$80,000.00 per song judgement

MA-Caver

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Jury rules against Minn. woman in download case


By STEVE KARNOWSKI, Associated Press Writer Steve Karnowski, Associated Press Writer 2 hrs 13 mins ago
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/us_tec_music_downloadingMINNEAPOLIS A replay of the nation's only file-sharing case to go to trial has ended with the same result a Minnesota woman was found to have violated music copyrights and must pay huge damages to the recording industry.
A federal jury ruled Thursday that Jammie Thomas-Rasset willfully violated the copyrights on 24 songs, and awarded recording companies $1.92 million, or $80,000 per song.
Thomas-Rasset's second trial actually turned out worse for her. When a different federal jury heard her case in 2007, it hit Thomas-Rasset with a $222,000 judgment.
The new trial was ordered after the judge in the case decided he had erred in giving jury instructions.
Thomas-Rasset sat glumly with her chin in hand as she heard the jury's finding of willful infringement, which increased the potential penalty. She raised her eyebrows in surprise when the jury's penalty of $80,000 per song was read.
Outside the courtroom, she called the $1.92 million figure "kind of ridiculous" but expressed resignation over the decision.
"There's no way they're ever going to get that," said Thomas-Rasset, a 32-year-old mother of four from the central Minnesota city of Brainerd. "I'm a mom, limited means, so I'm not going to worry about it now."

Well shoot... I reckon I owe the music industry $184 million by my last count. Will they take a check?
That is just plain nuts. Are they going to go after the other 30-40 million other people who could'nt afford the original CD to begin with and get anything out of them? They going to start throwing folks in jail? Going to repo houses and cars and whatever else a person owns and gain just a pittance of the amount they SAY is due?

Honestly I think they need to go after the software engineers who designed the programs that enabled people to download the songs in the first place. Without the means people wouldn't be able to download them now would they? They could've gone after webmasters or whomever to design whatever downloads are made that they are of poor quality and basically not worth listening to.

Movies usually have anti-pirate coding (which can be circumvented around) on the DVD's so I am presuming that all newly printed CD's have the same thing?
Yet what about the thousands of songs already out there on the Net?
The music industry obviously didn't take in account the potential of a music digitally re-recorded for writing to a CD ROM and didn't anticipate the passing from one person to another.
Funny how they didn't raise THAT big of a fuss when folks were copying cassette tapes or vinyl albums to cassettes.
I'm sure I wasn't the ONLY one doing this... and merely for the reason that there's no way to play a 45 or 33 rpm record in the car.
 

Ken Morgan

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I know of someone who has 100 000+ songs and 3000+ movies, Hell catch a few more like him and you can kiss your national debt goodbye!
 

Bob Hubbard

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Well, that award probably was 10x more than any of those songs individually earned on iTunes in sales. All this does is show that the system is broken.
 

jks9199

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I'd love to hear the reasoning that got to one person owing $80000 per song... Even at $50 a CD, figuring 13 or so songs per CD... You'd be looking at nearly 21000 people downloading the songs! (I'm assuming that they nailed her for file sharing...)

Sorry -- this award is just nuts on so many levels...

And the simple fact is that there's going to have to be a change in how recorded music is sold...
 

Gordon Nore

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Well, that award probably was 10x more than any of those songs individually earned on iTunes in sales. All this does is show that the system is broken.

I don't get it either. Surely the judgement against her should be closer to the value she didn't pay. That said, I feel pretty much the same way about illegal downloads as I do about plagiarism -- stealing is stealing. However, stealing songs off the Internet is not the most heinous thing one can do and needn't be punnished so aggressively.
 

LuckyKBoxer

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That is just plain nuts. Are they going to go after the other 30-40 million other people who could'nt afford the original CD to begin with and get anything out of them? They going to start throwing folks in jail? Going to repo houses and cars and whatever else a person owns and gain just a pittance of the amount they SAY is due?

