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  (Source: Walt Disney Pictures)

Jammie Thomas expressed shock and frustration at the $1.92M USD verdict stating, "There was nothing I could do. Now the record industry has a $2 million award against me. The only thing I can say is good luck trying to get it, because you can’t get blood out of a turnip."  (Source: blogs.pitch.com)
New fine is nearly ten times the fine in the original mistrial

In a move that sent a harsh message to those who would considering challenging the RIAA's legal campaign against filesharers, a jury found Jammie Thomas-Rasset guilty of copyright infringement late Thursday and ordered her to pay an astronomical $1.92M USD in damages. 

The case is the sequel to last year's original trial, the first RIAA case to go before a jury.  That trial also saw a guilty verdict.  The damages in the previous case was smaller, but substantial, at $222,000.  The case was declared a mistrial due to the judge informing the jury that "making available" was equivalent to copyright infringement, something that recent rulings have challenged.

Ms. Thomas-Rasset, a married mother of four was back in court Monday ready for round two.  This time she was represented by Kiwi Camara, the youngest person to matriculate to Harvard, also known for a racial controversy during his time at Harvard.  The case turned sour quickly, though, with Mr. Camara's early defenses being thrown out by the judge.

In the end the jury found Jammie Thomas guilty of sharing 24 songs, including tracks by Green Day, Aerosmith, and Guns 'n Roses.  It chose to fine her a shocking $80,000 per song, for a total of $1,920,000 USD, nearly 10 times the original verdict.

Ms. Thomas-Rasset, who works as a natural- resources coordinator for the Mille Lacs Band of the Ojibwe, met the verdict with shock and frustration, stating, "There was nothing I could do.  Now the record industry has a $2 million award against me. The only thing I can say is good luck trying to get it, because you can’t get blood out of a turnip."

The RIAA says it didn't have to come to this.  States Cara Duckworth, an RIAA spokeswoman, "From day one, we’ve been willing to settle this case for somewhere between $3,000 and $5,000.  We appreciate the jury's service and that they take this issue as seriously as we do.  We are pleased that the jury agreed with the evidence and found the defendant liable."

The settlement brings into question the fines enabled by the No Electronics Theft (NET) Act, which allows for up to $150,000 per item in cases of willful copyright infringement.  Fred von Lohmann, a lawyer with the consumer group Electronic Frontier Foundation, complains, "The disproportionate size of the verdict raises constitutional questions.  Was the jury punishing her for what she did, or punishing her for the music sharing habits of tens of millions of American Internet users?Was the jury punishing her for what she did, or punishing her for the music sharing habits of tens of millions of American Internet users?"

The RIAA blames filesharers like Ms. Thomas-Rasset for the drop in music sales from 1999 highs of $14.6B USD, to the current level of $8.5B USD per year.  The organization looks to continue its legal campaign against filesharing Americans, buoyed by the victory.  Meanwhile Ms. Thomas-Rasset's lawyer, Kiwi Camara hopes to launch a class action lawsuit against the RIAA this summer, with the help of a Harvard law professor.



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.....
By codeThug on 6/19/2009 8:49:25 AM , Rating: 5
insane




RE: .....
By Radnor on 6/19/2009 8:55:49 AM , Rating: 3
Good thing I'm not in the USA. Or Iran. Or China. I can peacefully watch porn and share music.


RE: .....
By ImSpartacus on 6/19/2009 9:56:24 AM , Rating: 1
But you can't get to Hulu! Wait a minute... Oh yeah...


RE: .....
By HostileEffect on 6/19/2009 8:57:45 AM , Rating: 5
The new thoughts I have now seem to only be expressible on the deepest levels of anger, no words or actions seem to fit.


RE: .....
By banvetor on 6/19/2009 9:16:07 AM , Rating: 5
I feel the same. If I were living in the USA now I think the only way I could get this thoughts out would be to go out to the streets and protest against RIAA.


RE: .....
By JasonMick (blog) on 6/19/2009 9:59:23 AM , Rating: 4
Detective: This is the home of Lars Ulrich, the drummer for Metallica. [they approach a bush] Look. There's Lars now, sitting by his pool. [he's seen sitting on the edge of a chaise longue, his face in his hands, softly sobbing]
Kyle: What's the matter with him?
Detective: This month he was hoping to have a gold-plated shark tank bar installed right next to the pool, but thanks to people downloading his music for free, he must now wait a few months before he can afford it. [a close-up of Lars sobbing] Come. There's more. [leads them away. Next seen is a small airport at night] Here's Britney Spears' private jet. Notice anything? [a shot of Britney boarding a plane, then stopping to look at it before entering] Britney used to have a Gulfstream IV. Now she's had to sell it and get a Gulfstream III because people like you chose to download her music for free. [Britney gives a heavy sigh and goes inside.] The Gulfstream III doesn't even have a remote control for its surround-sound DVD system. Still think downloading music for free is no big deal?
Kyle: We... didn't realize what we were doing, eh...
Detective: That is the folly of man. Now look in this window. [they are at another mansion, and they look inside a picture window] Here you see the loving family of Master P. [He's shown tossing a basketball to his wife while his kid tries to catch it] Next week is his son's birthday and, all he's ever wanted was an island in French Polynesia. [his mom lowers the ball and gives it to the boy, who smiles, picks it up and drops it. It rolls away and he goes after it]


RE: .....
By JasonMick (blog) on 6/19/2009 10:00:19 AM , Rating: 4
Kyle: So, he's gonna get it, right?
Detective: I see an island without an owner. If things keep going the way they are, the child will not get his tropical paradise.


RE: .....
By therealnickdanger on 6/19/2009 11:03:37 AM , Rating: 5
We didn't know... WE DIDN'T KNOW!!


RE: .....
By xphile on 6/21/2009 11:09:14 PM , Rating: 2
I knew.. I knew!! I've been generously giving for years to Bono's favorite charity...

Feed the World (In print so small a microscope is needed to read it <<'s starving and destitute lead singers of world famous rock bands>>)


RE: .....
By TSS on 6/19/2009 1:04:14 PM , Rating: 4
i'm more reminded of mr big record producer from "Chef aid".

I AM ABOVE THE LAW!

also the chewbacca defense seems the only logical reason why this amount would be this high. it just doesn't make sense!


RE: .....
By Dauplat on 6/19/09, Rating: -1
RE: .....
By jonmcc33 on 6/19/2009 4:08:30 PM , Rating: 5
Actually, it's just the RIAA that loses money on album sales. The music artists are fine as they make most of their money through appearances, concerts and promotions.

1. If Joe Musician cannot land a job it's probably because his music is horrible.
2. I blame lost album sales on crappy music. We can now download (legally) the one or two good songs on an album for less than $2 as opposed to wasting $15 on an entire CD that is full of filler music. That's a $13 hit per album that the RIAA has just taken.


RE: .....
By Viditor on 6/21/2009 7:43:43 PM , Rating: 3
Kyle :Oh that's terrible...why didn't he do what all of the other promising young musicians do and self promote on the Internet?


RE: .....
By feraltoad on 6/20/2009 10:00:41 PM , Rating: 2
"Oh Spirit, I do believe in the DMCA!" <Opens Window> "Look out, boy! <chucks out laptop w/BitTorrent> "Boy, is Mariah Carey still putting out albums?" "Yes, guvner, but no one knows why..." "There's still time!"...


RE: .....
By therealnickdanger on 6/19/2009 9:23:14 AM , Rating: 4
Here's a word that seems to fit well:

PWND


RE: .....
By amanojaku on 6/19/2009 9:28:06 AM , Rating: 5
quote:
no words or actions seem to fit.
Here's a few words: "F*!@ the RIAA." And here's an action: don't buy any music until this gets reversed. This sounds like a job for Twitter!


RE: .....
By afkrotch on 6/19/2009 10:03:37 AM , Rating: 5
But someone needs to buy the music to spread all over P2P for us.


RE: .....
By HrilL on 6/19/2009 1:08:26 PM , Rating: 4
Not at all. If you look how our systems working. We get the music sometimes six months before the industry releases it. Go figure it gets pirated. If you can't buy it then get it for free.

I mean its hard to compete with free but they sell themselves short by not even having competition in the first three to six months with the free source. And you know Americans we want our stuff NOW and don't want to wait. So they brought it upon themselves by making us wait.


RE: .....
By Samus on 6/19/09, Rating: -1
RE: .....
By EricMartello on 6/20/2009 5:50:41 AM , Rating: 4
Spoken like a true pussy.


RE: .....
By pepito perez on 6/19/2009 11:13:41 AM , Rating: 5
Time to start printing tshirts:

Front: JUST DO IT. Download
Rear: I DO IT. I download

The industry is trying to enforce a business model that is done and dusted, and on the way they are pissing off their customers. Good job.


