1.5-million-dollar verdict in US music piracy case

Nov 04, 2010
A judge's gavel rests on top of a desk in a courtroom. A US jury has ordered a Minnesota woman to pay 1.5 million dollars for illegally downloading 24 songs in a high-profile digital piracy case.

A US jury has ordered a Minnesota woman to pay 1.5 million dollars for illegally downloading 24 songs in a high-profile digital piracy case.

Jammie Thomas-Rasset, a single mother of four, was found liable by a jury on Wednesday of for using KaZaA peer-to-peer file-sharing network to download the songs over the Internet.

She was ordered to pay 62,500 dollars for each of the 24 songs, a total of 1.5 million dollars.

The verdict was the third in the long-running case and was welcomed by the (RIAA).

"We are again thankful to the jury for its service in this matter and that they recognized the severity of the defendant's misconduct," the RIAA said in a statement.

"Now with three jury decisions behind us along with a clear affirmation of Ms. Thomas-Rasset's willful liability, it is our hope that she finally accepts responsibility for her actions," it said.

In June 2009, a jury ordered Thomas-Rasset to pay 1.92 million dollars -- or 80,000 dollars per song -- to six record companies: Capitol Records, Sony BMG Music, Arista Records, Interscope Records, Warner Bros. Records and UMG Recordings.

Thomas-Rasset was convicted previously, in October 2007, and ordered to pay 220,000 dollars in damages but the judge who presided over that trial threw out the verdict calling it "wholly disproportionate" and "oppressive."

The RIAA and major brought suit against thousands of people for illegally downloading and , with most agreeing to settlements of between 3,000 and 5,000 dollars.

Thomas-Rasset, however, has consistently refused to settle the case.

In December 2008, the RIAA said it will stop suing people who download music illegally and focus instead on getting Internet Service Providers to take action.

The move away from litigation represented a major shift in strategy for the music industry group, which had filed lawsuits against some 35,000 people for online music piracy since 2003.

Explore further: Startups offer banking for smartphone users

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Judge slashes 'monstrous' fine in music piracy case

Jan 25, 2010

Condemning a two-million-dollar fine meted out to a Minnesota woman for illegally downloading music over the Internet as "monstrous and shocking," a judge has slashed the penalty to 54,000 dollars.

Minnesota song-sharing case heads for 3rd trial

Jan 28, 2010

(AP) -- A trade group representing the major music labels said Wednesday it will reject a reduced penalty for a central Minnesota woman found guilty of sharing 24 songs over the Internet, and will instead begin preparing ...

Industry wants to ban Minn. woman from downloading

Jul 06, 2009

(AP) -- Just weeks after a federal jury ruled that a Minnesota woman must pay $1.92 million for illegally sharing copyright-protected music, the recording industry wants to make sure she doesn't do it again.

Big fine could be big trouble in downloading case

Jun 19, 2009

(AP) -- The $1.92 million verdict against a Minnesota woman accused of sharing 24 songs over the Internet could ratchet up the pressure on other defendants to settle with the recording industry - if the big ...

Minimal damages sought in Mass. song-download case

Jul 31, 2009

(AP) -- A lawyer for a Boston University student who admitted illegally downloading and sharing music urged a federal jury Friday to "send a message" to the music industry by awarding only minimal damages.

Recommended for you

Startups offer banking for smartphone users

Aug 30, 2014

The latest banks are small enough to fit in the palm of your hand. Startups, such as Moven and Simple, offer banking that's designed specifically for smartphones, enabling users to track their spending on the go. Some things ...

Ecuador heralds digital currency plans (Update)

Aug 29, 2014

Ecuador is planning to create what it calls the world's first digital currency issued by a central bank, which some analysts believe could be a first step toward abandoning the country's existing currency, ...

'SwaziLeaks' looks to shake up jet-setting monarchy

Aug 29, 2014

As WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange prepares to end a two-year forced stay at Ecuador's London embassy, he may take comfort in knowing he inspired resistance to secrecy in places as far away as Swaziland.

WEF unveils 'crowdsourcing' push on how to run the Web

Aug 28, 2014

The World Economic Forum unveiled a project on Thursday aimed at connecting governments, businesses, academia, technicians and civil society worldwide to brainstorm the best ways to govern the Internet.