Honestly I think they need to go after the software engineers who designed the programs that enabled people to download the songs in the first place. Without the means people wouldn't be able to download them now would they? They could've gone after webmasters or whomever to design whatever downloads are made that they are of poor quality and basically not worth listening to.

Movies usually have anti-pirate coding (which can be circumvented around) on the DVD's so I am presuming that all newly printed CD's have the same thing?
Yet what about the thousands of songs already out there on the Net?
The music industry obviously didn't take in account the potential of a music digitally re-recorded for writing to a CD ROM and didn't anticipate the passing from one person to another.
Funny how they didn't raise THAT big of a fuss when folks were copying cassette tapes or vinyl albums to cassettes.
I'm sure I wasn't the ONLY one doing this... and merely for the reason that there's no way to play a 45 or 33 rpm record in the car.

Yikes do people really take this entitlement attitude as an honest valid reason for anything?

Seriously if you can't afford the CD, listen to the radio.
Why do people seriously look at it and say its easy so it should be okay!!
Wrong, it's called stealing. It does not matter if the company is worth billions, you are still stealing from someone. We used to have something called Moral Fiber, or Moral Values in this country. Unfortunately technology sped up so quickly and opened up so many ways to do things easily, that moral values got left behind long ago. Its easy so it has to be okay right?
Seriously I get sick to my stomach every time I hear someone justify stealing by saying the thing being stolen has little to no value anyways. Thats a copout and a justification for doing the wrong thing.

There is also nothing wrong with the technology for copying music, it makes it easier for lawful citizens to use their rightfully purchased property in different ways as they should. The music industry went after the sites that were illegally providing pirated copies of music and movies and for the most part turned those around...Napster anyone?

Seriously you think they should go after the software engineers instead of the people committing the crimes? I assume you also think that gun manufacturers should be held responsible for criminals using guns to commit crimes, or knife manufacturers should be held responsible for criminals using knives to commit crimes, or perhaps car manufacturers should be held responsible for all the people breaking driving laws?

What happened to people understanding the concept of right and wrong?
I weep for our future generations.
 

LuckyKBoxer

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I don't get it either. Surely the judgement against her should be closer to the value she didn't pay. That said, I feel pretty much the same way about illegal downloads as I do about plagiarism -- stealing is stealing. However, stealing songs off the Internet is not the most heinous thing one can do and needn't be punnished so aggressively.

I agree that the punishment sounds harsh, hell it is harsh..
But how much money has been lost in sales due to pirated music and movies in the last 20 years?

more then a Billion? I bet
Close to a Trillion? Doubt it, but I bet its probably close
I saw one site that listed the lost just in Britain as over 12 Billion a year.

So at some point don't you have to make the punishment harsh enough to stop people?
Everyone knows they will never collect this from this lady, but she should have credit effected forthe next 7 years at least, and she should be made to feel uncomfortable for quite a while to make the point clear. Maybe others will stop, maybe after a few more conviction more will stop, and so on. I have no problems with it.
 

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Let's look at "losses".
It's an imaginary number.
I know people who back when the C=64 was king who had thousands of programs on hand. Thousands. I also know that if they were 50c each, they wouldn't have bought all of them. There was a hot movie recently, they were crying about how much it "lost" to piracy. It broke records at the box office, that's how much it was hurt.

The music industry has long been crying about how much they lose. Maybe that new Britney CD is bootlegged so much because it's not worth more than the cost of a blank CD as it's redundant crap? Maybe they should innovate a bit. Maybe if they are selling a track on iTunes for 99c, they shouldn't get a 20k award from someone who shared maybe 50 'copies'. Maybe they need to stop protecting a failing business plan and enter the 21st century?

I dunno. What I do know is that when I was running Napster and downloading mp3's by the ton, I also was buying 5-10 CD's a month after finding new bands with cool music, and old bands I thought had broken up but hadn't because my local CD shop chose to not stock their stuff, but had 4 rows of BackStreet Boys and Britney Spears crap. Most of what I buy now, are European Imports off Amazon, because Fyes doesn't cater to my tastes.
 

