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Jammie Thomas Moves To Strike RIAA $1.92M Verdict 392

Posted by timothy
from the in-excruciating-detail dept.
NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "Jammie Thomas-Rasset has made a motion for a new trial, seeking to vacate the $1.92 million judgment entered against her for infringement of 24 MP3 files, in Capitol Records v. Thomas-Rasset. Her attorneys' brief (PDF) argues, among other things, that the 'monstrous' sized verdict violates the Due Process Clause, consistent with 100 years of SCOTUS jurisprudence, since it is grossly disproportionate to any actual damages sustained. It further argues that, since the RIAA elected to offer no evidence of actual damages, either as an alternative to statutory damages, or to buttress the fairness of a statutory damages award, the verdict, if it is to be reduced, must be reduced to zero."
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Jammie Thomas Moves To Strike RIAA $1.92M Verdict

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  • by ls671 (1122017) * on Tuesday July 07, 2009 @01:56AM (#28604363) Homepage

    Resistance is futile in some cases ;-))

    Disclaimer: The above sentence was intentionally left ambiguous if we relate to TFA context. As a hint, by "resistance",
    "A force that tends to oppose or retard motion." was meant.

    • by fractoid (1076465) on Tuesday July 07, 2009 @02:28AM (#28604501) Homepage

      "A force that tends to oppose or retard motion."

      I think that very well describes the motion in question; it opposes a retarded motion. ;)

      • I was sure he was talking about the MPAA!

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Jurily (900488)

        If the law says the judge can award $80k per violation, while outrageous, there is nothing retarded about a judge doing so. Remember, you don't change laws in court, you change them in Congress.

        IMO the judge in question should be shot for total lack of decency, along with those who passed a law awarding a HUNDRED THOUSAND TIMES the retail value of the file, of course, but still, it's not the courts' fault if the laws are bad.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Opportunist (166417)

          I'm fairly sure the judge duked out whatever he could for the sole reason that she deliberately did whatever she could to BS him. Judges are only people, and people who don't like to be BSed.

          • by Jurily (900488) <jurily@NETBSDgmail.com minus bsd> on Tuesday July 07, 2009 @03:58AM (#28604959)

            I'm fairly sure the judge duked out whatever he could for the sole reason that she deliberately did whatever she could to BS him. Judges are only people, and people who don't like to be BSed.

            That doesn't change the fact that the law allowed him to do this. Oh, and

            Impartiality is a principle of justice holding that decisions should be based on objective criteria, rather than on the basis of bias, prejudice, or preferring the benefit to one person over another for improper reasons.

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by somersault (912633)

              Well, the fact that she lied to the court seems to fairly objectively show she was trying to obstruct the course of justice and therefore should receive full punishment? I'm of course nothing close to being a lawyer, but if she is caught barefaced lying to the court, I don't see why she should be shown any leniency.

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              That doesn't change the fact that the law allowed him to do this...

              Sometimes laws come into conflict with other laws. You need to move up a level to determine which one wins.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by TheP4st (1164315)

            Judges are only people, and people who don't like to be BSed.

            If someone BS me I am likely to tell them to go fuck themselves or similar. But, I sure as hell would not beat them to pulp and burn their house down, which in my opinion would be pretty akin to the judge's verdict. The verdict is way off in relation to the actual offence. So if the obscene verdict was a emotional response to BS - no matter how much - the judge should be disbarred with immediate effect.

        • by Hungus (585181)

          Remember, you don't change laws in court, you change them in Congress.

          If only more Americans understood this.

          • I think most Americans DO understand this, but there is a partisan fiction that they don't. At a high level, though, judges get to change laws, IF (IFF, in theory) they are unconstitutional, or unjust. The whole "legislating from the bench" thing is generally a silly post-hoc argument we use when a judge doesn't rule in a way we (based on our political ideals) want.