User comments : 68

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

CarolinaScotsman
4.6 / 5 (27) Nov 04, 2010
This verdict is totally ridiculous. It is a slap in the face of reason and sanity. I don't condone illegal downloads but this punishment is way out of line. (Yes, punishment, actual damages would be the cost to download the songs legally. Most sites now charge $0.99 or just under twenty four bucks for all of them.) This is why so many people want to cheat the RIAA. They want the world.
marjon
1.1 / 5 (28) Nov 04, 2010
This is a victory for property rights.
CarolinaScotsman
5 / 5 (15) Nov 04, 2010
http://www.physor...tal.html

This is who the RIAA should be afraid of.
DamienS
4.8 / 5 (19) Nov 05, 2010
This is totally insane.
frajo
4.4 / 5 (16) Nov 05, 2010
The law can be very indecent because it is made by wealthy people who are heavily influenced by indecent wealthy industries.
This is not democracy - this is oligarchy in democratic disguise.
cmn
1.5 / 5 (8) Nov 05, 2010
To Jammie Thomas-Rasset: way to take one for the team!

To everyone who has downloaded music, violating copyright: why don't you send Jammie Thomas-Rasset $1/song.
getgoa
1.3 / 5 (14) Nov 05, 2010
This person is nonsensical-- she was told not to download and went against the court ruling and still downloaded the music.

Here is Kazaa's terms of agreement:

You may not make any use of the Materials that would infringe the copyright therein. You must comply with all applicable law in your use of Materials and agree to protect any third party licensor's rights therein. You may not make any unauthorized reproduction or distribution of Materials that violates applicable law.

This is self-evident the person violated the terms and law.


Modernmystic
4.4 / 5 (29) Nov 05, 2010
This person is nonsensical-- she was told not to download and went against the court ruling and still downloaded the music.

Here is Kazaa's terms of agreement:

You may not make any use of the Materials that would infringe the copyright therein. You must comply with all applicable law in your use of Materials and agree to protect any third party licensor's rights therein. You may not make any unauthorized reproduction or distribution of Materials that violates applicable law.

This is self-evident the person violated the terms and law.



I don't think anyone's disputing that.

I also don't think anyone here believes it's appropriate to use a firing squad on someone who jay-walks.

Do you?
trekgeek1
4.5 / 5 (17) Nov 05, 2010
This is utterly ridiculous. This is so ridiculous that I really hope a new wave of illegal downloading completely destroys the RIAA. I realize that they have a legal right to protect their property, but this is just being a bully and especially against such a small target. Sending corporate lawyers against a single mother who downloaded 24 songs? This is not justice, and in my opinion qualifies as cruel and unusual punishment. She has to pay basically a lifetimes salary to the RIAA?
Slotin
Nov 05, 2010
This comment has been removed by a moderator.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (12) Nov 05, 2010
Does the RIAA recognize that people will pirate music in greater numbers because of bullshit like this?

The revolution is online, and it won't be televised, but you can probably catch a pod cast.
Ravenrant
5 / 5 (11) Nov 05, 2010
"We are again thankful to the jury for its service in this matter and that they recognized the severity of the defendant's misconduct," the RIAA said in a statement.

I hope these scumbags explain the severity of her crime to her kids and why they will be in debt for the rest of their lives. Too bad we got rid of slavery, they could work off this horrible crime that way, maybe we should bring it back since it's obvious the punishment fits the crime. Just like the drug war, punish the user instead of the supplier.

This is a direct result of a society that has tolerated punishing people who don't commit crimes. As long as we have the term 'victimless crime' in our vocabulary and punish people who commit these 'crimes', injustice like this, will continue.
bfast
4.8 / 5 (18) Nov 05, 2010
I could see such a verdict if the woman had uploaded the music, or gave copies to gazillions of people, but she go a copy for herself. As such a verdict in the order of $24, a buck a song, is more reasonable. Maybe give her a 10 to 1 punitive, and zap her $240.

This is patently ridiculous.
jjoensuu
4.6 / 5 (10) Nov 05, 2010
I could see such a verdict if the woman had uploaded the music, or gave copies to gazillions of people, but she go a copy for herself.
[...]
This is patently ridiculous.


Exactly correct.
Modernmystic
3.5 / 5 (11) Nov 05, 2010
I believe, though I may be wrong, that there is a provision in the law to hang a jury if you believe the law a person is charged with is unjust, even if they are patently "guilty" of the charge in question.