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sure losses is an imaginary number....an estimate..
but the fact is its still Stealing.
Its still a crime.
Its still not OKAY

It does not matter if the music industry wants to go back to an outdated model and record all of their music from now on to a beta format video player.

Can the update their model? Hell yes
Will they make more money or push more music out if they did? Quite possibly sure.

Does it make it okay to steal from them because its easy to do, and because the business model is outdated and burdonsome??

I say no. I would like to see how someone tries to justify it though.. I see no justification, only excuses.
 

celtic_crippler

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The musicians don't make any real money on CD sales so who's really the victim here? Most of the money made in the music industry is from playing shows and other streams of revenue, of which CD sales is the least if any.

The playing and sharing of music is what promotes the artist and drives people to the shows.

Besides...I've always found this ridiculous. Nobody ever came after me as a kid when I recorded songs off the radio onto a tape. Nobody ever came after me for sharing a physical copy of a CD with a friend. It's utterly ridiculous.
 

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So is it okay for me to disregard any laws I think are utterly ridiculous?
OR if I break a law even if I consider it ridiculous, should I be held to whatever damages are deemed appropraite for it?

Is it only breaking the law if you get caught? Or only if you get convicted?
Is it okay to break a law if its a victimless crime?
Is it a victimless crime because the money is coming from millionaires and billionaires? Is the indirect result of all the illegal copying that there are less music stores, and less jobs for low income workers? So does that mean you are actually stealing from people who can't find a job now?

Sure thats a fairly extreme way of looking at it, but it can be directly attributed to whats going on.

I mean seriously there are legal ways to subscribe to a legal service and have access to hundreds of thousands of songs at one time, why steal them?
 

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A multi million dollar award for stealing 24 songs that retail for under $40 total seems way out of line, especially if compared to the penalties for worse crimes.
 

LuckyKBoxer

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A multi million dollar award for stealing 24 songs that retail for under $40 total seems way out of line, especially if compared to the penalties for worse crimes.

I agree it does... but then what is appropriate? anything too small and everyone will say screw it I will pay the fine if I am caught... /shrug
 

celtic_crippler

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A multi million dollar award for stealing 24 songs that retail for under $40 total seems way out of line, especially if compared to the penalties for worse crimes.

Now that's criminal!

So is it okay for me to disregard any laws I think are utterly ridiculous?
OR if I break a law even if I consider it ridiculous, should I be held to whatever damages are deemed appropraite for it?

Is it only breaking the law if you get caught? Or only if you get convicted?
Is it okay to break a law if its a victimless crime?
Is it a victimless crime because the money is coming from millionaires and billionaires? Is the indirect result of all the illegal copying that there are less music stores, and less jobs for low income workers? So does that mean you are actually stealing from people who can't find a job now?

Sure thats a fairly extreme way of looking at it, but it can be directly attributed to whats going on.

I mean seriously there are legal ways to subscribe to a legal service and have access to hundreds of thousands of songs at one time, why steal them?

You might be surprised to find out what laws you break every day. Ridiculous laws that if you knew were in place would think it ridiculous as well.
 

JadecloudAlchemist

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People have been P2P sharing for a while now. Who wants to pay $20 for a CD?

You are in no way stealing music downloading then borrowing a cd from a friend.

Maybe if CD's were not so expensive people might buy them. But really in this economy you got to watch your pennies and spending it on a $20 CD with maybe one or two good songs on an artist who usually does not care about their fans seems like a lot to me.

And look at the movie industry. Who wants to pay $10 a ticket to see an hour and half movie when Pablo down the street is selling the movie for $2.

Almost everyone is downloading music,movies instead of trying to fight it the industries should be trying to embrace it and think of ways to profit off it.
I think the lady should appeal. Because noone should have to pay that.
 