            Oddly, some of our favorite rulings are cases of "ruling from the bench", such as the right to privacy being within the "penumbra" of the constitution, but we don't complain because we subjectively like the idea. Wherein Roe v. Wade is often cited as "ruling from the bench" because a certain segment hates the idea of it.

            The judicial branch is also part of the checks and balances scheme, they get to say that laws are bad, which invalidates the law.
            They exist to keep congress in check. This is fine and dandy by me.

            • by Late Adopter (1492849) on Tuesday July 07, 2009 @09:47AM (#28607205)

              I think most Americans DO understand this, but there is a partisan fiction that they don't. At a high level, though, judges get to change laws, IF (IFF, in theory) they are unconstitutional, or unjust. The whole "legislating from the bench" thing is generally a silly post-hoc argument we use when a judge doesn't rule in a way we (based on our political ideals) want.

              As someone who has been reviewing Supreme Court opinions for the last couple years, I can tell you that's bullshit. There most certainly is a history of legislating from the bench and it comes from more than just untoward decisions.

              The courts have used the due process [wikipedia.org] clauses of the 5th and 14th amendments to outright make up constitutional bases for decisions they're trying to reach (the dissent in Third Judicial District v. Osborne, decided THIS YEAR, is a great example, if you care to engage in the topic).

              Of course the words due process of law, if taken in their literal meaning, have no application to this case; and while it is too late to deny that they have been given a much more extended and artificial signification, still we ought to remember the great caution shown by the Constitution in limiting the power of the States, and should be slow to construe the clause in the Fourteenth Amendment as committing to the Court, with no guide but the Court's own discretion, the validity of whatever laws the States may pass.

              -SC Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by hedwards (940851)
              And oddly enough, it's mainly an argument that conservatives make when they don't get what they want. I don't recall a whole lot of judicial activism complaints coming as a result of SCOTUS overturning the DC hand gun ban or whenever the courts decide to overturn anti-discrimination legislation, even though those sorts of things are actually a lot more common than what they're whining about.
              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by rilian4 (591569)

                And oddly enough, it's mainly an argument that conservatives make when they don't get what they want. I don't recall a whole lot of judicial activism complaints coming as a result of SCOTUS overturning the DC hand gun ban...

                That's because the judges weren't being activists. They were correct in ruling that the DC handgun ban was a violation of the constitution. They didn't pass a new law, they struck down an unconstitutional one. Activist judges tend to force their views into place through legal precedent rather than allowing legislatures to write the laws. Directing a legislative body from the bench to write or rewrite a law is dictatorship. That is not the judicial branches' job. Their job is to evaluate the law and strike i

          • by fdragon (138768) <fdragon AT fdragon DOT org> on Tuesday July 07, 2009 @04:59AM (#28605229) Homepage

            Remember, you don't change laws in court, you change them in Congress.

            If only more Americans understood this.

            Please no. That will only do more harm.

            You are apparently failing to understand the concept of the US Government check and balance system with the division of power. While in general congress has the power to make law, the executive the power to enforce law, and the judicial to judge a case based on law, each branch has the ability to effect the law in different ways. The executive has the ability to make law by signing of treaty with foreign powers, or to render a law useless by failing to enforce it. The judicial branch has the ability to make and remove laws as well in the form of rulings on the law or the result of jury nullification in the later case.

            Unfortunately many people, for whatever reason, fail to understand exactly how the US government is organized, and what powers each branch of government really have over the others. A good read can be had at : http://www.enotes.com/government-checks-balances/legislative-judicial-checks-balances [enotes.com] for more detailed information on this.

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          If the law says the judge can award $80k per violation, while outrageous, there is nothing retarded about a judge doing so. Remember, you don't change laws in court, you change them in Congress.

          Wasn't it the jury that made that award not the judge? Isn't there also a long history of excessive awards by juries being overturned?