RE: .....
By Smilin on 6/19/2009 5:53:14 PM , Rating: 3
I respectfully request this get a 6.

1.9 million dollars for this person? Not justice.


RE: .....
By eddieroolz on 6/19/2009 11:50:11 AM , Rating: 5
One pirate down, ten more will spawn!


RE: .....
By Karmena on 6/19/2009 9:23:19 AM , Rating: 4
Just for fun of it - if you are insane and you brake into music store, and steal some CDs with music, that is 1M for each CD when you get caught, or is it?

I just don't understand the difference in this case. Where is the difference when you steal something that is software or hardware?

What is punishment for theft in USA? 3 years in probation? or 2M greens?


RE: .....
By 16nm on 6/19/2009 9:31:29 AM , Rating: 2
I believe breaking and entering is a crime in and of itself.


RE: .....
By TOAOCyrus on 6/19/2009 9:43:24 AM , Rating: 5
That would just be theft, if you made copies and sold them then that would be copyright infringement. That jury makes me sick, if there was ever a time for jury nullification it would be this. These massive fines where intended to deter large companies from stomping on the rights of individuals, now this woman is going to be paying out of her ass for the rest of her life because she shared a few songs for zero profit.


RE: .....
By 16nm on 6/19/09, Rating: 0
RE: .....
By afkrotch on 6/19/2009 10:08:34 AM , Rating: 2
She was taking a copy without paying for it and because of the way torrents work, she was also sharing it. Course the same thing happens with other P2P software too, like Kazaa or something.


RE: .....
By 16nm on 6/19/2009 10:34:30 AM , Rating: 3
I understand. I just think Karmena brought up an interesting point about copyright. It does seem that the law is being misapplied here. There is a need for new laws that specifically address these cyber situations/crimes. Shame on Congress for not being more proactive. Policy makers line their pockets with RIAA money yet help neither them nor the citizens they serve. I'm sure some law makers think this case proves the system is working.


RE: .....
By dragonbif on 6/19/2009 11:56:56 AM , Rating: 2
Yes need new laws.
I new if she lost this case this time that her fine would be higher then what it was. When you loose a case like this one you may have to pay the legal fees of the other. I was thinking more of $750K but I was off a bit.
If you have been following this it is not that she downloaded some music and gave some back to others but she uploaded these songs. So in otherwords do not be the uploader.


RE: .....
By inperfectdarkness on 6/19/2009 1:56:32 PM , Rating: 5
~2 million for sharing 24 songs.

wow.

i've seen 7+ figure embezzlement trials end in less damages being paid.

the legal system is BEYOND messed up.


RE: .....
By MrPoletski on 6/19/2009 9:55:42 AM , Rating: 4
If she owns CDs of all her music then she hasn't stolen anything.

The RIAA are going after her because she is allowing other people to steal music by downloading it off her.

IMHO, it should not be legally possible for the RIAA to prosecute anyone for sharing music freely.

It should, however, be possible for them to go after people distributing illegal copies of music/film/whatever FOR PROFIT.


RE: .....
By Tsuwamono on 6/19/2009 10:06:31 AM , Rating: 2
+1


RE: .....
By afkrotch on 6/19/2009 10:11:10 AM , Rating: 2
The problem comes when there is no verification to make sure the receiving end actually owns the product they are downloading.

I can understand where the RIAA comes from. They produced a product and they expect to get paid for that product. Now I do condemn their methods on fighting piracy.


RE: .....
By TheDoc9 on 6/19/2009 10:28:13 AM , Rating: 5
The riaa doesn't produce anything, they are a third party group that protects artists rights. They are a huge part of a failing bureaucracy of distributors and other third party interests that are interested only their cut of the money that can be made from an artist.

Because of this bureaucracy, the only artists that ever make any real money are the mega stars, failing that, an artist must go over seas to make real money.


RE: .....
By Bender 123 on 6/19/2009 10:48:56 AM , Rating: 2
Please understand the issue...

It was not that she downloaded the music, it's that she allowed others to download it.


RE: .....
By MrBlastman on 6/19/2009 12:30:44 PM , Rating: 5
Wrong:

The ARTISTS produced a product, not the scumbag RIAA. The Artists came up with the lyrics. The Artists came up with the melody. The Artists busted their behinds working tables and seedy underground nightclubs sweating their tails off for years before their music had a shot. (this is the good artists, mind you - not the talking robot-britney artists who were fabricated by corporate suits).

In the end, the Artists get paid squat and the RIAA takes the majority of the money. The Artists get thrown on the street while the fat cats find another victim to exploit for their profits. There are some Artists who will succeed, but it is far and few.

The RIAA and music industry execs, they succeed not through hard work, but through slimy lawyers and chicken-**** lawsuits and tactics. They forgot that hard work pays off in the end and instead, they choose to take, steal and pillage from the Artists within.

What about their actions on videos on youtube using music? Ridiculous. Instead of being thankful they are getting free advertising and potential new buyers due to the exposure, they shut it down. They do not have CLUE about business. They only understand their own thievery and nothing else.

Who's really worse, the filesharer or the RIAA and music industry exec?

I will not ever spend a dime on music and haven't for the past 10 years. As Duke would say: "Suck it down" RIAA. I'll just read a book, thank you.


RE: .....
By PrezWeezy on 6/19/2009 2:23:43 PM , Rating: 5
I completely agree with you. The fact is that the artists don't make any real money on the CD. The artists make their money on concerts. The RIAA makes no money for a concert. So it would make sense for the artists to give out CD's so bring people to the concert.

To the RIAA, MySpace is your biggest competitor. The artists don't NEED you anymore. That's why your profits have fallen! A band on myspace can get a million hits a day with a little work and never need Sony to sign them.


RE: .....
By Oregonian2 on 6/19/2009 4:22:59 PM , Rating: 2
The only one to make money are the registered authors of the music (not the performers unless they wrote it too). There's a rule where they get a fixed x% (although the record companies have been trying to get that number reduced). From a single digit to a lower one that I vaguely recall.


RE: .....
By Aloonatic on 6/19/2009 9:48:53 AM , Rating: 1
Are you referring to the sentence or the tracks that she chose to download :-D


RE: .....
By Misty Dingos on 6/19/09, Rating: -1
RE: .....
By eddieroolz on 6/19/2009 11:57:44 AM , Rating: 4
Unfortunately, I ran out of points, but you would receive a quick downrating for talking out of your arse, sir.

Many artists distribute their music for free and see their popularity soar, and contribute to eventual profits.

RIAA is simply a collection of goons that have nothing better to do each day than scout for more victims.

I have a few friends who write music, and they distribute it for free. They don't charge $20 for a CD full of crappy songs and one good one that people actually want to listen to.

If you think it's right to ruin a woman's life for 25~ songs and at the same time, give convicted gangsters just a probation for shooting in the street, then sir, I think you have an ethical problem in your head.

Also I like how you call us kids, seeing that most of us are over the age of 18. Perhaps, you shouldn't make yourself look like an arse in front of the internet. Oh sorry, you already done that in the first sentence. My bad.

I don't think I'll need to argue the rest, but I for one, have to leave for university soon. No worries, if I ever find out who you write music for, I'll pirate the hell out of that artist for you.


RE: .....
By 16nm on 6/19/2009 4:53:48 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I have a few friends who write music, and they distribute it for free. They don't charge $20 for a CD full of crappy songs and one good one that people actually want to listen to.


So how do these song writer friends make money? Is this their profession? Most music today involves a song writer and a performer. The performer typically has concerts to generate income (among other things). Where does the song writer's income come from? I think it's noble that they are not charging $20 for a CD with just one hit song, but they still need to put food on the table. So, how are they doing it?


RE: .....
By kc77 on 6/22/2009 6:03:00 AM , Rating: 1
They should be getting it from giving performances. The business model is changing. Making millions of dollars off of 1 song is slowly dying the way of the dodo (thank god).

The artist should be making money off of talent, not 1 song that a producer made for a cd of 12 songs, in which only that 1 song is good.


RE: .....
By wempa on 6/19/2009 12:23:05 PM , Rating: 4
Wow, what a completely idiotic post. Nice way to generalize EVERYBODY on this forum. Moron.


RE: .....
By HotFoot on 6/19/2009 12:47:17 PM , Rating: 3
You've got a point. I have rights on some IP myself and I'm glad there's protection in the law for that property. I still think this particular case is absurd, in that the amounts involved are ridiculous. It's pretty clear to me this woman is being made an example of, and the punishment far far FAR exceeds proportionality of the crime. Think of the amount of time she's probably going to have to work to pay that off, and it amounts to a pretty hefty jail time. Monsters who sexually assault children get off easier than this!