Bob Hubbard

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I agree it does... but then what is appropriate? anything too small and everyone will say screw it I will pay the fine if I am caught... /shrug
Charge proven damages. If she distributed 200 files (or 1 file 200 times), charge the going rate at the e-store. $2 per track * number of times downloaded, she just bought music for everyone. Include reasonable court and legal costs for sucessful prosecutions. So if they spent 25k in legal fees, tack that on too.

24 tracks * 200 downloads = 4,800.
court fees = 25,000
fine = 29,800.
 

Bob Hubbard

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People have been P2P sharing for a while now. Who wants to pay $20 for a CD?

You are in no way stealing music downloading then borrowing a cd from a friend.

Maybe if CD's were not so expensive people might buy them. But really in this economy you got to watch your pennies and spending it on a $20 CD with maybe one or two good songs on an artist who usually does not care about their fans seems like a lot to me.

And look at the movie industry. Who wants to pay $10 a ticket to see an hour and half movie when Pablo down the street is selling the movie for $2.

Almost everyone is downloading music,movies instead of trying to fight it the industries should be trying to embrace it and think of ways to profit off it.
I think the lady should appeal. Because noone should have to pay that.
I own maybe 2,000+ dvds.
almost all of them are originals, and the ones that aren't are slowly being replaced by legit copies.
 

LuckyKBoxer

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Now that's criminal!



You might be surprised to find out what laws you break every day. Ridiculous laws that if you knew were in place would think it ridiculous as well.
Actually no I am not surprised. I know what the laws are. I know what the penalties are for the laws that I disagree with.
I spend time to figure it out rather then walk around like an ignorant yokel waiting to claim I didn't know when confronted for breaking a law.
Ignorance never was and never will be a valid excuse.

I just find it comical that so many people have double standards, or how moral standards have dropped.
You can justify breaking a law anyway you wish. It does not make it right, it just makes it easier for you to live with yourself.
I get what people are saying... trust me I would love to not have to buy another cd ever again. I guess this whole argument reminds me of martial arts in general.
It seems so many people think they can defend themselves because they call what they do martial arts... without actually accepting the fact that they are nowhere close to being able to defend themselves... they just justify what they do in their own minds to make it ok.
Same thing here... Justify it all you want, its still wrong. You are still stealing from someone else. I don't understand how some people are trying to make it sound like its okay and should not be a crime.
If you can admit that then fine do what you want. I do not care. I won't report you, I won't share in it, but I don't personally care enough to get involved past this discussion. Hell I do not even disagree that the music should be cheaper, or done differently, but that is not my choice unless its my music that I made, recorded, and chose to distribute... of course if it was mine I would have to pay people to take it LOL


I also think that the thought of fining the lady actual loses is really naive, or at the least ridiculous. If thats the case people would steal anything and everything they could if the penalty was just to charge you what was actually lost in value if you are caught.... know what I mean? There has to be a substantial penalty to prevent it from happening.
 

LuckyKBoxer

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Charge proven damages. If she distributed 200 files (or 1 file 200 times), charge the going rate at the e-store. $2 per track * number of times downloaded, she just bought music for everyone. Include reasonable court and legal costs for sucessful prosecutions. So if they spent 25k in legal fees, tack that on too.

24 tracks * 200 downloads = 4,800.
court fees = 25,000
fine = 29,800.

BTW it says she had over 1700 tracks for download, they are only going after 24 of them...
so lets say 1700 * 200 downloads = 340,000
court fees =25,000
her first lawyers fees were over 130,000 BTW
fine = 495,000.....
i mean if we are going to look at it like that... plus how many people downloaded a song from her, then had that song downloaded from them and so on. /shrug
its just not as simple as you are making it sound. It is a ridiculous amount of money that is lost, hell you want to balance the budget and do universal health care, then lets have people pay for the pirated music and its done, plus a surplus for a rainy day fund ya?
 
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