I wish there were a provision in the law where you could similarly dispute a sentencing you felt was unwarranted.
raykelly1940
4.4 / 5 (7) Nov 05, 2010
did the music industry get the money? I doubt it you can't get blood out of a stone! so f--k them
convolutedmind
5 / 5 (3) Nov 05, 2010
I believe, though I may be wrong, that there is a provision in the law to hang a jury if you believe the law a person is charged with is unjust, even if they are patently "guilty" of the charge in question.


Jury Nullification?
gideon
4.7 / 5 (12) Nov 06, 2010
1.9 million for 24 songs how? That's basically 2 albums. Did she produce high quality recordings and sell them earning almost 2 million in profit? Were the songs off of albums that even earned 1.9 million in sales? Aren't there laws preventing profiting from restitution? If she had shoplifted those cds instead would she owe 1.9 million on the possibility she might make copies? Who the hell was her lawyer?
PPihkala
5 / 5 (3) Nov 06, 2010
Another place: http://www.physor...ngs.html

"The Recording Industry Association of America has said it found Thomas-Rasset shared more than 1,700 songs on the file-sharing site Kazaa, but it sued over 24 of them. RIAA spokeswoman Cara Duckworth said the association made several attempts to settle with Thomas-Rasset, at first for $5,000, but Thomas-Rasset refused."

So it's not just 24 songs, but it's still quite large sum for something intangible.
jsa09
5 / 5 (8) Nov 06, 2010
I think the lady could have commited a few murders and got a smaller penalty in the civil court of the good ol U.S of A
Baseline
4.2 / 5 (5) Nov 06, 2010
So she shared something that is given away for free via radio and or video anyway.

She made exactly $0.00 in profits from her actions and this is a just verdict and damage award? Nonsense.

If she had been running a CD duplication machine and toting her wares to the local flea market and profiting from the sales then I can't imagine anyone would feel that she did not deserve to be slapped down.

Newbeak
5 / 5 (6) Nov 06, 2010
Glad I live in Canada,where downloading music for personal use is legal.
EvgenijM
1 / 5 (3) Nov 06, 2010
If that is the final verdict, I believe she has a moral right to murder a couple RIAA scumbags - that way the punishment will be at least justified.
MatthiasF
5 / 5 (7) Nov 06, 2010
She didn't "illegally download 24 songs", whoever wrote the article didn't do their homework.

She was found guilty of SHARING 24 songs on a P2P network, allowing others to download them.

AFP Fail.
Cave_Man
3.6 / 5 (12) Nov 06, 2010
This person is nonsensical-- she was told not to download and went against the court ruling and still downloaded the music.

Here is Kazaa's terms of agreement:
BLAH

do u even understand how much money a million dollars is, average people make about that much in their ENTIRE LIVES, you're saying that the penalty for shoplifting one cd should be life in debt, basically slavery. fck u and anyone who thinks like you.
seriously, like the person above my post pointed out, murder costs less than this, hell i could punch a cop in the face then take a shit on his cop car, break the police dogs neck, and more for less than 1.5 million dollars
Dummy
1.7 / 5 (6) Nov 06, 2010
She should have just used Bittorrent to download the music. Its legal and free because its not copyright infringement.

The RIAA can kiss my white a$$.
StarDust21
3 / 5 (2) Nov 07, 2010
Our net neutrality slowly drifting away, this is so sad...
Grizzled
1.4 / 5 (9) Nov 07, 2010
Don't you guys think that the jury in the case (3 juries in fact) who knew all the facts and still passed that verdict must have had some reason for doing that?

As for the sum involved - she was offered an out of court settlement (this is exactly what they are for) but she insisted on fighting it out in courts. Times three. This is costly - all the lawyers, case preparation, court costs. Who's gonna pay all that if not the guilty party?

And her zero profit isn't an argument at all. This way you could argue that someone who stole and smashed up your car should go free unless they sold it for profit.

Someone also mentioned "mother of four". And? Is it a get-out-of-jail-free ticker now?

Mind you, it does seem a bit over the top, but it was her choice. She wanted a fight - she got it. Lost it too.
Foundation
3.7 / 5 (3) Nov 07, 2010
She should have just used Bittorrent to download the music. Its legal and free because its not copyright infringement.