I really agree with the folks saying there needs to be some work done on the IP laws. I don't know what a good solution would be, but one thing I've thought of in the past is that maybe ownership of IP should be limited to the original creator(s) and not be something that can be sold. I can see a lot more feeling of legitimacy regarding the whole situation if it were the artists directly doing this rather than a group like the RIAA.

I'm sure there's a million downsides to the idea, too. Like I said I don't have the answers, but the point here is the system is clearly off-balance and something should be done about it.


RE: .....
By JediJeb on 6/19/2009 2:05:32 PM , Rating: 2
I agree with your suggestion on the IP belonging to the original creator and not being transferrable.

If you write something, or sing it or whatever, you should have the rights to it as long as you live, after that it should become public domain. Software should be similar in that as long as you support it you have rights to it, but like DOS and older software once the original owner dropps support for it, it should become public domain to protect the users who still use it.


RE: .....
By HostileEffect on 6/19/2009 2:46:09 PM , Rating: 1
If you have ever made or played any fan made maps in gaming then you should understand that many people make art because they like to make art and they want others to distribute and enjoy it, not for profits.

Ever download any mods?

The same applies to music, graphics design, modeling, etc.

I have to put mapping away so I can work on building a career, but I do intend to return in due time.


RE: .....
By Kalessian on 6/19/2009 4:00:57 PM , Rating: 3
Does the RIAA author anything? Other than these court cases. Music, poetry, stories or books? Any of them?

Because if they don't. They don't have an argument to stand on in my opinion. They are simply middle-men, then. And as is typical for middle-men, they just don't care where the cash comes from they just want it. They want you to pay for trying to enjoy your life so they can make more money. Only the fact that they have enough cash left to sue people keeps them above the level of a pig with its head stuffed in a trough of slop. Just wanting it is not justification for taking something from someone else. Whether it money made from their client's music, movie, book, poetry or the money from a single mother's kid’s trust funds.

I love how the RIAA will all poke fun at the people that did not take the risk of being nearly randomly chosen to be the next talentless pop star that record labels create out of thin air. The thoughts in the RIAA's ethically challenged little heads is. “Well, they don’t deserve to be compensated fairly for their work since we created them anyway. They shouldn’t bitch about the thousand or perhaps millions of dollars they won’t be making because they are filthy rich anyway.” Kids that is called corporate greed.

What the worst part about this is the RIAA won't care. They will simply stuff their heads back in the trough and suck up some more cash. In that way they are far more like over fed pigs than they will likely admit.


RE: .....
By xxsk8er101xx on 6/21/2009 2:43:07 AM , Rating: 2
You should be an artist because you enjoy what you do not to make money.

Being an artist is about freedom and the right to express yourself. The minute you go down the corporate ladder for a big check, gold albums, and fancy shoes is the minute you go down as the biggest hypocrite.


RE: .....
By encryptkeeper on 6/19/2009 7:12:19 PM , Rating: 2
The RIAA is either totally nuts, or more worried about making people afraid by going after these small time music sharers and slamming them with fines they'll NEVER afford to pay back. If their goal is the latter, I guess they believe this will make people think twice about sharing music.

I REALLY would like to know how much money they have ACTUALLY collected from the defendants in these cases.


RE: .....
By Silver2k7 on 6/20/2009 4:20:08 AM , Rating: 2
This is almost the same as listening to the radio for a couple of hours and recording the songs..

IMHO it should not be any more punishable than jay walking.


They are making an example out of her.
By sbtech on 6/19/2009 9:17:03 AM , Rating: 5
a) They dont have to get the money from her. Even there were hints that they will not pursue that and settle the case.

b) She lied in front of a court jury under oath. All evidence point that(as of now).

c) She said she doesnt know what kaza is, yet have written a paper about P2P sharing.

d) She tried to cover her tracks by switching HDD. More evidence which shows she knows what she was doing.

e) RIAA is making a example out of her, kind of like old public executions.

f) And finally, if you dont like the law you have the following options:
-> Its a democracy, vote your candidate who is capable enough to convince other candidates and finally change the law.
-> Move to a country which has a law to your liking.

Breaking laws you dont like is not a legal option, and if you do that, you have to face the consequences. She not only broke copyright laws, she also broke the rules of the legal system - lie under oath, etc.

If you don't like jurys or their verdict, it is a democratic country, and you are free to start a democratic process to change it.

Disclaimer: I am not in favor of RIAA or its action. I am explaining in layman terms the legal and democratic process.




By TemjinGold on 6/19/2009 9:42:16 AM , Rating: 2
Exactly.

I'm not saying it would be more fair but this article also doesn't have the whole story as she is accused of sharing "thousands of songs." For simplicity, the RIAA is only trying to prove 24 (full story was on Yahoo yesterday.)

In any case, I think the sharing of the music was the least of her infractions as pointed out by the previous poster. She knew what she did was wrong and lied repeatedly to the jury under oath. I think most of the punishment is coming from that. In ANY kind of case, if it is proven that you lied under oath, the punishment rachets up exponentially.

I don't agree with the RIAA's actions in the least but I can't say a much harsher penalty the second time isn't totally undeserved (though maybe not THAT amount.)


RE: They are making an example out of her.
By PitViper007 on 6/19/2009 9:50:00 AM , Rating: 5
I don't think anyone here actually thinks that she didn't share the music. She obviously did, based on the evidence. What we don't agree with is the exorbitant amount that was awarded to the RIAA from her. If you went out and shoplifted 2 or 3 CDs (basically the equivalent of what she shared out) you might get a few months probation, MAYBE a little jail time, and have to pay back for the CDs. The punishment just does NOT fit the crime here. OK, I understand this is a civil case and not criminal, but the point still stands.


RE: They are making an example out of her.
By TemjinGold on 6/19/2009 10:00:02 AM , Rating: 2
There's just one problem with that analogy: If you went out and shoplifted 2-3 cds, you stole 1 copy of each song on them. If you share songs, you are sharing to lots of people out there. And like I said, she is accused of sharing "thousands of songs," the 24 is only what they needed to prove to move the case.

Whether we "think" she shared the music or not doesn't change the fact that she repeatedly lied to the jury, which is illegal in itself, regardless of what she is being tried for.

Again, I'm not siding with the RIAA here. What I am saying is she wasn't right to do what she did either.


RE: They are making an example out of her.
By PitViper007 on 6/19/2009 10:19:44 AM , Rating: 5
quote:
Whether we "think" she shared the music or not doesn't change the fact that she repeatedly lied to the jury, which is illegal in itself, regardless of what she is being tried for.


That's a separate charge, a criminal one at that. It's called Perjury, and shouldn't have anything to do with the existing charges, or the penalties associated with them.

And yes, I know that there could be even several thousand downloads of each song. But I don't see where they proved how many times each WAS downloaded.

Again, I believe that she is guilty and needs to be punished. But the punishment needs to fit the crime. As it is, the fine that was leveled on her is, I feel, in violation of the 8th Amendment of the US Constitution, which reads:
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
Say what you will, but $1.9M is EXCESSIVE for what was PROVEN.


By TemjinGold on 6/19/2009 11:21:08 AM , Rating: 2
Yes I agreed the amount is excessive, I never disputed that. You may be misunderstanding some of what I said though. I wasn't referring to "several thousand downloads of each song," I'm saying the original article says she shared "several thousand SONGS" (each of which downloaded god knows how many times.) The RIAA only had the burden of proving it for 24 of them (similar to say, when Intel samples a few cpus from each batch to determine if the entire batch is good.) This isn't some soccer mom who shared 24 songs. This was someone who had a fairly large library of music and probably shared all of it.

I think that $50-$100 per song is a fairer verdict but at several thousand songs, that can still be 2-3 times the original verdict.

I admire this woman for trying to take a stand. While the RIAA may not be in the right, this woman isn't either and she should realize that there are consequences if you lose.


RE: They are making an example out of her.
By Murst on 6/19/2009 11:58:54 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
That's a separate charge, a criminal one at that. It's called Perjury, and shouldn't have anything to do with the existing charges, or the penalties associated with them.

That's not how it works. For a second, ignore what this civil case was about. Just picture yourself being in a jury in any type of civil case. Now, as you're sitting in the jury box, you see that one side is obviously lying in an attempt to cover up their illegal activity. Most juries, as was the case in this situation, would want to punish the liar.

Instead, if she just went in front of the jury and said that she made a mistake, apologized, and asked for leniency from the jury, her fines would have probably been nowhere close to this judgement.


RE: They are making an example out of her.
By Chocobollz on 6/19/2009 3:25:55 PM , Rating: 1
The problem is, most of the time, the world isn't that simple. If somebody lies, they should have a reason for that, mostly because of their own fears and the jury should be considering this before making any judgement. Especially when the RIAA is behind all this. I would say you yourself might have lied too if you're being sued by RIAA because they are notorious with ripping peoples off with big fines. You shouldn't be fined 2 millions dollar just because you're lying. With a fine that big, the crime should be big enough and in this case, I think it's way too big for her.


