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Thread: $1.5 Million Fine For A Music Sharing Mother Of Four

  1. #1
    Elite Member NVash's Avatar
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    Default $1.5 Million Fine For A Music Sharing Mother Of Four

    Minnesota Mom Hit With $1.5 Million Fine for Downloading 24 Songs


    Posted Thu Nov 4, 2010 10:38am PDT by Daniel Kreps in Amplifier



    What's the value of a song? Jammie Thomas-Rasset has spent the last few years in court debating that question. The Minnesota mother of four is being penalized for illegally downloading and sharing 24 songs on the peer-to-peer file-sharing network Kazaa in 2006, but how much she owes the record labels has been in question. The jury in her third trial has just ruled that Thomas-Rasset should pay Capitol Records $1.5 million, CNET reports, which breaks down to $62,500 per song. It's a heavy penalty considering the 24 tunes would only cost approximately $24 on iTunes, which was Thomas-Rasset' argument, too.

    Thanks to Thomas-Rasset's colorful case, she has become the public face of the record industry's battle with illegal downloaders. In her first trial, in 2007, the jury demanded she pay $222,000 for violating the copyright on more than 1,700 songs by Green Day, Aerosmith and Richard Marx, to name a few. (Marx said he was "ashamed" to be associated with the "farcical" prosecution of an illegal downloader.) Thomas-Rasset maintained she wasn't the computer user who did the file sharing, and her legal team cited an error in jury instruction to secure a second trial in 2009 that ended with a much harsher result: an astronomical fine of $1.92 million. However, earlier this year a U.S. District Court judge found the $1.92 million penalty against Thomas-Rasset to be "monstrous and shocking" and "gross injustice" before lowering it to $54,000, or $2,250 a song. Thomas-Rasset and her legal team decided to appeal that decision, too.
    The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), the organization that represents the four major record labels, was pleased by the most recent decision, even if it has no intention to collect the $1.5 million from Thomas-Rasset. "Now with three jury decisions behind us along with a clear affirmation of Ms. Thomas-Rasset's willful liability, it is our hope that she finally accepts responsibility for her actions," the RIAA said in a statement. Earlier this year, the RIAA offered Thomas-Rasset the opportunity to end the legal battle for $25,000 and an admission of guilt; Thomas-Rasset declined.
    Burying a Midwestern mom in insurmountable debt isn't the best publicity move, so rather than argue the labels are entitled to the cash, the RIAA has sought to make this trial into a cautionary tale for anyone considering illegally downloading music -- a reminder that there are penalties. But as the constantly declining weekly Nielsen SoundScan sales figures demonstrate, nothing seems to have deterred music fans from stealing rather than purchasing songs and albums. And in a digital world now dominated by Bit Torrent and Rapidshare, a trial over a music-sharing dinosaur like Kazaa seems nothing but antiquated. (Last month, after a decade of illegal file sharing, peer-to-peer service LimeWire was shut down by the government, much to the surprise of the millions who thought LimeWire had faded years ago into the Internet ether.)
    Still, Thomas-Rasset and her legal team are already making plans to appeal, setting the stage for a fourth trial. "The fight continues," promised Thomas-Rasset's lawyer Kiwi Camara. Even if Thomas-Rasset were to win the next trial, the RIAA would likely appeal that decision to ensure that copyright infringement without penalization won't happen. This story has the potential to drag on well into the next decade -- when for $1.5 million, all of Thomas-Rasset's four kids could finish law school and take up the fight on her behalf.
    [Photo: AP]

    Source: Minnesota Mom Hit With $1.5 Million Fine for Downloading 24 Songs - Amplifier
    $2,250 a song? Wow.

  2. #2
    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    *is glad he lives in Canada, where music sharing is legal*

    Yay torrents!
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

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    Elite Member sputnik's Avatar
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    beyond stupid.
    I'm open to everything. When you start to criticise the times you live in, your time is over. - Karl Lagerfeld

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    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
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    Canada has not yet ratified World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) treaty. If and when it does, the position on downloading/uploading/peer-sharing will change.

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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    The Canadian Justice system rejected it as conflicting with the charter of rights and freedoms, so won't be happening anytime soon
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

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    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
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    It will be interesting to see what happens since Canadian citizens and companies have intellectual property (patents for electronics, machinery, pharmaceuticals, etc.) that they will want protected from companies in other countries that infringe on them.

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    Elite Member CornFlakegrl's Avatar
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    I'm guessing the jury approved such huge fines because she downloaded Richard Marx.

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    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CornFlakegrl View Post
    I'm guessing the jury approved such huge fines because she downloaded Richard Marx.
    That makes her practically a musical Typhoid Mary.

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    Elite Member CornFlakegrl's Avatar
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    She could get out of this mess with an insanity defense.

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    Elite Member Ravenna's Avatar
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    The thread title is wrong. The $54,000 judgment was from the second trial. She appealed and the third trial ended with a $1.5 million judgment against her, $62,500 per song, which is sick. They always way overestimate the amount lost. If people were going to buy Richard Marx's music, they've had twenty years to do it. Not every download represents a lost sale ffs.

    Quote Originally Posted by Grimmlok View Post
    *is glad he lives in Canada, where music sharing is legal*
    Are you sure? I thought they changed the laws in June.

    (Marx said he was "ashamed" to be associated with the "farcical" prosecution of an illegal downloader.)
    Yes, his music is cheesy, but he sounds like an alright guy to me.

  11. #11
    Elite Member calcifer's Avatar
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    this is pointless.

    And in a digital world now dominated by Bit Torrent and Rapidshare, ...
    usenet > bittorrent > one-click hosting

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    Elite Member sweetness's Avatar
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    Maybe I missed it, but how did they catch her? Why did they single her out?

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    I've been lurking, but they can catch p2p programs like this by getting the ip address of someone recieving the file, looking up your home address or contacting your isp for it. Then they storm the front and snatch your computer to figure out what else they'll fine you for.

    It's best to stick with torrents. And if thath appens to you, run with your computer and a few magnets, light it on fire, and toss it off a bridge before they catch you -.-

    Her fines are stupid and actually pretty insane, I'm a little disgusted with it. I do wonder if maybe she could try to get a hold of the musicians she pirated from and see if they can encourage them to help her out. I don't see how anyone would actually say no unless it was like...DMX.

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    Elite Member Chilly Willy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by calcifer View Post
    this is pointless.



    usenet > bittorrent > one-click hosting
    I use mediafire and megaupload, no sharing, no getting sued. Unlike my poor brother who got sued for using torrents.
    Hello mother fucker! when you ask a question read also the answer instead of asking another question on an answer who already contain the answer of your next question!
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    Elite Member Mel1973's Avatar
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    I pay for every song on my kid's ipod.
    Kill him.
    Kill her.
    Kill It.
    Kill everything... that IS the solution!
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