back to article US record industry wins $1.92m from file sharer

The Recording Industry Ass.of America has won $1.92m in damages against a woman accused of file sharing. Jammie Thomas-Rasset, a mum of four from Minnesota, was found guilty of copyright infringement in respect of 24 songs downloaded from, and made available to, the Kazaa file sharing network. There was no evidence that anyone …

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  1. Andus McCoatover
    Happy

    Misprint?

    <<There was no evidence that anyone but the prosecution had actually downloaded the songs.>>

    So, why aren't the prosecution up against the Beak??

  2. JP Strauss

    Nice going

    Good job on destroying this woman's life. I'm glad I wasn't granted residence in the US. I have finally realised that they are as far removed from reality as everyone has been saying.

  3. Rob
    Go

    BFF

    Big Fat Fail, either that or I've greatly misunderstood how much benefits a single mum in the US gets. I know I'd earn more on benefits but I doubt it would help me pay off a 1.9mil debt.

    Still least in this country you can agree to pay them a fiver a month for the rest of your life, do they have a similiar rule in the US?

  4. Richard Penna
    Flame

    Re. 1.92M

    Do they honestly, I mean truly honestly believe that she's going to pay them that, or anything even in the same galaxy as that?

    Not to mention the absolutely disastrous PR this is causing for them.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    You must pay....

    ...ONE HUNDRED BILLION DOLLARS!

    Oh FFS.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    Frakkin' RIAA

    There was no evidence that anyone other than the RIAA downloaded the songs? So why is this woman even in court? Oh, because there were files available on her computer that someone else could illegally download? What, like MediaSentry on behalf of the RIAA?

    $80,000 per song? What a load of bollocks, crap, tosh, turd, ass juice, pooop, crud, smeg, etc. Show me the evidence that the music industry lost $1.92m because of the songs she had on her computer.

    Fucking American idiocy. Surely this is unconstitutional?

  7. Tommy Pock

    How much of the settlement

    will be returned by the RIAA to the people they represent?

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    LOL

    Again this is LOL as they say, my friend just worked out at £50,000 (rough conversion from the good old $) that he now owes the RIAA £1.25 billion, can we get the tax payer to pay this like the banks or maybe just put it on expenses?

    PH - because even she couldn't afford that kinda fine.

  9. Neur0mancer
    Pirate

    What the deuce!

    I guess the jury were sentenced her punitively because she lied instead of listening to her actual arguement. Hopefully it was polarise the debate even more.

    FREE JAMMIE!

  10. EdwardP
    Flame

    Another...

    ...triumph of the American Legal system.

  11. Martijn Bakker
    Go

    If this were anywhere else

    .. one might be upset that such obviously ludicrous judgements could damage credibility of the nation's judicial system.

  12. steogede

    Embarrassing

    >> Even the RIAA seemed a bit embarrassed at the size of the settlement - its potted statement welcomed the verdict but said it had always wished to settle the case for less cash, and was still willing to do so.

    This just goes to show how draconian the laws (which the RIAA lobied for) are. They *should* be embarrased of themselves, as should the US Government. No wonder people voted for the Pirate Party in Sweden. If it were election time in the US, a Pirate Party could get enourmous support off the back of a news story like this.

  13. b166er

    Way to go...

    How to make law look like an absolute ass.

    Judges are so fucking random, sometimes handing out the mildest of sentences for the harshest of crimes, and here the opposite. Surely they should not make decisions so out-of-kilter with public opinion?

  14. Ray0x6

    Happy to settle for less...

    I'm sure they'd settle for $50k. In my last post I called these people anti-social rip-off scum. What more evidence do you need?

  15. Richard 120

    Wankers

    That is all.

  16. Andus McCoatover
    Thumb Down

    Ha ha ha ha

    Ha ha ha ha ha!

    -And, how much would the artists get from the settlement??? Like, my previous house's name. Bugger Hall.

    Ha ha ha ha ha!

    Recording (Oh, really???) Ass. of America - embarrassed? Yep.

    Snort!!!

    And they owe me a keyboard. Nice gold one, $2M would be about right.