How exactly is using torrents to get copyrighted material legal?
MarkyMark
2.8 / 5 (5) Nov 07, 2010
was she guilty yes

was the punishment over the top hell yes!!!!

she should have been fined a more resonable ammount for her crimes just slapping such a fine as they did makes no sence at all as all it will do is ruin her and her 4 children. On top of a fine she should have got a short 8 month sentence. And counceling as she obviously needs it.
Grizzled
3.7 / 5 (9) Nov 07, 2010
She should have just used Bittorrent to download the music. Its legal and free because its not copyright infringement.

How exactly is using torrents to get copyrighted material legal?

I think he means a sort of grey area there about who makes the copy. Traditionally, if you have a book or tape recording and make a copy, the person who violated the copyright is obvioous. Not so with torrents - note how many torrent sites take great pains to stress they don't carry any copyrighted material. The idea is that with a huge amorphous cloud of bits floating around it becomes difficult to tell who broke what. Makes for some interesting points to consider.
Grizzled
1 / 5 (4) Nov 07, 2010
Glad I live in Canada,where downloading music for personal use is legal.

Without permission from the copyright holder you mean? I very much doubt it.
Mastoras
5 / 5 (6) Nov 07, 2010
When a car is produced, you can't have another without replicating the cost of the materials, the cost of capital (machines, tools, knowledge, etc.) and the cost of labor.

But a digital product (music, software) is the first product in history that can be reproduced with zero cost.

That is why we speak about theft of a car, but we say copyright infringement when it comes to a digital song. Even if you download the song illegaly, the company can still reproduce thousands and millions of the same.

And also: they can reproduce their digital product not only very cheaply, but also very easily.

So, what the recording companies describe as "the seriousness of the crime of copyright infringement", is just bubble-talk for the risk of loosing their profits. And these profits are huge, compared to the cost of producing the original first copy of a digital product.
-.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (3) Nov 07, 2010
Glad I live in Canada,where downloading music for personal use is legal.

Without permission from the copyright holder you mean? I very much doubt it.

It is called the right to preview rule, and it holds in the US as well.

You can download and demo copyright material in full, 1 song or chapter at a time, however you must delete your sample within 24 hours. You are explicitly not allowed to download whole books, or albums. It's called the right to preview, and Canada's law is about the same.
Doug_Huffman
3 / 5 (6) Nov 07, 2010
While impossible for 'music'/RIAA's undisciplined market, a boycott might further convince RIAA that their product is nearly valueless and worth stealing only.

Thank goodness that I have twenty-ish years of OLD MUSIC and the means to convert the files as needed.
epsi00
4 / 5 (4) Nov 07, 2010
This suit shows one thing and one thing only. If you have deep pockets, you can impose your views of justice on others. Nothing else. You can steal 24 bananas and eat them knowing that you will not be asked to pay 24 millions, a million for each banana you stole.
So what's the lesson? Well to me, it's better to rob a bank than question the the self-appointed music industry cop, the RIAA and the studios who make more money than the artists themselves.
Grizzled
1 / 5 (3) Nov 07, 2010

It is called the right to preview rule, and it holds in the US as well.

You can download and demo copyright material in full, 1 song or chapter at a time, however you must delete your sample within 24 hours. You are explicitly not allowed to download whole books, or albums. It's called the right to preview

Yes, true, but it's not a "personal use". Note the number of restrictions imposed. Who imposed them? That's right - the copyright holder or their reps. So in that case you do have their permission - either explicit or implicit.
MorituriMax
5 / 5 (2) Nov 07, 2010
An analogy to the jay walking thing compared to the music thing. If we were to impose the same level of punishment on a jay walker for jay walking as we did on the woman and the music, since the jaywalker didn't cross legally where he was supposed to, we would have to airdrop the jaywalker up near the top of the Himalayan mountains naked and make him walk all the way to the road he crossed illegally.
Grizzled
1 / 5 (8) Nov 07, 2010

I also don't think anyone here believes it's appropriate to use a firing squad on someone who jay-walks.

But if, by their actions, they cause a serious crash resulting in loss of life or injury they are likely to face a prison term as well as a multi-million $ fine.
Grizzled
1 / 5 (5) Nov 07, 2010
there is a provision in the law to hang a jury

Oh my, and there I was not realising that being on a jury is a capital offence :-)
dtxx
3.3 / 5 (7) Nov 07, 2010
This is precisely why I swore back in 2003 that I would never pay another cent as long as I live for any piece of copyrighted music and still haven't.
Dummy
3.3 / 5 (7) Nov 07, 2010
How exactly is using torrents to get copyrighted material legal?