  • Statutory Damages (Score:5, Interesting)

    by fandingo (1541045) on Tuesday July 07, 2009 @02:08AM (#28604407)
    are used when actual damages cannot be determined. Since the RIAA was able to show that there was distribution (the jurors bought it), they can seek statutory damages. They have no idea how many copies Ms. Thomas assisted in making. The law is crystal clear on this. In copyright law, plaintiffs can seek statutory damages when actual damages cannot be determined. I'm in no way defending the law, but it is clear. If this judge were to throw this out, it would be a case of exceptional judicial activism. I applaud his plea after the first trial to Congress to fix this problem. The courts have no authority to change something like this. I've been saying this since before her second trial, she should have settled, and she still should. The RIAA has gone out of its way to try to reach a settlement. In fact, according to Ars Technica (http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2009/07/jammie-thomas-challenges-monstrous-192m-p2p-verdict.ars) they are still willing to settle for less than the Copyright Act allows (24 *750 = 18,000). You got to know when to hold them and know when to fold them. She could get out of this surprisingly reasonably, but instead, she wants to hit a home run.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 07, 2009 @02:20AM (#28604447)

      Maybe she should pay the price of one record per shared mp3? That'd be something like $240.

      Or ten record, which would come to $2400.

      However, I just don't figure how the imaginary damages could rack up $18k, let alone $192M.
      Whoever awarded those damages had no sense of proportion, or was bribed.

      Regardless - if someone destroyed my life over some songs, I'd probably do the same to them.
      What's few hundred k more for battery and assault, if you already owe $190M more than you
      can reasonably ever earn. For that matter, no monetary fine would ever feel like anything -
      and jail time is expensive to the society. So.. maybe it's just not worth it?

      • It's not $192M, it is a mere pittance of $2M
        Still a bit steep for 24 crappy records.

      • Re:Statutory Damages (Score:5, Interesting)

        by fractoid (1076465) on Tuesday July 07, 2009 @02:42AM (#28604563) Homepage
        Following your logic, $1.92 million at $0.99 per song (ie. around iTunes price) she'd have to have uploaded 1.92 million songs. Assuming an average 3.5mb per song, that's 6.4 terabytes of data uploaded. On a 256kbps uplink, that's
        6.7 years of continuous uploading.

        (As an aside - holy shit is Google getting scary! To calculate that, I typed in "1.92 million * 3.5 megabytes" and it said "6.40869141 terabytes". Then I asked it "6.41 terabytes / 256kbps" and got 6.81574337 years. I'm starting to think we should be referring to Google as 'a logic called Joe'. :S )
        • Re:Statutory Damages (Score:4, Interesting)

          by Kjella (173770) on Tuesday July 07, 2009 @03:38AM (#28604849) Homepage

          (As an aside - holy shit is Google getting scary! To calculate that, I typed in "1.92 million * 3.5 megabytes" and it said "6.40869141 terabytes". Then I asked it "6.41 terabytes / 256kbps" and got 6.81574337 years. I'm starting to think we should be referring to Google as 'a logic called Joe'. :S )

          You think that's impressive? Try calculating how much energy the sun has (E=mc^2): mass of sun * c^2 [google.no]. Want it in a different unit? Just say so: in kilowatt hours [google.no]. It does currency conversions and plenty other useful things too. It's not just the search results keeping google on top...

        • (As an aside - holy shit is Google getting scary! To calculate that, I typed in "1.92 million * 3.5 megabytes" and it said "6.40869141 terabytes". Then I asked it "6.41 terabytes / 256kbps" and got 6.81574337 years. I'm starting to think we should be referring to Google as 'a logic called Joe'. :S )

          I've been plugging calculations like that into Google for years... it's nothing new.

        • by TheLink (130905)
          Try 6 kilowatts / 45 kph and you'll get:

          (6 kilowatts) / (45 kph) = 480 newtons

          e.g. if 6 kilowatts only gets you to a max speed of 45 kph that means there's 480 newtons of resistance/drag.