  17. Grease Monkey

    Settlement or Punishment

    I suspect the size of the settlement is more to do with her pissing off the court than the putative financial damage to the RIAA. She claimed that the hard drive she handed to invesigators was the one in use at the time of the alleged infringment when in fact she had swapped the hard drive between the date of the infringement and the date she handed the disk over. Indeed the hard drive she handed over wasn't even manufactured until after the files were shared. She also lied to the court by claiming she had never even heard of Kazaa before the original court case was brought when she had actually written a college thesis on that very subject.

    One thing you don't do is piss off the judge.

    Surely a better defence would have been to go for the fact that the prosecution could only prove the songs had been downloaded once each and as such offer to pay them the going rate for an iTunes download for each song. The way the prosecution worked would be like catching somebody speeding once and then extrapolating from that the fact that they break the limit every day and fining them £60 per day for their entire driving carreer.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Boffin

    If Obama really cares for the little people

    He'd have the DoJ go after the RIAA under the RICO Act.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Fairness???

    Nice to see the punishment is proportional to the crime. She would have been better off stealing 24 cd's from a store.

    Makes me wonder how the record companies managed to only be responsible for a ten dollar refund on all of my 'price-fixed' cds if I could prove I bought any of them within the time frame of the price-fixing.

    Since the police didn't download the files, then I'm guessing the RIAA is also guilty of stealing the music. I'm not allowed to break into someone's home to prove they stole something, even if it's sitting in front of their window, so how is the RIAA any different?

    And yes... it's too early to form a coherent post and I have a 9 hour meeting coming up.

  20. P Saunders
    Paris Hilton

    How do they collect?

    Short of indentured servitude for her and her offspring for the next 2000 years or so, it's unlikely they will ever collect.

    Paris, 'cause indentured servitude suits her best.

  21. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

    Well, if they want less they can take less.

    If the RIAA wants less it could offer top pay its own legal costs (it's not like they're short of cash) and reduce the demands from the other party to, say, 5 times the true costs of the songs. That would (a) leave the judgment in place, (b) make them for once not look like the thugs they are and (c) provide a route towards actual discussion about the issue.

    On the one side, there is a real issue with copyright violations, on the other side, the record industry approach to dealing with it has been nothing short of disastrous. If they had any real desire to find some sort of middle ground, today would be as good a time to start as any.

    Maybe an idea. Won't happen, I guess.

  22. Niall Campbell
    Stop

    The madness continues

    So she has to pay damages of $80,000 per song. I bet the artist (s) will see a staggering 1 cent per song in royalties. Who's conning who here?

  23. Tim Spence
    Joke

    The Dr Evil settlement

    You've shared one £4.99 album to ten people, so we're going to fine you one hundred million, billion, billion dollars!

  24. Giles Jones Gold badge

    Scapegoat

    File sharers are the scapegoats for the decline of music. The reality is there are games consoles, DVDs, blu-ray, mobiles and mobile games to pay for. Music as a purchase has been sidelined.

    The RIAA and others would sooner sue people and earn money that way rather than deal with the problem.

    Every download is a lost sale according to their calculations, they don't take into account that the person downloading may already own the music on vinyl or may have damaged their CD. They may also have absolutely no money to buy the music anyway.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    RIAA -- the new freetards

    Who's the freetards now? $80K per song? Makes me want to download more, not less!

    Flames, because my internet connections will be a light tonight with all the electrons wizzing down the pipe!

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Boffin

    Losses

    LOL.

    I think this settlement nicely sums up the deluded line of thought that considers every downloaded copy of a song to represent lost income from the music industry.

    They truely are never going to understand that such hypothetical income is already lost thanks to their ridiculous pricing and braindead marketing tactics ... but never lets the facts get in the way of a good court case, eh.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    Don't do the crime...

    ...if you can't pay the fine or do the time.

    I know file sharing is illegal*.

    You know file sharing is illegal*.

    She knew file sharing was illegal*.

    She has no defence, she got done, she can't really complain to others about her own criminal actions.

    Freetards are generally self-centred assholes who think everything should be given to them on a plate for free. You can tell that by the moral relativism and bull-shit arguments they apply (Niall Campbell, I'm looking at you): the dubious actions of another are not an excuse for criminal acts by oneself.

    Torrents etc have their place. But theft is theft, and you can't really complain when you get caught bang to rights.

    Whilst the RIAA may not be doing itself any favours, it the thieving scum who are the root of the problem. Yes we should get rid of region encoding (well, other than to allow people to choose the language they want) and other DRM; but that does not justify theft.