By Murst on 6/19/2009 5:55:42 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Especially when the RIAA is behind all this. I would say you yourself might have lied too if you're being sued by RIAA because they are notorious with ripping peoples off with big fines.

They offered her a settlement between 3-5k for sharing 2000 songs. That's about $2 per song, so I would consider that settlement actually fairly generous.

Instead, she declined, so they pressed charges on 24 of those songs, and instead of attempting to fight them fairly and appealing for sympathy, she decides to lie both to the judge and the jury.

I don't really feel sorry for her, just as I won't feel sorry for the RIAA if they go out of business for making these idiotic business decisions.


RE: They are making an example out of her.
By callmeroy on 6/19/2009 10:59:44 AM , Rating: 2
What some more perspective....earlier in the week a Southern Man was convicted of RAPING A 4 YEAR OLD.....his punishment --- 1 year behind bars (the guy is dying of cancer as well --- but I'm just putting that there for disclosure purposes)......

Hmm...1 year in jail for raping a child -vs- 2 million for illegally sharing some music files...yeah that's all about fair in each case.........give me a break!


RE: They are making an example out of her.
By Murst on 6/19/2009 12:04:48 PM , Rating: 2
You're comparing criminal and civil cases, which have nothing to do w/ each other. The family of that child could probably sue him and get millions of dollars ( if they ask for it ), which he probably wouldn't be able to pay ( which is probably why they haven't done it ).


By callmeroy on 6/22/2009 9:25:11 AM , Rating: 2
I know criminal and civil cases exist in their own "realms" so to speak -- that wasn't my point. My point was one in many (and believe me it wouldn't be hard to research other civil cases either that were way off scope of this one) --- my underlying point is the US legal system is nucking futs!


RE: They are making an example out of her.
By afkrotch on 6/19/2009 10:19:10 AM , Rating: 1
Try shoplifted 2 or 3 CDs, made thousands of copies of them, then gave them out.

If all she did was do something like download 24 songs off someone's FTP and didn't share it, then I'd expect a lesser charge. Something along the lines of paying back the merchandise, a fine, maybe a month in jail, and having it sit in your record.

By no means do I expect her to pay $1.92 mil. I'd say for her crimes, $1k up to $5k per song, with a $50k max.


By Farfignewton on 6/20/2009 12:09:15 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Try shoplifted 2 or 3 CDs, made thousands of copies of them, then gave them out.


Did the RIAA offer any evidence their music had been downloaded from her computer by anyone other than MediaSentry? If they did, I missed it. If they didn't the example becomes...

Shoplifted 2 or 3 CDs which may or may not have been copied (or partially copied!) by one or more persons.


By MatthiasF on 6/19/2009 2:57:32 PM , Rating: 2
She didn't steal music. She was charged with distributing copyrighted materials.

To correct your analogy, had she would have bought the CDs and made ten thousand copies to give to everyone she saw on the street. She thought she had the right to do this, although it makes no sense because why would she have to pay originally?

She setup the punishment for herself when she destroyed evidence (tossed the hard drive), lied on the stand, and committed even more acts of stupidity in the course of trying to defend herself.

Anyone with a brain that knew they were doing something wrong and was caught would attempt to limit damages. She went for broke and literally got it.


RE: They are making an example out of her.
By Mike Acker on 6/19/2009 9:57:27 AM , Rating: 2
this case will most likely be used to establish the precedent,-- i.e. the guide for future decisions: when another case arises where the material facts are the same the court can settle the issue by stare decisis. that would naturally apply to decisions rendered in courts inferior to the court which created the precedent.

it is all well and good to protest a matter by means of civil disobedience. and it has been my impression that this copyright issue has been just that: a challenge to the copyright law by means of civil disobedience.

but those who participate in a protest by means of civil disobedience need to be aware they may end up facing penalties.

it now appears the quibbling is over: a copy is a copy is a copy and if the copy is not restricted to private, non-commercial use legal action for copyright infringement may be brought.

once the precedent is established -- as it now appears it is -- it is the precedent that is used to decide future cases. re-hashing the arguments debated in the precedent is not allowed as the issue is considered settled.


RE: They are making an example out of her.
By Visual on 6/19/2009 10:53:40 AM , Rating: 2
I can already see exactly what precedent this case will establish - that of a retarded judge getting run down on the street in front of his house.
OK, that is clearly too harsh and not serious. But honestly, I'd hate to be that person once his neighbors and friends learn what he's done.


By Farfignewton on 6/19/2009 11:57:52 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I can already see exactly what precedent this case will establish - that of a retarded judge getting run down on the street in front of his house. OK, that is clearly too harsh and not serious. But honestly, I'd hate to be that person once his neighbors and friends learn what he's done.


You think the award is excessive? Me too. So did the retarded judge who, when tossing out the original verdict and MUCH smaller penalty wrote:

quote:
the damages awarded in this case are wholly disproportionate to the damages suffered by Plaintiffs. Thomas allegedly infringed on the copyrights of 24 songs—the equivalent of approximately three CDs, costing less than $54, and yet the total damages awarded is $222,000—more than five hundred [emphasis his] times the cost of buying 24 separate CDs and more than four thousand times the cost of three CDs...


http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2008/09/th...


The punishment should fit the crime...
By Golgatha on 6/19/2009 9:03:13 AM , Rating: 5
This punishment would bankrupt most people and ruin their lives in the process. Sure, what she did was wrong. She deserves to be punished. But this punishment is so far from being fair that IMO I'd even deem it cruel and unusual.

Sharing 24 songs out on the Internet should not be punished with higher penalties (from a civil trial none-the-less) than most felonies carry.




RE: The punishment should fit the crime...
By Schrag4 on 6/19/2009 9:21:39 AM , Rating: 5
Totally agree here. The Goldman family was awarded $8.5 Million in the civil suit against OJ Simpson. So, according to this jury, sharing roughly 106 songs is the same as intentionally murdering someone.


RE: The punishment should fit the crime...
By Motoman on 6/19/2009 11:18:10 AM , Rating: 2
All this proves to me is the sheer and utter corruption that is the RIAA. They are simple evil, through and through.

There is not the slightest chance in hell that this punishment is fit for this crime. And deep, deep shame on the court system for levying this fine against her.

Jammie illegally shared some music. The RIAA and Justice Department responded by essentially taking away her life. Jammie may be a criminal, in the lightest sense possible - but the RIAA and Justice Department together are absolutely, heinously, unimaginably evil.


RE: The punishment should fit the crime...
By Motoman on 6/19/2009 11:19:48 AM , Rating: 2
Oh, and if the RIAA thinks that filesharers cost them any money (in realitly, no, they really don't)...what do they think this particular malfeasance is going to do for them?

I strongly recommend that no one buy another CD/album/whatever ever again, unless it comes straight from the artist and without any benefit to the RIAA. Bleed them out.


By Scabies on 6/19/2009 2:39:47 PM , Rating: 2
While I agree that consumers should "stick it" to the RIAA, having them pinch pennies will make these sorts of trials both more frequent and more ridiculous.


By SublimeSimplicity on 6/19/2009 11:19:44 AM , Rating: 1
...and so lies the problem with jury trials. Only idiots don't know how to avoid jury duty, so only idiots sit on juries.


RE: The punishment should fit the crime...
By tastyratz on 6/19/2009 11:38:18 AM , Rating: 1
Cant she just file bankruptcy to wipe herself clean of the debt? Bankruptcy sucks, but I'm guessing after the Riaa wouldn't see a penny right?

This whole thing sucks, and you know they are going to milk this judgment to re-open all the old cases on a rampage again. After all, with nobody buying their old pre-digital business model, they have to "embrace" their new one of suing people...


By borismkv on 6/19/2009 12:18:05 PM , Rating: 2
Which is annoying. I'm willing to bet that her lawyer is a complete smack-tard. She was an idiot for trying to cover it up, she was an idiot for hiring the wrong people to defend her, and she was an idiot for a long list of other things. And because she's an idiot, the RIAA is going to get a major bee up its butt again, less than a couple months after they decided to give up on this BS. Way to go Jammie!


By lagomorpha on 6/20/2009 4:59:19 PM , Rating: 2
No, that wouldn't work. There are certain debts that even bankruptcy won't protect you from (child support, fines, taxes, some student loans).


Note to Next Victim....
By Tegrat on 6/19/2009 9:12:35 AM , Rating: 5
Steal your CD's from the store and physically share them with friends and family, or take the $3,000 to $5,000 buyout next time...

