

RPDL said,
God damn terrorists.

So true. Rather than huntiung pahntom terrorists in far away countires, they should better fight these terrorists in their own country.

She should not have to pay any more than the actual revenue generated by the artists in question by the sale of one song, payable directly to the artists. This is all the artists would have got if she had bought the songs, so this is all that should be replaced.
Anything above that is clearly extortion.

Frazell Thomas said,

Your position is pointless. It is just the same that a store owner can't prove that a shoplifter would have actually purchased the TV he stole. Maybe the shoplifter is a homeless man who would never be able to afford the TV. That doesn't make it any less of a theft.

In this case of a digital work. The person who "steals" the song, the program, the movie, etc. may never have any intention of buying it. Maybe he is too poor, too arrogant, or just doesn't care to. But that doesn't make it any more "right" or any less of a crime.

Really we need to stop splitting hairs and just own up to reality here.

And you need to stop comparing music to physical property.


If somebody buys a TV, the store gets money.
If somebody buys music, the store gets money.


If somebody doesn't buy a TV, the store can still have it to sell it somebody else.
If somebody steals a TV, the store has lost a TV.

If somebody does or does not copy some music, it has no effect on the CDs in the store!


So nobody can prove that somebody "loses money". There may be some theoretical loss of income.

In short: If somebody downloads 24 songs, you can't prove they would have bought the songs.

Legal or not, this is fact.

Frazell Thomas said,
I am sorry I missed your point. It happens though as we all read things a little differently :(

Fair enough. When I debate forcefully, sometimes it can be misconstrued as angry or arrogant when read in the cold light of forums. If we were speaking "live", I'm sure this would be a very rational and productive discussion indeed.

Peace.

I honestly don't get why people just don't pay the $24 for the tracks these days, it doesn't make much sense, especially when the potential lawsuit can be so much more costly.

But still, $1.92 Million is absolutely ridiculous, does no one have common sense anymore?

The Teej said,
I honestly don't get why people just don't pay the $24 for the tracks these days, it doesn't make much sense, especially when the potential lawsuit can be so much more costly.

But still, $1.92 Million is absolutely ridiculous, does no one have common sense anymore?

The days of buying full albums are over...or at least coming to an end. The music industry cannot produce a good full album anymore. They hire anyone who can sign and everyone sounds the same. Its stupid. Why pay for a full album when there are many places you can get just the song you like.

I can't agree more. This is why I'm buying the Zune HD in the fall. I can fill a zune for me and one for my wife with all the legal tracks we want for $15 a month. Not bad. And a lot cheaper than gettign caught downloading one and risking $80K a song.

The Teej said,
I honestly don't get why people just don't pay the $24 for the tracks these days, it doesn't make much sense, especially when the potential lawsuit can be so much more costly.

But still, $1.92 Million is absolutely ridiculous, does no one have common sense anymore?



"does no one have common sense anymore?
You're kidding me, correct? Having to even ask something like that is crazy!!
Where you been?

The question of the day is will the 80K per song be sent to the artists? I'm sure they would love a piece of that. Oh, I guess I assume this is a perfect world.

Matthew Waldron said,
The question of the day is will the 80K per song be sent to the artists? I'm sure they would love a piece of that. Oh, I guess I assume this is a perfect world. :)

Something tells me any money they should be getting has been going on legal fees instead. If the RIAA really cared about their starving artists they wouldn't be blowing so much money on these cases.

"Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted."

That would be a cool country to live in.

IamZed said,
"Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted."

That would be a cool country to live in.


its called the UK where you can even get away easy with murder and hell could always constantly appeal till the EU finally fits u in...

agreenbhm said,
$80,000 per song isn't excessive, since the law says that she can be fined almost double that ... :P

It is clearly excessive despite what the law says when you can buy a track on iTunes for 79 cents??? Quick someone do the math, that's saying she shared those tracks about 10000 times each????? Stupid!!!!!

IamZed said,
"Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted."

That would be a cool country to live in.


That part of the constitution is binding on the government during crimminal trials... This wasn't a crimminal trial... Don't pull things out of context.

cerealfreak said,
It is clearly excessive despite what the law says when you can buy a track on iTunes for 79 cents??? Quick someone do the math, that's saying she shared those tracks about 10000 times each????? Stupid!!!!!