    *Applies to copyrighted material you do not have distributions rights for and do not pay royalties etc for distributing. Obviously the technology itself is neutral on the whole matter.

  28. Doug Glass
    Paris Hilton

    If You're Going To Be Dumb ....

    ... you'd better be tough. And rich.

    Paris because, well, she's both already.

  29. Winkypop Silver badge
    Alert

    $1.92M fine

    Jings!

    That'll stop people all over the world downloading illegal stuff.

    Stop it, or you'll get fined!

    FAIL

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Not enough!

    Eye for an Eye I say, Little Timmy almost died [{Had a slight cold}] last summer because his Recording Artist father didn't recieve the 20 pence or so that this selfish, heartless women deprived him of.

    Anything short of the death penalty is surely a miscarriage of justice.

    Burn the File-Sharing harpy! The commercial music industry desires her blood. And then... Then our plans will be complete. And He shall return in glory.

  31. Roger Pearse

    US courts are a joke

    This is why no-one outside the US is prepared to be sued in a US court; they won't ever get justice.

    This is sick.

  32. Tom 106
    Alert

    Tut Tut.....

    $1.92 million? Is that all? Small change really, when you think about people being sued in the USA for sums in the region of 10's of $millions.

    She should arrange to pay it off at a $1 and a dime a week.

    When will people learn and put an end to using unsafe P2P software. Encryption, VPN's, Onions, and proxies are the way forward.

  33. mark phoenix

    Time to repeal this bad law

    Firstly It is not illegal to share files for use by yourself.

    Secondly the punishment must fit the crime.

    Now I know the American legal system is insane.

  34. WhatWasThat?
    Pirate

    Copyright violation

    Unfortuneately, she was in court at all. Fortunately, she got off light. The potential is $250.000 *per violation*, which would be $6m. Likewise, up to 10 years *per*, which would be 240 years in a federal pokey.

    It is very, very sad that this is actually *showing* compassion on the part of RIAA.

    And don't forget, kiddies - This is *international* law by treaty, INTERPOL and all that. That's why the warning is "en Francais aussi."

    Pirate, because WE NEED A PIRATE PARTY IN THE US.

  35. My New Handle

    A useless judgement ...

    With judgements like this, that no one save the top 1% of the top 5% of wealthy people on the planet can afford to pay, we may as well all start using P2P en masse. Lets all forget buying music legitimately and to hell with everything.

    With such pointless fines that are impossible to pay it makes it much cheaper to steal music than to legitimately pay for it.

    In one fell swoop, the RIAA and the US Courts have laid the foundations for complete P2P anarchy. But then it was probably expecting too much for either to make a measured and balanced response.

    There will be no winning of hearts and minds with such a draconian approach.

  36. slack
    Pirate

    NIce going RIAA

    They are a dinosaur.

    As said above the artists they claim to represent will see nothing from any of these fines.

    Direct to consumer or iTunes et al are the future, they know it and are desperately trying to feather their nests before the inevitable happens.

  37. Charles 9 Silver badge

    Re: Settlement or Punishment

    "Surely a better defence would have been to go for the fact that the prosecution could only prove the songs had been downloaded once each and as such offer to pay them the going rate for an iTunes download for each song."

    Problem is that one illegal download becomes the proverbial "cat out of the bag" since its spread rate on illicit networks is well above 1:1. If one person gets it and spreads it, odds are more than one person will get it from there, and in turn more than one person will get it from each of them, et cetera.

  38. Andrew Culpeck

    Bankrupcy?

    can she not file for bankrupcy and walk free of this now?

  39. EvilJason
    Thumb Down

    So....

    Pissing of the judge is grounds for a hearse penalty?

    Is that justice?

    That judge should be struck off for making personal feelings i.e. been pissed off affect his judgement.

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @JP Strauss

    Although the awarded damages are certainly disproportionate and certainly absurd you need to look back through the history of this case before you make such rash judgements.

    I do not agree that the R ass. have "destroyed this woman's life" in as much as any life destroying is entirely her own doing.

    Namely in that not only did she she commit the offense (for an offense it is - you may not agree it should be, but it is and it is an entirely avoidable one at that) but she then tried many times to lie, cheat and play the court for twats to try to get let off.