Side Note: GM and Chrysler should have looked into the RIAA's method. If no one is buying your products, just sue people who lend their GM cars to friends and family...




RE: Note to Next Victim....
By invidious on 6/19/2009 9:19:16 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
GM and Chrysler should have looked into the RIAA's method. If no one is buying your products, just sue people who lend their GM cars to friends and family...


best thing I have read on this site in a while


RE: Note to Next Victim....
By nvalhalla on 6/19/2009 9:55:38 AM , Rating: 4
Exactly, you don't OWN the car, just the right to use it. Every unauthorized sharing of your car costs the auto industry $30,000 in sales.

(This is pretty much the argument of the RIAA)


RE: Note to Next Victim....
By xti on 6/19/2009 10:25:27 AM , Rating: 2
thank god for old ladies being my neighbords. had the RIAA drove by my apt when i was blasting my music too loud, i could have been sued!! ALL MY NEIGHBORS HEARD MUSIC THAT WASNT THEIRS!!


RE: Note to Next Victim....
By PhoenixKnight on 6/19/2009 3:43:32 PM , Rating: 2
I think I read something on Dailytech a few months ago about how the RIAA is, in fact, very seriously considering suing businesses (or even at parties for that matter) that play music or radios too loud, because it's infringing on their copyrights. I kid you not.


RE: Note to Next Victim....
By Xerstead on 6/19/2009 4:17:08 PM , Rating: 3
Over here in the UK the Performing Rights Society (PRS) have been contacting Petrol stations and Garage owners informing them to tell all customers to turn off their car radios while on the business' premesis or they (the business) could be prosecuted for not having an entertainments licence.


RE: Note to Next Victim....
By Golgatha on 6/19/2009 10:00:22 AM , Rating: 2
The RIAA could learn a thing from Chrysler and GM too. When you have a broken business model, but your business supports a large chunk of the US economy; take money from the taxpayers to make up the difference caused by your unwillingness to change and provide a product people actually want to buy.


RE: Note to Next Victim....
By Tsuwamono on 6/19/2009 10:08:21 AM , Rating: 2
You sir deserve a 10 nevermind 5


REALLY!
By nergnog on 6/19/09, Rating: 0
RE: REALLY!
By Bender 123 on 6/19/2009 9:13:55 AM , Rating: 3
Senators and Presidents are very expensive to buy off for favorable laws, so they need to get the money from somewhere...


RE: REALLY!
By 16nm on 6/19/2009 9:29:08 AM , Rating: 2
But it could have been $150,000 per song for a total of 3.6 million USD!

I think the jury is trying to send her a message and, judging by her response, it appears she didn't quite get it.


RE: REALLY!
By Aloonatic on 6/19/2009 9:52:12 AM , Rating: 3
If it was me, they could have fined me half that, twice it, whatever, I'd never be able to repay it anyway, so would make no difference :)

I'm just amazed that they managed to find someone who had only downloaded 24 tracks???


RE: REALLY!
By afkrotch on 6/19/2009 10:21:57 AM , Rating: 2
She downloaded a lot more than 24 songs, just a lot of the songs don't fall under the RIAA's umbrella.


RE: REALLY!
By Scabies on 6/19/2009 2:44:17 PM , Rating: 2
But the RIAA shouldn't be able to pursue and shouldn't be trying to compensate for more than the 24 songs it was able to prove were "made available."


Stop the RIAA
By MrPoletski on 6/19/2009 9:51:11 AM , Rating: 4
The RIAA needs to be stopped before people get hurt.

Somebody will end up firebombing their offices or something.




RE: Stop the RIAA
By HaZaRd2K6 on 6/19/2009 2:11:48 PM , Rating: 1
God I hope so.


RE: Stop the RIAA
By MrPoletski on 6/20/2009 7:55:49 AM , Rating: 3
Terrorism is not the answer.


RE: Stop the RIAA
By AWeav09 on 6/19/2009 4:25:19 PM , Rating: 2
I say we all stop buying CDs produced by members of the RIAA. riaaradar.com is a useful site for seeing whether an album comes from the RIAA or not.


Can't say I feel sorry now
By v1001 on 6/19/2009 12:14:06 PM , Rating: 2
At first I was shocked. Then I saw that they offered a very reasonable settlement originally for $3,000 and $5,000. She knew she did something wrong and lied all the way about it and tried to cover her tracks. She then cost an incredible amount of court time, tax payers money, lawyer fees, etc for everyone involved. I don't really feel sorry for her now. If it was me I would have taken my lashings and paid up the small fee and been done with it.




RE: Can't say I feel sorry now
By adiposity on 6/19/2009 2:53:38 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
At first I was shocked.


As you should have been. The size of the award is so far from "just" it's crazy.

quote:
Then I saw that they offered a very reasonable settlement originally for $3,000 and $5,000


Who are you to say what is reasonable? Maybe she didn't have $5K to throw away. Did you ever think of that?

quote:
She knew she did something wrong and lied all the way about it and tried to cover her tracks.


You don't know that. Someone obviously used Kazaa on her computer/connection, but that doesn't make her the culprit, necessarily.

quote:
She then cost an incredible amount of court time, tax payers money, lawyer fees, etc for everyone involved. I don't really feel sorry for her now.


So, it's ok to be fined $2million if you reject a settlment offer for $5,000 for sharing 24 songs online. Got it.

Do I think she used Kazaa? Probably, but all the songs on there that were not her music choices does raise some questions. How did her username get in there? Well, it wouldn't have been hard, her boyfriend new her e-mail address (probably her windows name as well). Or maybe she set it up. Maybe she didn't realize she was sharing, Kazaa does deliberately share your entire hard drive (the main reason it grew so quickly). As for the hard drive, she may have tried to cover her tracks. I can't say I blame her; if her kids were downloading music illegally, she may have been afraid. But according to the tech, the hard drive was broken, not wiped. So we don't know for sure she was trying to hide anything there. It does seem likely she lied about when the drive was replaced, but that doesn't make her guilty.

All in all, I can understand the finding. The damages are ridiculous, though, and the idea that they could have been even higher is asinine. The point of those laws was not to levy huge fines against people who weren't profiting off the distribution of the works. But because the law is there, they use it as a sledgehammer to crack down on amateur file sharing. I don't think their attempt to settle for $5K really mitigates this problem.

-Dan


RE: Can't say I feel sorry now
By tcsenter on 6/19/2009 3:17:14 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Who are you to say what is reasonable? Maybe she didn't have $5K to throw away. Did you ever think of that?
The same as someone who believes they are entitled or qualified to define what damages are or are not "crazy". Your response is one big contradiction after another. If he isn't qualified or entitled to determine what is reasonable, neither are you.

Hundreds of thousands of dollars have been spent on her defense. At any time, she could have said to those funding her defense, "Can we just get this over with and settle for $5,000, seeing as how I am in fact guilty of what they allege and all?"


RE: Can't say I feel sorry now
By Farfignewton on 6/20/2009 3:48:26 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
If he isn't qualified or entitled to determine what is reasonable, neither are you.


He isn't claiming he can determine reasonable, only that $2 million is not. You don't necessarily need a good fix on reasonable to know something is not. For example...

I don't know how far you can reasonably walk in a day. Maybe you're disabled and can't walk at all. On the other hand, maybe you're the Lance Armstrong of walking and could do 30 or 60 miles. I know nothing about you and I've got no way of knowing what is reasonable for you. Does that mean 2,000 miles might be reasonable? No, it's so far beyond the possibility of reasonable that it is crazy. Under some circumstances, it might even be an outrage.


RE: Can't say I feel sorry now
By Silver2k7 on 6/20/2009 4:30:10 AM , Rating: 2
"Hundreds of thousands of dollars have been spent on her defense. At any time, she could have said to those funding her defense, "Can we just get this over with and settle for $5,000, seeing as how I am in fact guilty of what they allege and all?" "

Yeah but now the world+dog will atleast see the lunacy that is going on.. suing someone for close to $2M for a mere 24 songs is repulsive to say the least. *rolls eyes*

Can't we please disband this RIAA chapter now that they proven to be quite insane.


RE: Can't say I feel sorry now
By tcsenter on 6/20/2009 4:30:11 PM , Rating: 2
RIAA did not seek or claim damages in the amount of $1.92 million. That is for the jury to determine. The jury could have determined her liability to be the minimum of $750 per song (for witting infringement), the maximum of $150,000 per song (for witting infringement), or anywhere in between. Hell, they could have decided her infringement was unwitting and awarded even less per song than $750.

The fact the jury awarded such hefty damages shows they were patently offended if not angered by her absurd legal defense and utter refusal to accept any responsibility.

