Jammie Thomas-Rasset's Lawyers Appeal $222,000 Fine to Supreme Court
December 13, 2012 11:52 AM
comment(s) - last by
The consul argues the defendant's due process rights were violated
Could the highest profile music piracy case to be brought against an individual in the U.S. be headed to
The Supreme Court of the United States
(SCOTUS)? That's the outcome lawyers for working mom Jammie Thomas-Rasset are hoping for.
The defendant's legal team
a petition for certiorari claiming that their client's right to due process has been violated. The case has been kicked around the courts for some time.
Ms. Thomas-Rasset first lost in a June 2009 jury verdict, with the jury deciding on a
$1.92M USD fine
, arguing that lawyers for music labels like Sony Corp.'s (
) BMG and their trade group the
Recording Industry Association of America
(RIAA) has sufficiently proved that the working mom had willfully-infringed on 24 songs.
U.S. Department of Justice
approved the verdict
, the matter seemed settled, setting a rather draconian precedent. But a judge
cut the fine to a mere
Then it was deja vu all over again -- the case went to retrial, a jury found Ms. Thomas-Rasset guilty of another huge fine (
$1.5M USD, this time
), and then the judge yet again bumped the fine
to $54,000 USD
Jammie Thomas-Rasset (left) [Image Source: joonbug]
Most recently the RIAA,
appealed the reduction
, and the fine was bumped back slightly to $222,000 USD, where it currently sits. That appeal prompted Ms. Thomas-Rasset's lawyers to ask the SCOTUS to hear the case.
The defendant's lawyers cite
State Farm v. Campbell
BMW v. Gore
St. Louis I.M. & S. Railway Co. v. Williams
as relevant cases. These cases all involved the plaintiff seeking a large amount of punitive damages (for example Dr. Ira Gore sued BMW and initially won $4M USD in punitive damages after BMW sold him a repainted vehicle and claimed it was new). In each case the SCOTUS ruled that there should be reasonable limits, based on the scope of the civil offense, to punitive damages.
The RIAA and big media backers are estimated to have spent over $3M USD on the case; Ms. Thomas-Rasset has received much of her legal services and fees paid for via donations.
RIAA v. The People
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
RE: truly asinine
12/14/2012 7:44:01 AM
The way I understand it, though, is that the RIAA (and MPAA) are concerned less with you downloading the music (or movies), and more with you SHARING it. Unfortunately, with most file sharing networks, it's set up so you download as well as share with others what you've already downloaded. And if you're not a savvy computer user, and don't know how to tweak your file sharing program settings, you can continue to share that file even after you've completed the download, possibly without ever knowing you're doing so.
But even taking that into account, your figure of 1000 times the cost of the songs should well take into account the number of people that this woman could have likely shared the data with (and does a partial file share count evenly with a full one?), and should more than cover her damage.
The rest of that fine is nothing more than pure greed, IMHO.
"People Don't Respect Confidentiality in This Industry" -- Sony Computer Entertainment of America President and CEO Jack Tretton
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