    She will be lucky if she isn't also done for perjury and contempt of court and sent to jail.

    The assorted associations are unacceptably arseholish about this whole matter, but if you want a poster child for freetards then you really shouldn't be picking this idiot.

  41. John A Blackley

    Yadayadayada

    Yep, "another triumph of the American legal system", "unconstitutional", blah, blah, blah. Must be Friday afternoon in dearoldblighty.

    This was a civil case. In a civil case (unlike a criminal case) the jury can find that "the weight of evidence" points to the defendant being guilty (instead of "beyond reasonable doubt"). Having found for the plaintiff, the jury can then recommend a penalty.

    How much less democratic than having one's criminal case - and freedom - lie solely in the hands of some port-encrusted doddering old fart of a judge (as is about to happen in London) or to have one's own government agree to your deportation without even seeing evidence against you.

    And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy neighbour's eye, etc.

  42. Andus McCoatover

    It's noise, FFS

    It's just noise, Some people find music pleasant, others don't.

    Heard Karaoke, recently? Record it on your mobile? Pay 1.9M for sharing it?

    She's lucky she doesn't have to serve 99 years to life. American "Court" (=judges) should be shot on sight, with their pompous "The Court Rules ==me " attitudes.

    Go on, Yanks, that's why you have the right to bear arms (Read your second amendment carefully)

    KILL, MAIM, DISFIGURE, DESTROY, ANIHILATE!!! JIHAD!!!

  43. Rick Giles
    Pirate

    They're still just mad...

    Because they missed the boat ~15 years ago when Napster came to them and said 'Hey, we have a great way for you to make more money from songs by charging for the digital copy of the individual song'.

  44. A B 3
    IT Angle

    Ooh, Ooh,

    EPIC JURY FAIL

  45. Ian 11

    The RIAA are embarassed because...

    They know it's going to get shot down as unconstitutional.

    They're open for settlement still because they know if they don't get a settlement they aint gonna get a single penny at all.

    Even when the RIAA wins, it appears that it's lost, and that's against someone so inept she didn't manage to even put up a sensible defence and even lied to the courts.

    This still means little in the grand scheme of things, the RIAA wont be getting any cash out of it, it looks bad, it's unconstitutional and the real and valid defences against media defender's so called evidence are simply still untested in court.

  46. nsld
    Paris Hilton

    I am no lawyer but......

    Having Kazaa software on your machine isnt a crime. The only crime occured when the RIAA people connected to her machine and illegally downloaded the content.

    So in theory, to make her guilty they themselves had to break the law in the first place. Effectively it was a sting operation.

    So shouldnt the RIAA now be seeking a prosecution against the experts they employed to illegally fileshare?

    Paris, dumb as a bucket of shrimp

  47. Jay Jaffa
    Thumb Up

    Lock her up

    Stick the thieving bitch in Jail and let her rot

    regards,

    Feargal sharkey

  48. PPPie
    Flame

    BS nations

    Some nations are BS, just choose not to live in BS nations, or do something about it and change it.

  49. Syren Baran
    Boffin

    Now lets check if its even possible

    to spread 24 songs 80.000 times.

    24*4MB (songsize)*80000=7,68TB

    At an average upstream of, say, 20KB/sec this would require more than 12 years of uninterrupted seeding.

    Next up, man gets sentanced for contaminating all oceans by having a piss in a river.

  50. This post has been deleted by a moderator

  51. Steve Evans

    LMAO!

    If there was ever a sign that a Judge should be put out to pasture for completely loosing his grip on reality, this is it! Is he on commission or something?

    No wonder the RIAA is embarrassed, it makes them look stupid, and they know they haven't got a hope in hell of ever getting that kind of cash out of her.

    If she were a UK MP caught on the fiddle it appears she would be entitle to just pay for the face value of the songs and consider the case closed!

  52. MinionZero
    Stop

    I just looked up "Show Trial" ...

    Show Trial: "–noun (esp. in a totalitarian state) the public trial of a political offender conducted chiefly for propagandistic purposes, as to suppress further dissent against the government by making an example of the accused."