Because it doesn't download "the file", which is copyright infringement. It takes "bits" from different sources, downloads them separately then reassembles them into the file on your computer. Its been thrown out of court 2 times. It is not "file sharing" so as of now it is free and in widespread use. You can download anything in digital format.
:-)
Grizzled
1 / 5 (1) Nov 07, 2010

But if, by their actions, they cause a serious crash resulting in loss of life or injury they are likely to face a prison term as well as a multi-million $ fine.

I'm just curious about the 3 people (so far) who rated it at 1. Could you elaborate what exactly you disagree with? Is it that:

1. This is factualy wrong and they don't face anything special.
2. This isn't how it should be and they shouldn't face the consequences?
3. The analogy isn't valid but hey, it wasn't me who brought it up. In that case you should disagree with the original.

So what was it?
TheWalrus
3 / 5 (2) Nov 07, 2010
This is precisely why I swore back in 2003 that I would never pay another cent as long as I live for any piece of copyrighted music and still haven't.


First: The verdict was completely unreasonable and a miscarriage of justice. The punishment in no way fits the crime.

That said:

The United States Constitution guarantees protection for copyrights and patents. When you steal music, you not only deprive the artist of their profits, you also violate their Constitutional rights. Piracy is destroying the music industry. Your favorite band will not be able to pay for the best producers and session musicians, if no one pays them for their product. You expect musicians to give you for free what took them many hours of labor and many years of education to produce? What makes you so special, that you deserve their product for free? What makes music any different from legal advice or other intangible service? It' is the height of arrogance to think you're entitled to STEAL.
zbarlici
5 / 5 (2) Nov 07, 2010
The ridiculous ruling in the Thomas-Rasset case is the result of the record label companies inability to adapt, & now technological innovation is being blamed for the label`s shortfalls. Perhaps the advent of the automobile should have been held back a couple of hundred years to protect the interests of the horse carriage manufacturers? Thank you RIAA for your services. They will no longer be needed as you can clearly not adapt for the better of society.
StarDust21
5 / 5 (1) Nov 07, 2010
Will any politician stand up for net neutrality? This is getting very sad..
dtxx
2 / 5 (4) Nov 08, 2010
I did not say I would download music illegally either. I simply decided to permanently boycott this industry because the people who run it make me sick to the point of becoming physically ill.
frajo
2.3 / 5 (3) Nov 08, 2010
But if, by their actions, they cause a serious crash resulting in loss of life or injury they are likely to face a prison term as well as a multi-million $ fine.
I'm just curious about the 3 people (so far) who rated it at 1. Could you elaborate what exactly you disagree with?
You are talking about physical injury and "loss of life" in a context where it is well understood that a) the RIAA is not a human being which could suffer from physical injury or "loss of life" and b) the only one who could suffer from physical injury or "loss of life" is Ms. Thomas-Rasset.
The only psychologically plausible explanation for your picking this theme is that you're wishing to hurt her physically. Like in the good old times of slavery.
LivaN
3.7 / 5 (3) Nov 08, 2010
I'm just curious about the 3 people (so far) who rated it at 1. Could you elaborate what exactly you disagree with? Is it that:
[...]

So what was it?


There was a comparison drawn between the harm of copyright infringement of 24 songs, and the harm caused by jay-walking. You changed jay-walking to "culpable himicide, damage to property, etc", which is no longer a good comparison.

You would have had to show that the infringement of 24 songs is on the order of 1.5 million to not have recieved so many low ratings.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (1) Nov 08, 2010
Will any politician stand up for net neutrality? This is getting very sad..

The ones who do, get voted out thanks to the Right wing echo chamber.
Gawad
5 / 5 (2) Nov 08, 2010
It is called the right to preview rule...You can download and demo copyright material in full, 1 song or chapter at a time...
Yes, true, but it's not a "personal use"...
Back in 2004 the RIAA came strolling into Canada expecting an open & shut case against a Canadian file swapper. According to the judge himself they were so overconfident they did an amateurish job presenting their case and got torn apart in court. This in large part *because of the industry's own demands for fees to be levied against all recordable media* as well as preexisting copy exceptions that the defense was all over. http://news.cnet....641.html
"regulators cited a long-standing rule in Canada, in which most copying for personal use was allowed. To repay artists and record labels for revenue lost by this activity, the government imposes a fee on blank tapes, CDs and even hard disk-based MP3 players such as Apple Computer's iPod, and distributes that revenue to copyright holders."
Grizzled
1 / 5 (4) Nov 08, 2010

You would have had to show that the infringement of 24 songs is on the order of 1.5 million to not have recieved so many low ratings.