Juries tend to get very irked by dishonest defendants who are willing to waste the valuable time of the court and jury, cause the plaintiff to incur hundreds of thousands of dollars in expenses to resolve a case the defendant could and ought to have settled but for their utter refusal to accept any responsibility or admit any wrong-doing in the face of convincing evidence of guilt or liability.

She was fully aware of all this but fell in love with seeing her name and picture in the news, believing her new-found celebrity would give her the power to do whatever she wants and get away with it.

She was wrong.


So.....
By Tsuwamono on 6/19/2009 10:01:39 AM , Rating: 1
By that pricing thats 80 000$ per song.. which means I would owe $560 000 000

lol... wow... sure am glad I live in Canada.




RE: So.....
By Visual on 6/19/2009 11:12:50 AM , Rating: 3
They just need to sue a dozen of people like you and they will have restored their profits higher than they ever were.

I think the damages that pirates should pay have to be evenly divided among them. If we accept their claim that piracy caused them a 6 billion dollar decrease in profits, and take into account that there are over 1 billion Internet users, at least half of which have at some point pirated something, I think it's unfair to sue anyone for more than $12.


RE: So.....
By Tsuwamono on 6/19/2009 11:28:01 AM , Rating: 1
They should be sued based on lost profits caused by that person... so If its a dollar a song and i have 1000 songs that i had copied 1000 times that means i should be sued for 1 million.

In every other law suit you sue for Damages. I highly doubt that one chick managed to distribute her 24 songs 80 000 times.


RE: So.....
By Scabies on 6/19/2009 2:50:14 PM , Rating: 2
But it was made available. The threat of lost revenue was there. Clearly they should have gone for $4mil, in case someone actually DID download one of them!


RE: So.....
By Tsuwamono on 6/20/2009 1:17:08 AM , Rating: 2
I sincerely hope that was sarcasm lol.


Why I dont buy music any more.
By Mitch101 on 6/19/2009 9:11:19 AM , Rating: 4
Why I dont buy music any more or at least to the extent I used to. Has nothing to do with Piracy! Technically I might buy about 20 songs a year now instead of 20+ cd's a year.

10+ years ago
MTV, AM, FM - Can only buy tapes or Cd's so about 12 songs in a clip.

CAR 5+ years ago?
AM, FM

TODAY
At Home:
AM, FM, XM/Sirius, HD, CMT, That other music video channe, 13,000+ Internet Radio Stations, Whatever DirectTV/Dish Network Radio comes from. Add that the internet and DTV/DISH stuff is pretty much commercial free. Music download at a buck a song.

In the Car TODAY
AM, FM, XM/Sirius, HD

Finally
In the public gym TODAY
Plays top requested videos.

Basically when I work out at home or want to listen to music I flip between various music channels on Direct TV or Internet radio stream. I cant say I feel the need to buy music because when you have access to 13,000+ music outlets and some of them well DJ'd why bother. There must be 300+ top 40 stations I have access to where 10 years ago I had access to 1-2 on FM radio that usually did more talking than playing music. With access to so many top 40 radio station why do I need to buy todays music? It will just be overplayed to and from my work also.

BTW Support your NIN. I think I paid $4.00 for their last music download. If more artists go this way the RIAA is dead.




By Screwballl on 6/19/2009 11:49:14 AM , Rating: 2
agreed... there are so many outlets for music nowadays that it is not the radio or "hard media" (vinyl record, tape, 8-track, CD) of previous years...

I say give it another 10-15 years and most media/game companies as we see it today (like RIAA) will hopefully be dead and gone...
Some groups like NIN, Ironclad (Sins of a Solar Empire PC game) and others actually get it... they are responding to this new age of technology, and others like RIAA are suing people to try to keep it as it always has, as a last stand.


Ya know what?
By cubby1223 on 6/19/2009 10:19:32 AM , Rating: 1
I'm tired of "defending" those who just want everything for free.

Unless ISPs get the ability to block ip addresses and filter out torrents, the porn industry will be the first to go under, they've got 5, maybe 10 more years if they're lucky. Beyond that, there will no longer be a sufficient paying customer base. Music will follow after that, and the movie industry later.

Say what you want about the RIAA, doesn't change the fact that people under 30 don't pay for anything that can be downloaded for free. And as filesharing is becoming easier, more and more over the age of 30 are falling down that path too.

And those who do just download everything for free, always hide behind the excuse of "put out a better product and people will pay". No, you won't, they could put out the best and most consumer friendly product you've ever known and you'd still download it for free.




RE: Ya know what?
By xti on 6/19/2009 10:26:40 AM , Rating: 3
i paid for the 3 grapes I ate at the supermarket today. I AM SORRY.


RE: Ya know what?
By SavagePotato on 6/19/09, Rating: 0
RE: Ya know what?
By TSS on 6/19/2009 1:59:50 PM , Rating: 2
i'm tired of the way people think and continue onward with this madness.

of course everything that can be copied should be free! it has no value to begin with! heck, it's not even real!

that we as humans are stupid enough to pour 258 million dollars (the production cost of spiderman 3) into something that can be copied infinitely and thus become worthless as soon as it's created is where the madness in all this lies.

if the only HDD with the only copy of anything virtual costing whatever amount of money you will dies, all that data dissapears. like it never existed. regardless of what amount was invested into it.

have we forgotten what money is? its mear paper and inkt, supposed to represent rocks and sticks and shells which we could trade with for food. tangible stuff!

now we are pouring our rocks and shells into a machine that makes them all dissapear! what's worse, by the same sytem, we can increase the amount of rocks and shells we have tenfold by just pressing the 0 key.

unless we start defining what to actually do with tangible and intangible stuff, this whole debate is futile to begin with. because it's not wrong to copy something that has almost no value. and anything that can be copied perfectly, infinitively, has no value because of just that.

if we could copy tangible stuff the way we copy intangible stuff, all wars would come to an end, all poverty and hunger would stop, and humanity would unite as there is no possession worthy of fighting over anymore. not even landmass.

and we better figure out an awnser to the above problem fast, because as this verdict shows, the longer the madness continues the stronger it will become.


Wow...
By Bender 123 on 6/19/2009 8:57:26 AM , Rating: 3
So not only will they not get money from her, but by even trying to push it to this level, they will not get a dime from me.

This is the world we live in? Where a business can destroy a person over two albums worth of music. If the RIAA has any heart (if they do, I got the stake for it...) they would ask to set aside the penalty and use the case as an example to future file sharers.

I am disgusted by this and have never appreciated artists like Jonathan Coulton more. Viva la Code Monkey!!!




RE: Wow...
By Tsuwamono on 6/19/2009 10:10:01 AM , Rating: 2
Two albums? Must be a while since I've bought a CD because thats more like ONE album to me.


I thought we had a constitution
By corduroygt on 6/19/2009 10:32:48 AM , Rating: 2
"Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted."
The constitution is there to prevent citizens from government, and all big government is inherently evil and corrupt.




RE: I thought we had a constitution
By tcsenter on 6/19/2009 2:37:04 PM , Rating: 1
Try understanding the constitution before you cite it. The eighth amendment applies to criminal sanctions, not civil.

There seems to be a direct correlation between how opposed a person is to this decision and how ignorant they are of the law/constitution.


By snyper256 on 6/21/2009 2:02:12 AM , Rating: 2
So there's nothing in the constitution stating that civil penalties can't be absolutely insane.

Got it!


Jason Mick can't write News Articles
By MatthiasF on 6/19/2009 3:04:30 PM , Rating: 1
This should be thrown in the blog section. It's laced with opinion and he purposefully excludes any mention of the numerous things she did wrong during the trial.

It's a real shame when I need to find another source for anything he talks about so I can get to the real story behind his social agendas.

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2009/06/ja...




RE: Jason Mick can't write News Articles
By EricMartello on 6/20/2009 6:01:21 AM , Rating: 2
Hi, I'm spamming DailyTech with a thinly veiled plug for ArsTechnica, a site which some people still visit.


By MatthiasF on 6/30/2009 7:07:07 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, plugging a better written article.

God forbid anyone show a sample of better journalism.


The jury is whacked
By superflex on 6/19/2009 4:49:20 PM , Rating: 2
So Donte Stallworth (Cleveland Browns WR) kills a pedestrian in a crosswalk while driving drunk and gets a 30 day jail sentence, but a woman who downloaded and allowed uploading of 24 songs gets a $2m fine?
That's fair!




RE: The jury is whacked
By tcsenter on 6/19/2009 5:43:47 PM , Rating: 3
Stallworth stayed at the scene, tried to render aid, accepted responsibility, cooperated with authorities, and apologized profusely to the family.

Retard Thomas denied all culpability or wrong-doing, rejected repeated offers to settle the case for less than she spends on Twinkies and soda in one year, put on an utterly absurd legal defense, and brazenly insulted the jury's intelligence.

