Have you ever been compelled to make an insincere apology just because you knew it would get you out of trouble? The much-loathed Recording Industry Association of America made that sort of offer to file-sharer Jammie Thomas-Rasset, offering to reduce her $222,000 penalty if she just went on the record to say some kind words about the RIAA’s anti-piracy platform. [More]
The third time was not the charm for Jamie Thomas-Rasset, who has spent the last several years wrapped up legal wranglings with the Recording Industry Association of America over 24 songs she downloaded through Kazaa back when people still used Kazaa. The latest development — a jury in her third trial has found her liable for $1.5 million ($62,500/song) in damages to Capitol Records.
None of the estimated $400 million that the RIAA received in settlements with Napster, KaZaA, and Bolt over allegations of copyright infringement has gone to the artists whose copyrights were allegedly infringed. Now the artists are considering suing the RIAA.
The RIAA defendant who lost her jury trial, Jammie Thomas, is telling her side of the story on p2pnet. Of particular interest: She claims that Best Buy made the decision to replace her hard drive, under the terms of her extended warranty, 6 months before she was served with the RIAA’s subpoena.
The first RIAA jury trial has ended and the single mom accused of sharing 24 songs has been ordered to pay $222,000 by a jury of her peers.
In the fall of 2003, the RIAA filed its first copyright-infringement lawsuits against file sharers. They’ve since sued more than 20,000 music fans. The RIAA maintains that the lawsuits are meant to spread the word that unauthorized downloading can have consequences. “It isn’t being done on a punitive basis,” says RIAA CEO Mitch Bainwol. But file-sharing isn’t going away — there was a 4.4 percent increase in the number of peer-to-peer users in 2006, with about a billion tracks downloaded illegally per month, according to research group BigChampagne.
Tanya Andersen, a 42 year-old mother on disability accused of downloading “gangster rap”, doesn’t want the RIAA to interrogate her 10 year-old. The RIAA says the 10 year-old is a material witness. Tanya’s motion to the court argues:
“Emphasizing whether they can subject this young girl to distress, plaintiffs ignore whether they should. The should aspect of this evaluation is easy: Mrs. Andersen and her daughter should not be subjected to any more abuse in this litigation whatsoever.”
Tanya’s motion goes on to say that the plaintiffs know she is not the kazaa user who downloaded and shared music files, and that “a 5 minute Google search is all that was necessary to establish this and avoid the stress and damages to Ms. Andersen and her daughter.”—MEGHANN MARCO
To tell this story, I need to point out that, when I was a bachelor, I sometimes went to various web sites to satisfy my more elicit and transient urges. Probably nuff said, unless any of our sexy single female readers want to email me requesting a more vivid description.