I presume that's what they did - to the satisfaction of the 36 jurors not to mention judges and lawyers. And here you go and, on the basis of your uninformed opinion only, equate her actions with something harmless. I was trying to show that it's not necessarily so her actions may *seem* harmless to you but obviously they didn't to the said jurors.

So do you now reject the fundamentals of this legal system and hold that your feelings trump?
Jimee
5 / 5 (2) Nov 08, 2010
Sow fear and maximize greed. Single mother of four? $62,500 for each song? They could have targeted someone who was willfully downloading and providing protected content in significant quantities, rather than just for personal enjoyment. It is, yes, wrong to use someone's creation without paying, but this seems completely inappropriate. In my opinion this is the wrong approach.
Grizzled
1 / 5 (3) Nov 08, 2010
it is well understood that a) the RIAA is not a human being which could suffer from physical injury or "loss of life" and b) the only one who could suffer from physical injury or "loss of life" is Ms. Thomas-Rasset.
The only psychologically plausible explanation for your picking this theme is that you're wishing to hurt her physically. Like in the good old times of slavery.

a) RIAA represents human being who can.
b) Wrong - musicians, producers, technicians etc etc can too.

And as for your personal attack against me - I would suggest it's well below the standards for this forum.
Grizzled
1 / 5 (5) Nov 08, 2010
Like in the good old times of slavery.

I would also submit that "slavery" in this case applies to the artists et al who are supposed to work for free for the benefit of herself and the likes of her to whom she distributed their work.
Grizzled
1 / 5 (4) Nov 08, 2010
They could have targeted someone who was willfully downloading and providing protected content in significant quantities, rather than just for personal enjoyment.

They did. Read the article again - carefully this time. 24 songs were *representative* charge of hundreds of songs she downloaded *and distributed*.

As for the "single mother of four" - err, excuse me? Do you maintain that's a waiver to commit crime with no penalties? Equal justice for all - remember?
frajo
3.7 / 5 (3) Nov 08, 2010
So do you now reject the fundamentals of this legal system and hold that your feelings trump?
Ever heard of Milgram's experiments?
frajo
3.7 / 5 (3) Nov 08, 2010
And as for your personal attack against me - I would suggest it's well below the standards for this forum.
1) I don't attack people - I analyze them.
2) You asked for it:
I'm just curious about the 3 people (so far) who rated it at 1. Could you elaborate what exactly you disagree with?
Gawad
5 / 5 (1) Nov 08, 2010
Glad I live in Canada,where downloading music for personal use is legal.
Without permission from the copyright holder you mean? I very much doubt it.
You would very much be wrong. Because copyright holders *are already compensated* for copyright infringement in Canada through the levying of fees on recordable media, copyright infringement for *personal* use is legal and this is established through legal precedent. (It remains illegal to sell or otherwise make money from such copies, however.) An update to the Canadian copyright law is in the works by the current conservative government, but potential penalties are far, far below what the RIAA wishes they were.
Newbeak
5 / 5 (2) Nov 08, 2010
Glad I live in Canada,where downloading music for personal use is legal.

Without permission from the copyright holder you mean? I very much doubt it.

It is called the right to preview rule, and it holds in the US as well.

You can download and demo copyright material in full, 1 song or chapter at a time, however you must delete your sample within 24 hours. You are explicitly not allowed to download whole books, or albums. It's called the right to preview, and Canada's law is about the same.

That's not what I found: see: http://news.cnet....ncol;txt

Newbeak
5 / 5 (1) Nov 08, 2010
Glad I live in Canada,where downloading music for personal use is legal.
Without permission from the copyright holder you mean? I very much doubt it.
You would very much be wrong. Because copyright holders *are already compensated* for copyright infringement in Canada through the levying of fees on recordable media, copyright infringement for *personal* use is legal and this is established through legal precedent. (It remains illegal to sell or otherwise make money from such copies, however.) An update to the Canadian copyright law is in the works by the current conservative government, but potential penalties are far, far below what the RIAA wishes they were.