What does the price of tea in China have to do with the price of televisions in Venezuela?


What if...
By glenn8 on 6/19/2009 10:31:39 AM , Rating: 2
Instead of sharing entire files, one person shares bits and pieces of it only, maybe every other byte, and another person shares the rest?. Since these bits are meaningless by themselves, how can they prove you've shared a "song"? In fact isn't that sort of how it works now? You may have sent 10MB of data from a song, but it's not all going to one person... How's this different if I copied excerpts from a book and sent random words from it to several hundred people?




RE: What if...
By corduroygt on 6/19/2009 10:37:43 AM , Rating: 2
Personally, I'd split a rapidshare account with a friend. It's pretty cheap and gives you instant access to pretty much anything you want with zero risk of getting caught, since you're not sharing anything. However I don't buy any music since nothing came out in the last 10 years that I care about.


Keep Appealing
By clovell on 6/19/2009 11:12:36 AM , Rating: 3
Just keep appealing and stonewalling and getting press coverage. When it all the dust finally settles, go Chapter 7. Why not? I mean that's where she's headed anyway - might as well take as much from them in legal fees as she can. Stick it to em.




Lot's of people beat the system
By bubba551 on 6/19/2009 9:00:11 AM , Rating: 2
but when you lose...Wow!

[Time to replace the kids' hard drives I guess.)




Internet radio
By HostileEffect on 6/19/2009 9:01:56 AM , Rating: 2
http://www.shoutcast.com/
You will never need to buy music or pirate again.
Winamp is my preference player.




Lol
By VelociRapture on 6/19/2009 11:19:33 AM , Rating: 2
It's as always... The ever expanding laws to make sure that we, the little people, know our place. There are corporate swine in this country who get away with stuff that I would go to jail for life, but then again, I don't have an .inc at the end of my name. (There's an idea, can I do that?)

People who have been tanking our country to the tune of gazillions of dollars, and I'm not seeing most of them getting whacked with multi-million dollar punishments. (To be fair, it should be kept on a similar ratio, which would mean that for what some of these people do, the amounts would have to be staggeringly huge such as it is for this dumb woman - who should have settled, by the way)

There was a wise man by name of George Carlin. Had a good saying: "It's BS, and it's bad for ya."




I manange an indie artist....
By Esquire on 6/19/2009 12:21:01 PM , Rating: 2
I manage an indie artist buddy of mine Brian Dunn.

http://www.BrianDunnMusic.com
The Off Key album is comedy!

We are of the idea that giving tunes away is the way of the future for indie artist. We give an album away or free on last.fm. we generate royalties from radio listens & iTunes, emusic etc.

There is more music in the world today than in all history combined.

These band sell more the more people share the tunes they love. The old model is dead, adapt RIAA to survive, but I know you won't so bye bye.




No biggie
By Nik00117 on 6/19/2009 12:24:41 PM , Rating: 2
In all honsety if they hit me with a 1.92 million debit i'd be like "I make $50,000 a year, at payments of $100 a month you'll get your 1.92 million in 1,600 years!"




2 Things
By Obujuwami on 6/19/2009 12:32:15 PM , Rating: 2
1) Did anyone else notice the typo?
quote:
Was the jury punishing her for what she did, or punishing her for the music sharing habits of tens of millions of American Internet users?Was the jury punishing her for what she did, or punishing her for the music sharing habits of tens of millions of American Internet users?"


2) This verdict kinda speaks to how low hands on piracy must really be right now. When I was in high school, there was a HUGE campaign by the USPS cops who worked with the RIAA and the movie industries to find the people who where illegally replicating tapes, CDs, and DVDs to sell for profit. While their tactics have changed to adopt newer technologies, I do believe that THESe people should be the main focus of the RIAA's investigations and legal pursuits.

As many have stated before, going after the common man for outrageous amounts of money for a seemly trivial amount of illegal actions will only backfire in the face of the RIAA. Bands such as The Offspring, Radiohead, and others have made their latest albums (or parts of them) available to download for FREE in, what I am hoping, is a spiteful act against the RIAA. Other established bands should take note of this and jump on the bandwagon to help the RIAA see the errors of its ways.

On top of all of this, many bands don't actually make the majority of money from record sales. Many bands make most of their money on the road touring. Bands generally get a cut of many of the things you by at a concert (except food and drink).

Small bands/artists, though, do try to make a profit off their album sales as they are usually selling CDs or DVDs at their local or regional events. They usually put up their own money to produce the CD and take their own time to put the things together.

I am sure this will get rated down quickly, but I just think that this needed to be said. If you are in a small/local/regional band/artist and I am in error, please correct me.




What a moron
By tcsenter on 6/19/2009 2:31:38 PM , Rating: 2
HA HA HA HA HA HA!!

Retard Thomas put on an absurd legal argument - again - that brazenly insulted the jury's intelligence - again - and got the royal smack down - again.

Some have proposed that Thomas must be a RIAA mole, whose job it was to put the most idiotic face on piracy as possible. If that's true, this woman is giving the performance of a lifetime.

RIAA couldn't have hand-picked a less sympathetic buffoon.




Cruel and Unusual Punishment
By sphyder on 6/19/2009 7:57:27 PM , Rating: 2
Whatever happened to the concept of cruel and unusual punishment? This punishment far outweighs the crime. If there was indeed a crime. To be guilty of a crime, you must KNOWINGLY commit it. Most of the P2P software that was available back then automatically enabled sharing. Most people had no idea it was enabled. The simple fact that she was only sharing 24 tracks is proof enough that she was not a career pirate! Again, cruel and unusual punishment.




By initialised on 6/19/2009 9:17:27 PM , Rating: 2
Silly girl, if she'd done it properly and used utorrent with encryption the chances of being discovered would be minimal.




Lost Revenue?
By Devilboy1313 on 6/20/2009 12:42:21 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
The RIAA blames filesharers like Ms. Thomas-Rasset for the drop in music sales from 1999 highs of $14.6B USD, to the current level of $8.5B USD per year.


And it has nothing to do with pushing tone deaf, no talent, over produced "musical acts". Am I the only one who remembers when bands played musical instruments, could read / write songs and didn't need $200k worth of equipment to make them sound like they could sing?

The RIAA should be looking at themselves for the crap they put out, the prices they charge and their failure to adapt to even late 1990's technology.




It's all my fault
By LoweredExpectations on 6/20/2009 1:56:55 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
The RIAA blames filesharers like Ms. Thomas-Rasset for the drop in music sales from 1999 highs of $14.6B USD, to the current level of $8.5B USD per year.


Please, let the poor woman go. I can't take the guilt anymore. It was me. I did it. Up until 1999, I was spending $6B USD a year on CD's. But then I discovered illegal downloads, and things just spun out of control. Damn the internet and damn this computer!




This is why
By Randomblame on 6/20/2009 12:44:26 PM , Rating: 2
This is why I no longer purchase music. I don't download it, I don't buy it. The only music I listen to is the radio and the music I make with my own guitar. I'm afraid to play the guitar now though, I fear if I strum too loudly anything that sounds copywrighted I might get raided by a swat team...

Anyway, didn't they rule that making available was NOT synonomous with infringement? Also didn't they rule that an RIAA bot could not download from a file sharer and call it infringement? I'm confused as to how they proved she actually violated the law and shared these songs to someone else.




This is why
By Randomblame on 6/20/2009 12:44:55 PM , Rating: 2
This is why I no longer purchase music. I don't download it, I don't buy it. The only music I listen to is the radio and the music I make with my own guitar. I'm afraid to play the guitar now though, I fear if I strum too loudly anything that sounds copywrighted I might get raided by a swat team...

Anyway, didn't they rule that making available was NOT synonomous with infringement? Also didn't they rule that an RIAA bot could not download from a file sharer and call it infringement? I'm confused as to how they proved she actually violated the law and shared these songs to someone else.




Just stop buying music
By xxsk8er101xx on 6/21/2009 2:39:44 AM , Rating: 2
All you need to do is to stop buying corporate music and instead support your local bands.




Re:
By xterran on 6/21/2009 5:25:39 AM , Rating: 2
My first thought was, "..did the jury do this because she was Native American?" ..wouldn't surprise me if that was the case; given the outcome, and the awarded sum. Personally, I think its Criminal for a major corporation--or a group of them--to even commit such an act; typical sick, sadistic corporate ploy to slam the little guy. Why don't they just cut her bloody head off; then pike it and display it on the Golden Gate bridge. Place a sign below it with the adress: "This is what happens to average Americans who steal from corporate America." Its a Life Sentence to poverty for most anybody out there; insane barely covers it.

