For the finger abuser
When did we last get a law that was as monumentally in favour of us as the DMCA/EUCD/etc?
When was the last time people in any sort of group got what they wanted, unlike the RIAA? (how many people marched against the Iraq war? How about those not wanting ID cards?)
So in what way are we as bad as the RIAA?
If they'd sued for $1000 it would have HURT. Especially just for 24 files. The rate of leecher on P2P can't be more than a score or two to one, so only about 40 copies were made. Now, remember that statutory licensing in the US is, IIRC, 3.1c per song per listener. This makes, as far as I can tell:
$(40x24x3.1/100) = $29.76.
Call it $30.
Now, obviously, THAT isn't much of a deterrent, but it is what they sell an ephemeral copy (i.e. one that they themselves do no make, transport, market or sell, so fairly close to what a home-brew P2P share would be for them). Remember, now, you can RECORD of the radio, so you get to keep the copy yourself.
And 128kbps MP3 is about as good as GOOD FM reception.
Now, constitutionally, I think the limit is a four-fold for punishment. $120.
NOTE that in the UK you don't get to keep the recording, so it's closer to a real sale, but then again, it could be a USian downloading). However, you can't claim damges AND a punishment fine. Any punishment fine has to be done in a different court and this is, I believe, a criminal court matter.
But if they said they wanted to stamp this sort of thing out, they could go for 10x up to $1000 and then stay at that until the "real" loss as I calculated above got to $250, then go up at a 4x damages rate.
Mind you, I think that the damages part should go to a charity, not to the originator. If they kept it, they could not sue any others, since this may have already been compensated in the fine.
So for millions of people, those 24 tracks are alrady paid for, if the DOJ is correct...