    So it is a “Show Trial”. The US political puppets work for the corporations and then make laws for them, and so now we get this high profile show trial with ridiculous amounts of money uses as a big warning to all. So now we have to watch them publically punish their defenseless sacrifice on the altar of their greed. Well at least we now know who is our boss. Thanks. Everyone won't do it again. Everyone head bowed down now in respect for our rulers, for they have spoken to us all.

    The current music industry business model is broken so nothing they do to prop it up will prevent it failing, no matter how threatening they get, as they try to drag us all down into some kind of totalitarian police state so they can watch us all. They need to move to earning money from a performances style business model. Live streaming events, so music moves back to its oldest business model of payments to see performances which worked for hundreds of years. As broadband finally gets better they will be able to have global audiences watching their performances worth millions. Then music can be given away for free as promotional material to build up fan bases to encourage people to see the performances. Also for really big name stars they can also stream the videos to nightclubs around the world for truly global events on scales never seen before. But the fat cats won't want that business model as it brings bands closer to their fan base and squeezes out the fat cat rich control freak middle men.

    Its only bloody music, its not that important and certainly not worth changing the whole of society simply to give the music industry what it wants. I would sooner it died rather than let it create a global police state. (But it won't ever die out as there will alway be people willing to play and write music and even perform it for free simply to get the buzz of being on stage). So this battle isn't about saving music, its about maintaining profits (and control) from a dying business model.

  53. Christopher Martin

    File sharing software

    Doesn't virtually any machine with a nic in it have "file sharing" software?

    your web server, ssh daemon....

  54. The Fuzzy Wotnot
    Flame

    Shame it will have no effect!

    Tell you what, let's see what effect this has.

    Drop over to TPB right now, note down the current activity figures on the front page. Now do the same at regular 3 hour intervals over the next 5-7 days. I'll eat my car if they vary by more than 25% over the entire period.

    Mr/Miss RipOff is thinking, "So what? One person got done. Too many of us at it for them to nail everyone. So sod it, why should I stop!"

  55. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Message Sent

    Hopefully this dumb bitch got the message? She stole, she got caught, she was convicted and then foolishly appealed. The second jury made it perfectly clear how they felt about this woman stealing and then refusing to accept responsibility for her actions. This should be a message to all pirates. Prison time will be next for this dumb bitch, no doubt.

  56. Mike Taylor

    Not saying nothing about the rights, writs or wrongs...

    But she should have settled for $3000-$5000 as was offered (according to the Ass. quotes in the Times):

    "Cara Duckworth, for the RIAA, said that the industry remained willing to settle. She refused to name a figure, but acknowledged that Thomas-Rasset had been given the chance to settle for $3,000 to $5,000 earlier in the case. "Since day one we have been willing to settle this case and we remain willing to do so," Ms Duckworth said. "

    http://technology.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/tech_and_web/article6534542.ece

  57. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Halo

    Perhaps the only safe way.........

    to go now is to register a Limited Company and have that Company install the Internet connection in your home, that way they can sue an empty/shell company ?.

    Any legal bods on here any ideas ?

  58. Jeremy Cordes

    stop it!

    Stop supporting the RIAA and the "artists" that associate with them. Support your local musician and boycott big "music", that you really don't want to hear anyway. Until you stop buying, they are going to make money. As far as the U.S. legal system goes, money buys justice in the U.S. so the RIAA obviously is successful.

  59. Dick
    Thumb Down

    @ Andrew Culpeck

    Bankruptcy? Probably not. Generally in the US bankruptcy will not wipe out a civil judgement for an intentional act, it will get you off the hook for a negligent act but that would be hard to argue in this case.

    I think she should sue her lawyer next, he sure didn't live up to his public statements about the slash and burn defense he was going to give her.

  60. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Coat

    So what?

    In five years, she will be able to pay all that in USD by working for about half a day at McDonalds.

    Mine's the one with the portable disk full of "stolen" music and the Walther P99.

  61. Tim Blair

    USA USA USA USA!

    Bigger Fatter Thicker

  62. StillNoCouch
    Flame

    Spineless Ba$Tards

    If you visit their web site, there is no email comment link.

    When you call their Non-Toll-Free Number (of course), the politely ask you if you would like to speak to their legal or PR department.

    Of course, PR doesn't answer or return calls ...

    What a collection of human garbage !

    --- END OF RANT ---

    The reason I stopped buying music was because of all the restrictions.

    Phuck these idiots.