I don't buy music myself; rarely listen to it in fact. Maybe when I happen to pop into the local pub; and then only what happens to be on. Is that considered file-sharing? ..are they going to go after them next? Where does it stop? Some average American gives a small compilation--or something of the sort--to one of their friends to listen to once in awhile; they get shocked to hell by some capitalist association of corporate shareholders, with a 1.92 M settlement. ..and the government, and legal system, backs them up in doing this? Its sick!

I say, it would be a good protest to protest in front of music stores; if somebody weere interested in doing this. Find all the labels associated with this RIAA; and ask people not to buy there records, CD's, etc.. Stop buying them yourself. If they want to hunt down and persecute people; they can see their actions advertised in front of the stores that sell their product. They can watch their sales plummet; when people turn to other labels. Maybe they'll even watch their talent walk out the door; once their contracts have expired. I know I would!




sucks
By agprimed on 6/21/2009 9:32:30 AM , Rating: 2
it's kinda crazy to me...

if she lied about what she did and irked the jury, hell, i could see an exorbitant fine come from the jury. but i'm still conflicted--i teach my daughters about how it is wrong to take anything that doesn't belong to you and it was proven that she did, in fact, download music to her hdd. but, the sharing thing really is screwed up. growing up, the first thing i'd do when i bought a new lp was to put it on a cassette tape. if a friend wanted a copy, no problem--make another recording or dub the tape. we cannot share anything anymore? is that what this is? even items we own that have some copyright attached to it?

so much time and and energy is wasted by people sitting in front of monitors or reading printouts of ip addresses found downloading via p2p. it would be much easier for these pseudo-cops to go to any convenience store--ANY CONVENIENCE STORE--where i live and find many different cds and dvds on sale that are obviously pirated--kids movies, current blockbusters, romance, and porn, along with the latest cds--lined up behind the register waiting for someone to buy them. then, what about the guys who walk down the street with a backpack or shopping cart filled with obvious counterfeit cds and dvds? someone gets sued for sharing while there are thousands more making profit on the same sh*t! what about the clear and proven connection china has in counterfeit dvd production? the riaa: "we can't get any lost revenue back from illegal business going on within china, so we'll stick it to the citizens of our own country to make up the difference."

i thought that copyright laws were in place to protect the one who holds the copyright from another making a monetary gain from your product? am i off base?

oh yeah, i am conflicted in this matter: she shouldn't have gotten anything for free (the music); but she, nor any of us, shouldn't be punished for sharing--be it music, movies, or books-- if i own it, i should be allowed to let whomever i desire have a copy of my property .

i guess before too long, all cds and dvds will have a eula like software taking away our right of ownership in that form of media...

little johnny : "look ma! uncle james got me this new 50cent cd, but it won't play in my cd player. i get this weird message saying i have to agree to something before i can play the music..."




The 8th Amendment
By ZavyZavy on 6/22/2009 3:15:31 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

I got that from Descendency's post from http://www.dailytech.com/Jammie+Thomas+vs+RIAA+Ret...

I would think this fine is excessive, cruel and unusual.




Hmmm
By kc77 on 6/22/2009 5:48:42 AM , Rating: 2
Still think tort reform is a good idea when businesses can haul YOU into court and levy fines such as these?

Whether she did it, or not is irrelevant, the amount of damages is insane, and in no way represents the crime. Make no mistake the RIAA isn't protecting copyright infringement, they are protecting an outdated business model, which became extinct as soon as the Internet became globally available.




Extortion
By rbuszka on 6/22/2009 5:36:22 PM , Rating: 2
From the above article: "The RIAA says it didn't have to come to this. States Cara Duckworth, an RIAA spokeswoman, "From day one, we’ve been willing to settle this case for somewhere between $3,000 and $5,000. We appreciate the jury's service and that they take this issue as seriously as we do. We are pleased that the jury agreed with the evidence and found the defendant liable.""

This sounds a lot like the 'instant settlements' the RIAA was offering to collegiate offenders for quite a while. Of course, in that case, the RIAA would not have to collect enough evidence to prove its case in court, nor provide proof that such evidence existed. Turn the 'instant settlement' plan over and it looks a lot like "If we're suspicious, pay us $3000 or else we will sue you." Welcome to the age of corporate extortion. (http://www.p2plawsuits.com)

The only thing more heinous than this was the lawsuit in England against a car repair center that played the radio for its customers in their office.




This is a message
By Beenthere on 6/19/09, Rating: -1
RE: This is a message
By siberus on 6/19/2009 11:52:26 AM , Rating: 2
Burn the witch burn her!!!


RE: This is a message
By HinderedHindsight on 6/19/2009 11:59:10 AM , Rating: 5
You honestly think this is about some lower/middle class mother trying to be above the law? Really?

Meanwhile, you're completely ignoring an industry group which has demonstrated repeatedly that their goal is maintaining complete control over the release and distribution of audio. They have even gone to the extent of suing people over works that were released outside of RIAA channels (meaning they were suing over works they didn't own) and even worked to change laws regarding the definition of what constitutes copyright infringement as well as the applicable punishments (research the NET Act passed in 1997).

So, please, help me out, who's really trying to be above the law?


RE: This is a message
By Beenthere on 6/19/09, Rating: -1
RE: This is a message
By HinderedHindsight on 6/19/2009 4:34:47 PM , Rating: 1
A) I wasn't bashing the RIAA; everything I stated was fact. They do behave as if they are above the law regarding audio media distribution.

B) The RIAA violated a good number of privacy laws in their attempts to prosecute. This is not bashing, this is fact. If you truly believe in your "don't do the crime if you can't do the time" mantra that has obviously been indoctrinated into youby business (I say this because you're being purposefully ignorant of the crimes and morally bankrupt activities of the RIAA) then you would be advocating justice against the RIAA.

C) I'm not saying she didn't commit a crime, nor am I bashing the RIAA (I have stated only facts and have not hurled subjective insults at them). I'm merely trying to show you that there are larger issues in this case beyond your subjective feeling that a lower-middle class mother feels she is above the law. The RIAA has demonstrated in many ways that they feel they are above the law. This woman allegedly (I'm not convinced beyond a shadow of a doubt that she committed a crime) demonstrated it in one way.

The moral of this story, if you have money, then you're willing to allow them a pass on criminal activity and morally reprehensible behavior. If you're a lower-middle class mother, then you should just do the time.


RE: This is a message
By Beenthere on 6/19/09, Rating: 0
RE: This is a message
By mindless1 on 6/20/2009 1:36:26 PM , Rating: 2
Except for the part about the punishment needing to fit the crime, not be cruel or unusual.

The punishment should have been $1 per song and a $150 fine, even if the RIAA argues that she shared music with others who then didn't pay for it, there is no proof these other filesharers would not have gotten the content anyway without her involvement. On the contrary, it's pretty clear that filesharing has risen without her playing a remotely significant role in it.

As for jail, perhaps she should get the same as someone who tried to shoplift 2 CDs from a department store, which isn't likely a theft high enough to be a felony. 1st time petty theft might be probation and a fine of an additional $200 or so.

So if we pretend there is justice in our legal system, she should be on probation and out $374 plus legal expenses. I mean minimal ones, I'll bet she would have opted to pay $374 in the first place.

The punishment has to fit the crime, our society will devolve if we let such miscarriages increase.

Now an interesting question for you: If the RIAA lawyers speed in their automobiles, risking the safety of others instead of just sharing 2 CDs worth of songs online, should the penality for that be over 10,000 times less than for sharing music that can often be heard over the airwaves for free and recorded by everyone?

It's all ludicrous, and here's a hint: Copyright infringement is it's own offense, it's not "stealing".


RE: This is a message
By tcsenter on 6/19/2009 5:59:38 PM , Rating: 2
Thomas was indisputably guilty, lied or changed her story numerous times when confronted with inconsistencies or inaccuracies, repeatedly rejected offers to settle the case for less than she obviously spends on Twinkies and soda in one year's time, allowed hundreds of thousands of dollars to be spent on her behalf to avoid any and all culpability or liability.

So what do you think this is about, better health care or safer public transportation?

For Thomas, it was by definition attempting to be above the law (i.e. get away with illegal activity). For those funding her efforts, it may have been about something else, but it doesn't matter what their motives were. Their activities weren't on trial here.


RE: This is a message
By Mathos on 6/19/2009 7:52:03 PM , Rating: 2
Well, the silly part is, what I gather if she's working for the Ojibwe that means she's probably of that tribal group or nation. Meaning if she's a "native american" and lives and works on tribal lands, good luck on the RIAA actually being able to enforce their ruling. Since if the tribe doesn't consider downloading copyright files to be illegal, then it isn't punishable on their lands.


“Then they pop up and say ‘Hello, surprise! Give us your money or we will shut you down!' Screw them. Seriously, screw them. You can quote me on that.” -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng referencing patent trolls














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