          FWIW, I tried 6.40869141 terabytes in library of congress (and also libraries of congress), and Google didn't help with that.
      • However, I just don't figure how the imaginary damages could rack up $18k, let alone $192M.
        Whoever awarded those damages had no sense of proportion, or was bribed.

        GP had specifically explained this. The damages awarded are the damages that the law sets.

        She could get away with smaller damages (which would still be a lot/em), but she managed to piss the jury off by (badly) playing an innocent victim, so they slapped her with higher damages than even what the prosecution asked for.

        • by AK Marc (707885)
          The damages awarded are the damages that the law sets.

          If the statute and Constitution are in conflict, then the Constitution wins. Given that "due process" has gotten the Exxon punative damages reduced to no more than actual damages, having statutory damages reduced to the same under the same rule seems to be in order.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by dirk (87083)

        I get tired of saying this, but the penalty for distributing a CD should have nothing to do with the cost of buying a CD or MP3. This would be appropriate if she was accused of downloading one copy, but she is accused of uploading. The issue is she assuming the right to distribute a CD or MP3, so the penalty should be based upon what the RIAA would charge to gain the rights to distribute the songs.

        The penalty should be based on what it would cost me to gain the rights to distribute those 24 songs to anyone

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by nixish (1390127)
      Isn't there some kind of common-sense law which prohibits especially large amounts like this to be handed down to individuals?? Also, going for a home run is a good idea if the lawyer by your side is one of the best in the country (which is true in this case).
      • Re:Statutory Damages (Score:4, Interesting)

        by jcr (53032) <jcr@NoSPaM.mac.com> on Tuesday July 07, 2009 @02:45AM (#28604577) Journal

        Isn't there some kind of common-sense law which prohibits especially large amounts like this to be handed down to individuals?

        There's language in the bill of rights that prohibits "excessive fines". This is a civil action though, so it's back to court to figure out whether an excessive award in a civil case is also prohibited.

        -jcr

      • Re:Statutory Damages (Score:5, Interesting)

        by ls671 (1122017) * on Tuesday July 07, 2009 @02:52AM (#28604623) Homepage

        Nope, as the OP explained, judges aren't allowed to use common sense if a law says otherwise. Ultimately, people vote to elect a government that will make laws telling the judges what to do. This is how the system works.

        Higher court judges have more discretion at their disposal with regards to using common sense, I would bet she will still be found guilty but the amount to pay could be lowered.

        Lower court judges tend to stick to the text of the law. Nothing is worse for a lower court judge career than getting his sentence overruled by a higher court judge because he did not follow the text of the law. As long as he stick to the text of the law, he is safe.

        It is easier for higher court judges to establish jurisprudence. It is more risky for lower court judges although it occurs sometimes.

        • So people voting based on emotions elect people who make decisions based on bribes.

          Dunno if that system is really worth keeping. Let's make it an anarchy, with a really strong, powerful anarch!

    • by adri (173121) on Tuesday July 07, 2009 @02:26AM (#28604489) Homepage Journal

      Luckily, it is people like this who are the reason why laws change.

      The RIAA have their low-risk win adding to their warchest of successfully run litigation if she settles. Now they -have- to engage the courts as much as they can to win. They -have- to publicly lobby, they -have- to look the bad guy to ${PUBLIC}. They may win - and it'd be a big win - but they may lose, and losing at such a high level is quite a setback.

      At the end of the day, she could've settled, but she's chosen to stand and fight. Would you do the same, given the circumstances?

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Mistlefoot (636417)
        "They have no idea how many copies Ms. Thomas assisted in making."

        So it could have been zero?

        So I am with my cousin Bob, whom I haven't seen in almost a year. He requests a drive to the store, since he's had several beer and I've only had one. I give him one. Seems he's a bit of a low life and he robs the store, killing the clerk. He comes out and we leave. The clerk had time to hit the silent alarm before dieing and we are stopped a few blocks away.