Here is the actual Act (PDF document) effective to Oct 20/10 as it presently stands,for those interested: http://laws.justi...C-42.pdf
Put "private use" in the PDF search field to jump to the relevant section.
LivaN
5 / 5 (2) Nov 09, 2010
I presume that's what they did

It is best not to presume, as this often leads to errors
- to the satisfaction of the 36 jurors not to mention judges and lawyers.

It is well known that with greater finances, comes greater legal power. Especially in the USA. Do you know what jury selection is? Besides, even if you are right, you’re analogy doesn’t work. Read it again.
And here you go and, on the basis of your uninformed opinion

This is hearsay; can you please justify your assertion that I am “uninformed”? I feel it is you who is uninformed, as you clearly make assumptions (refer above).
only, equate her actions with something harmless.

It was a comparison showing the ‘magnitude’ of the crime vs punishment. Nowhere was it said that her actions were harmless.

cont.
LivaN
5 / 5 (2) Nov 09, 2010
I was trying to show that it's not necessarily so her actions may *seem* harmless to you but obviously they didn't to the said jurors.


Read your analogy again, it doesn’t work the way you intended it to work. That is what I explained.
Also you shouldn’t draw a conclusion from speculation. Assuming there is some underlying piece if information that equates 24 songs worth less than $24 to $1.5 mill…how can you accept that as is?
So do you now reject the fundamentals of this legal system and hold that your feelings trump?


Rejecting the severity of a judgment of one trial is hardly rejecting the fundamentals of the legal system. You on the other hand assert that the legal system is above error, or potential abuse. If such is the case, why do the RIAA bother having such costly legal representation? Because the more money you put in, the more the law swings in your favour. Hence 1,5mil.
Thrasymachus
5 / 5 (4) Nov 09, 2010
Doesn't this sort of ruling clearly violate the right against cruel and inhumane punishment? Where's the proportionality here? Even if these 24 songs were representative of a couple hundred songs, you still can't justify a fine of more than a couple thousand dollars. Think of it this way, if you walked into a music store and literally stuffed 30 or 40 albums down your shirt and set off the beeper on the way out, do you really think you'd be fined and/or sued for over a million dollars?
Gawad
5 / 5 (3) Nov 09, 2010
Glad I live in Canada,where downloading music for personal use is legal.

Without permission from the copyright holder you mean? I very much doubt it.

It is called the right to preview rule, and it holds in the US as well.

You can download and demo copyright material in full, 1 song or chapter at a time, however you must delete your sample within 24 hours. You are explicitly not allowed to download whole books, or albums. It's called the right to preview, and Canada's law is about the same.

That's not what I found: see: http://news.cnet....ncol;txt

The date of the article should be noted, however: oct. 2003. So when the author wrote "This has never been tested in court." he was correct, but the court did test the defense one year later and the file copier was vindicated.
Skeptic_Heretic
5 / 5 (5) Nov 09, 2010
You would have had to show that the infringement of 24 songs is on the order of 1.5 million to not have recieved so many low ratings.


The thing that really gets me is the count involved. How in the hell did the penalty for the downloads get so high? If we're talking about actual losses, let's say these songs were all from different albums, and let's say they're $100 album box set exclusives.

That's still only $2400. Where the hell does the RIAA get off requesting that much in fines for a loss they can't accurately quantify.
Skultch
not rated yet Nov 09, 2010
Just playing Devil's Advocate:

The fine isn't based on how many songs the defendant downloaded, it's how many times people downloaded from her. The plaintiff should have to show records of how many successfully leached off her seeds (24) to justify damages to their clients. This is the most relevant piece of info. Why is it not in this abstract?
james11
not rated yet Nov 13, 2010
Wow thewalrus, Im sure many people wouldnt "steal" songs if it wasnt so damn easy. If the guy workin at a gas station said you can take your favorite item for free, would you decline because no money for that item would go to the already wealthy distributor?
james11
5 / 5 (1) Nov 13, 2010
Technology advances therefore companies, products, and so on either adapt fast or become obsolete. Artists are going to have to deal with it and they are trying. Their Mansion isnt big enough and the new audi is sweeet.