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Jammie Thomas-Rasset  (Source: wired.com)
The RIAA believes that the court failed to classify Thomas-Rasset's filesharing as a "distribution" under 106(3) of the Copyright Act

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has spent a lot of time and effort trying to nab file sharers in an effort to deter piracy and put more money back into their own pockets. Ironically, the cost of legal fees to go after those who pirate music seems to outweigh what it wins in these cases. Just last month, DailyTech estimated that the RIAA has paid over $3 million in legal fees to sue file sharer Jammie Thomas-Rasset, and now, she may only have to pay the RIAA $54,000 in the end. 

Now, the RIAA is fighting back by appealing the judge's decision to slash the damages award according to Ars Technica. It believes that the court failed to classify Thomas-Rasset's filesharing as a "distribution" under 106(3) of the Copyright Act, and that a small price tag of $54,000 would not prevent others from committing the same act. 

The case is being appealed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit in St. Louis, Missouri.

The RIAA's first jury trial with Jammie Thomas-Rasset occurred in 2007, after Thomas-Rasset had shared over 1,700 files on Kazaa 2005. Only 24 of the files were named, including music tracks by AFI, Green Day and Aerosmith. She damages originally came to $222,000, but the case was declared a mistrial since the judge told the jury that "making available" was the same as copyright infringement. 

In 2009, Thomas-Rasset was back in court for another round before the jury. This time, the amount she was ordered to pay rose to $1.92 million, which is $80,000 per song. Shocked and frustrated, all Thomas-Rasset could say was, "Good luck trying to get it, because you can't get blood out of a turnip."

In 2010, the total was cut from 1.92 million to $1.5 million, which is $62,500 per song. Then, the total was cut yet again last month when U.S. District Judge Michael Davis slashed the award from $1.92 million to $54,000, saying that the previous award was "appalling" and disproportionate to the offense. At the same time, he said the new award was still substantial enough to prevent Thomas-Rasset and others from illegally sharing music and other files over the Internet.



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RE: so...
By Reclaimer77 on 8/23/2011 3:26:33 PM , Rating: 1
I wish we could sue the RIAA for all the damn tax money they waste in excessive and pointless litigation year after year when they tie up the courts in this bullshit. I wonder if anyone has a ball park figure on how much that actually is. I bet it would make our heads spin.


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