        I'm charged with murder and threatened with a death s
      • Yes. It ties up their resources and I'm fucked either way. If I settle, I'm down more money than I can pay, just as well if I don't. So where's my advantage if I allow them to free their resources up for the next case? Gimme something I want if you want me to let you reuse your lawyers.

    • Re:Statutory Damages (Score:5, Informative)

      by greensoap (566467) on Tuesday July 07, 2009 @02:28AM (#28604499)

      Standard, I am not a lawyer, I do not intend to create a legal relationship with any reader. This is merely my opinion and should not be relied upon under any situation. If in need of legal advice go get competent legal advice from a bar certified attorney in your jurisdiction

      .
      Sorry parent, but that is not how statutory damages work in copyright. In copyright cases, the holder gets to elect to take statutory damages instead of actual damages. There is no requirement that they show an inability to prove actual damages in that case. The only limitation is that the work must be registered with the Copyright office in order to be eligible for statutory damages.

      The statutory damages range from $750 - $30,000 per infringed work. That $750 is why the RIAA is willing to go only that low, since they will recover atleast that amount at trial--unless the defendant can show that she was not aware and had no reason to know she was infringing. Damages jump to $150,000 per work when the infringement is willful.

      17 USC 412 explains registration
      http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode17/usc_sec_17_00000412----000-.html
      17 USC 504 explains statutory damages
      http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/html/uscode17/usc_sec_17_00000504----000-.html

      (2) In a case where the copyright owner sustains the burden of proving, and the court finds, that infringement was committed willfully, the court in its discretion may increase the award of statutory damages to a sum of not more than $150,000. In a case where the infringer sustains the burden of proving, and the court finds, that such infringer was not aware and had no reason to believe that his or her acts constituted an infringement of copyright, the court in its discretion may reduce the award of statutory damages to a sum of not less than $200. The court shall remit statutory damages in any case where an infringer believed and had reasonable grounds for believing that his or her use of the copyrighted work was a fair use under section 107, if the infringer was:

      Standard, IANAL disclaimer. If in need of legal advice go get competent legal advice from a bar certified attorney.
      • by QuantumG (50515) *

        Are you sure you're not a lawyer? Cause you just said a lot of words that enforced his argument and provided nothing more than what an educated person could have gotten by reading the legislation first hand.

        The fact that she didn't get the full $150k per song is the only mystery here.

      • Ok, then the RIAA ain't to blame. Instead, let's blame the idiot that created a law that allowed it in the first place. Who sponsored this bill?

        • Copyright Act of 1976 [wikipedia.org]

          Introduced to Senate as an ammendment to the Copyright Act of 1909 by John Little McClellen , a Democrat, Enacted by the 94th Congress on 1st July 1978.
          • That law is 30 years old? WAY over due for a review, especially when applied to technology that was anything but widespread when it was enacted.

    • by MaskedSlacker (911878) on Tuesday July 07, 2009 @03:06AM (#28604669)

      You miss the point--the law is wrong, that is what is being argued. Those statutory damages are designed for corporate infringement--say, by a radio station broadcasting to 100,000 people. Not by 1 person who uploading a song to...oh, the RIAA couldn't demonstrate how many (and yes, in the radio case it would have been easy to demonstrate how many listened, on an approximate level, because the radio station uses that information every day to sell advertising time).

    • That's reasonable? 18,000 for sharing 24 files? You think she SHOULD have settled? REALLY??? Sure it's less INSANE than millions of dollars but it's still INSANE.

      Hell, why don't we go back to sending kids who steal bread to Australia while we're at it.

      • 'cause Australia called and said that they got enough bread now (and kids too), thank you very much.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        That's reasonable? 18,000 for sharing 24 files? You think she SHOULD have settled? REALLY??? Sure it's less INSANE than millions of dollars but it's still INSANE.

        Originally she was offered a $3,000 settlement.