Didn't catch my sarcasm, did you?

agreenbhm said,
$80,000 per song isn't excessive, since the law says that she can be fined almost double that ... :P


The fact that $150k is the legal max, doesn't mean that even $80k per song is reasonable or proportionate.

The RIAA has the government in its pockets

Frank Fontaine said,
The fact that $150k is the legal max, doesn't mean that even $80k per song is reasonable or proportionate.

The RIAA has the government in its pockets


The legal max has to be high... Else for megacorps the cost of violating the law would be so low as to not matter...

It is the JURY that decides the amount. They are NOT politicans or anything other than NORMAL people. You know, people like you and me. If the jury is full of special interests biased people that means you and me aren't doing our civic duty and doing jury duty when we are called to do it.

Like she will ever be able to pay that amount back during her, her kids, and her grand kids lifetime. Does everyone on this jury work for the RIAA or something?

sava700 said,
Like she will ever be able to pay that amount back during her, her kids, and her grand kids lifetime. Does everyone on this jury work for the RIAA or something?


Finding one loonie that would go along with an $80,000. penalty per song is one thing, but finding 12 loons and put them on the same jury, that's scary.

No she never will, but they can have the courts garnish her wages so that she has to justify how much of her money she needs to live and the rest goes to the RIAA... For life (or until 1.92million is paid).

No, she can declare bankruptcy. There's no way they can adjudicate this amount is within ANYONE's ability to pay.

And appeals are already in the works.

sava700 said,
Like she will ever be able to pay that amount back during her, her kids, and her grand kids lifetime. Does everyone on this jury work for the RIAA or something?

Either that, or everyone in the jury is paid by the Riaa - perhaps promised a small part of the money.

Lord Ba'al said,
Either that, or everyone in the jury is paid by the Riaa - perhaps promised a small part of the money.


The jury had nothing to do with the penalty. The jury simply deduced she was quilty of downloading these songs. The judge applied the penalty.

Rohdekill said,
The jury had nothing to do with the penalty. The jury simply deduced she was quilty of downloading these songs. The judge applied the penalty.


Nope. In this case the jury made the award. In fact the judge can increase or lower it at a future hearing. I think he might reduce it but not at a level that will make a big difference.

Update: Just read another article where it is stated that the judge has already indicated that he found the previous $220,000 award to be ‘unprecedented and oppressive’. More than likely this amount (1.92 Millions) will be lowered.

And mostly because of this: "Recent Supreme Court rulings suggest that a jury may not award statutory damages for the express or implicit purpose of deterring other infringers who are not parties in the case before the court. In other words, the award should be aimed at deterring this defendant, not giving the plaintiff a windfall in order to send a message to others who might be tempted to infringe. It’s hard to know without having been in the courtroom, but if the record industry lawyers urged the jury to “send a message” to the millions of other American file-sharers out there, they may have crossed the constitutional line." writes the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Fred von Lohmann.

And the jury just took an average of the real cost of the goods and the maximum fine, splitting it roughly down the middle.

A clear sign of their utter ignorance and incompetence in this matter if you think about it a minute.

Julius Caro said,
Outrageous.


It is. Remember that this is a civil trial, not a criminal trial. The burden of proof is a lot lower than than in criminal trial where it has to be beyond reasonable doubt. Maybe it's time to rethink this whole thing.

Actually the judge refused to let the jury hear an internet expert witness that would have refute the RIAA expert about how they identified the accused by her IP address.

Expect an appeal and another retrial. I'm convinced this is way from over.

She could have been a worldwide radio broadcaster and "aired" these 24 songs for years to 300 million people and been charged a minuscule fraction of these ridiculous fines.

This is absurd at a level that has then entire world shaking its head at what is so obviously wrong with this country now.

Do we need any more proof that corporatism is the rule now?

I don't send ANY money to the RIAA companies. I support the artists DIRECTLY, by buying tickets to their shows (even if I don't attend) or buying their self-released albums online (like Radiohead's IN RAINBOWS).

Since the RIAA megacorps only pay the artists who create and play the music PENNIES per song, I suggest you do the same as I am. The artists will make a LOT more money this way.

Julius Caro said,
Outrageous.

Indeed. This is nothing but mafia-like extortion.
It's highly disturbing that this is backed by a judge.

BaLdMoNkEy said,
Just a small town girl
Living in a lonely world
She took the midnight train going aaaanyyyyywheeeere


I may have to watch some Scrubs later...