        Yes, I'd say that it was quite reasonable for something that's clearly illegal under the standing law.

      • I'd gladly steal bread to repatriate there. They are in need ot fibre techs, tradesman (sparkies, plumbers, brickies etc) and stylists, last time I checked. I'm none of the above, so I guess I'd best grab myself some free Hovis!
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Endymion (12816)

      While actual damages can never be determined, they can be estimated fairly easily.

      Most modern P2P software works by distributing the uploading over the entire network. This is certainly true for bittorrent, and mostly true on older networks referenced in this case, if I remember correctly.

      A == "number of people wanting a copy"
      B == "number of copies desired per-person" == 1
      C == "number of copies needed" == A * B == A
      D == "number of uploaders" ~= C

      X == "number of copies uploaded, per-person" == D / C == C / C

      • Re:Statutory Damages (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Opportunist (166417) on Tuesday July 07, 2009 @04:16AM (#28605047)

        That's exactly the fallacy in their logic: It's not ONE (illegal) distributor and MANY receipients (that's what this law was created for). That's not the case. You have MANY distributors, contributing a tiny fraction of the infringed work. Yet their logic is to sue all of them for the whole work.

        Extrapolating, if they caught all the infringers, they would actually get more people uploading than downloading. You download one copy, as you pointed out. You don't need more than that. Yet you upload to several people, all of them counting as an upload to their statistics.

        Basically, if they caught all infringers, they would come up with a multiple of the actual copies distributed.

    • by Kjella (173770) on Tuesday July 07, 2009 @03:28AM (#28604785) Homepage

      Yes, but remember that statutory damages are supposed to be an approximation to actual damages. It's not supposed to be the way that actual damages is 100$ and statutory damages are 10000$ where 9900$ is a fine. Then of course everyone would opt for the statutory damages, less burden of proof and higher payback. Statutory damages should, in my opinion, be an educated guess of the damage done compared to the zero alternative. So let us assume Jammie Thomas did do everything she was charged with and compare that to her not file sharing at all, how much of an impact would that make? Meaning no offense, but she's a nobody. One little peer in a swarm who'd have as much affect as stomping an ant on the ant hill.

      That's what is entirely missing here that makes this case insane. It can't possibly be the intent of the law that they should be able to say "Well, we can't prove any specific instance of infringement so we'll just pick the highest possible number we can". If so, they should just burn all evidence they have on actual infringement. In fact, that's very good grounds why statutory damages should be on the low end of the scale. Let's for example assume that you have a statutory damage estimated to 2000$-5000$. If you, as the plaintiff, know that the actual damage was 2500$ you'd only want to prove it if you'd otherwise get 2000$. If you'll get more in statutory damages then you'd rather suppress that evidence. And if you can't even estimate the statutory damages and get 150,000$ instead, then that too.

      I think they're very afraid of just how far the Supreme Court could set them back. Any demand of plausibility for statutory damages is likely to kill their scare tactics. I mean, seriously compared to how many cases there's been and how many people's computers and networks are wide open, do you really think she's the only one that wanted to fight the lawsuit? But I bet far too many have investigated their risk/reward and found that yes, you might win or be a debt slave forever. There's no way the zero tactic will work though, I bet they'll find the damages unconstiutional and send it back to be redone once more with new guidelines. At least that's the way I'm used to, even if the supreme court finds stuff unconstitutional it doesn't have time to deal with fact-finding in actual cases.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      You got to know when to hold them and know when to fold them.

      That'll be $750 thanks for infringing on poor o'l Kenny Rogers

      Pedant looks up who actual wrote the song in 3... 2...

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Opportunist (166417)

      18k is still a fair lot of dough. Depending on what you're actually doing for a living, it can be even more than what you could pay back in 7 years (i.e. time 'til bankrupcy).

      So what's the difference between 18k, 180k or 180m if you can't pay any of them?

      None. I don't know about her financial situation, but if that's it, continuing the ride is the most sensible thing she can possibly do. Whether you're in for twice of what you could possibly make in 7 years or a hundred times doesn't really make a differenc

  • Honest opinion NYCL, what are her chances of getting the damages reduced to zero? Are they greater than zero? It is probably true to say that statutory damages of 1+ million for 24 songs strikes most reasonable people as ridiculously unfair. However, are not statutory damages as a general principle a sometimes useful concept in the law? For example, in cases where it is difficult to prove exactly how much loss a prevailing party has experienced? Perhaps the court will come up with some sort of reasonablenes
  • by PaSTE (88128) <{paste} {at} {mps.ohio-state.edu}> on Tuesday July 07, 2009 @02:29AM (#28604505) Homepage
    I would like to see this turned around: because the RIAA's case did not offer any information about the damages done by download these 24 songs in the trial, the court should enforce that the RIAA sell all its tracks at the value assigned to each song by the jury (~$81,000). The court might even take pity of the poor industry and lower that to $40,000 if it assumes some reasonable amount of the fine (50%) was awarded for statutory damages. That way, if the RIAA accepts the ruling, they would immediately go out of business as every CD they sell would be marked up to $500,000. Why isn't there a Draconian party running for government anywhere?
    • I would like to see this turned around: because the RIAA's case did not offer any information about the damages done by download these 24 songs in the trial, the court should enforce that the RIAA sell all its tracks at the value assigned to each song by the jury (~$81,000)

      How about you try and get unlimited redistribution rights to these songs and see how much that costs? Because thats more like what the defendent would have needed here to avoid the court case.

    • I would like to see this turned around: because the RIAA's case did not offer any information about the damages done by download these 24 songs in the trial, the court should enforce that the RIAA sell all its tracks at the value assigned to each song by the jury (~$81,000).

      It's not a price for one song, it's a price for N copies of a song, where N is unknown (but assumed to be significantly larger than 1).

  • SCOTUS ? Sounds like a bunch of TP.

  • Smart (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Barny (103770) <bakadamage-slashdot@yahoo.com> on Tuesday July 07, 2009 @03:05AM (#28604665) Homepage Journal

    As per one of my previous posts postulated, they are not fighting based on technical defense, but on a constitutional one, the first court case was indeed a sham to coax the jury to make the biggest most outrageous damages they could. As per NYCL they didn't even call their own witnesses or cross examine (if memory serves me correctly).

  • by Evets (629327) *

    I can't see this even being heard. The only way this flies is if there can be an accounting of actual damages, and that is not likely to happen. There is entirely too much information missing in this case to prove actual damages. The only thing you could potentially do is compare income on the songs prior to and after the incident, and do trending on similar songs. Since that evidence does not exist, how can it be introduced during an appeal?

    The only effective appeal I see is based on the allowance of e

  • Below Zero (Score:3, Funny)

    by Nom du Keyboard (633989) on Tuesday July 07, 2009 @03:23AM (#28604765)
    I think the verdict should be reduced to below zero - entitling Jamie Thomas to a refund from those bastards.
  • Maybe I could sue for Punitive Damages that your giving me. Well, Punitive Damages here. [youtube.com]
  • by Kupfernigk (1190345) on Tuesday July 07, 2009 @04:00AM (#28604977)
    A judicial system that allows somebody to be completely destroyed (which is what enforcing the judgement would do in such a case, since effectively it would deprive her of more than her entire expected lifetime earnings) for what is evidently a trivial matter, is broken. If higher courts will not provide a remedy, then they have failed as courts of equity - which would suggest a defect in the US Constitution.

    This could not happen in Europe because the UN declaration on Human Rights is built into legislation. Not surprisingly, British Conservatives want to get big business (and the US) on their side by derogating from it. This case is evidence of why we in the UK need to worry, not only about our present Government but the probable next one.

There's got to be more to life than compile-and-go.

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