  63. A B 3
    Flame

    Cry havoc...

    and let slip the P2P war.

    Seriously, get rid of this insane law, yesterday (as they say in the US). In Oz the fines are very reasonable.

    Pirates come to Oz for a safe haven, your illegal booty will cover any subsequent court costs & fines.

  64. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    To RIAA about the fine

    Just got one thing to say to RIAA about their chance of collecting:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8pwOiC8aJrs

    Black Helicopter? Because its RIAA.

  65. Joe M

    @Don't do the crime... and @Lock her up

    It's a civil case as in C.I.V.I.L. You can both stop frothing at the mouth now.

  66. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Well...

    Stupid and unrealistic amount.

    But I still say dont download stuff without paying for it.... And I mean only pay for the legal stuff! Why people think they can moan about being caught listening to something that most would expect to pay for I have no idea!

    Huh!

  67. Anonymous Coward
    Pirate

    RIAA: "would have settled for less"

    "No really, WE didn't put her that put her in this position."

    It doesn't matter if she she is guilty and annoyed the judge and the jurors. This sort of judgment shows the whole process to be a farce. When the process is seen to be ridiculous, it loses credibility and authority.

    To the whole, "crime & time" group: you seem to have abandoned morality and replaced it with legalism. If the law said you could be hanged for jaywalking, that wouldn't make it right to hang jaywalkers. The legal system should be about appropriate treatment, not marketing. The desire to "send a message" is not an excuse for the outrageous behaviour of this court in handing out a disproportionate sentence, ruining this family and putting already disadvantaged children in further jeopardy. It just isn't necessary.

    As a society, we have some responsibility to protect the disadvantaged - that includes the intellectually disadvantaged.

    I know its illogical because I would never buy the stuff that's out there anyway so it wouldn't hurt them, but I now have a deep emotional desire to infringe.

  68. Chris C

    Even more idiots showing their ignorance

    People, if you're going to bitch about something like this, do it for the right reasons. And for love of $deity, you show at least TRY to not show your ignorance. Personally, I'm surprised at the amount of the fine, but people have (and will) always let their personal feelings get in the way of their judgment (and that goes for both sides of the debate).

    @AC re Frakkin' RIAA -- "There was no evidence that anyone other than the RIAA downloaded the songs? So why is this woman even in court?" She's in court because she broke the law. No other evidence is required. Even if only one person downloaded the songs from her computer, a crime was committed. She was not authorized to distribute the material, hence it was illegal. It does not matter if only one person or one million people downloaded it.

    @b166er re Way to go -- "Judges are so fucking random, sometimes handing out the mildest of sentences for the harshest of crimes, and here the opposite. Surely they should not make decisions so out-of-kilter with public opinion?" I agree with your sentiment, but this was not a judge who made this decision. It was a JURY (read: twelve civilians) who made the decision and determined the amount of the fine. So perhaps it wasn't so far removed from public opinion as you seem to think.

    @steogede re Embarrassing -- "This just goes to show how draconian the laws (which the RIAA lobied for) are". The law says that you are not allowed to distribute music unless the right-holder authorizes you to do so. Please explain how that is draconian.

    @AC re Fairness??? -- "Nice to see the punishment is proportional to the crime. She would have been better off stealing 24 cd's from a store." And it's nice to see you apparently don't understand the case. This wasn't about HER downloading the songs (which would be analogous to stealing 24 CDs from a store). This was about her making songs available for other people to download (which would be analogous to her making copies of her CDs for anyone who asked). ... "Since the police didn't download the files, then I'm guessing the RIAA is also guilty of stealing the music. I'm not allowed to break into someone's home to prove they stole something, even if it's sitting in front of their window, so how is the RIAA any different?" They're not. But placing music in a shared folder in Kazaa is analogous to inviting people to your house and personally offering to give them your property; you are not breaking in if you are invited. ... "And yes... it's too early to form a coherent post and I have a 9 hour meeting coming up." Clearly.

    @Andus McCoatover re Misprint? -- "<<There was no evidence that anyone but the prosecution had actually downloaded the songs.>> So, why aren't the prosecution up against the Beak??" That would be because the prosecution did not commit a crime. They were authorized by the rights-holders to download the material, hence no crime. However, the defendant was not authorized to distribute the material to anyone, even those authorized to download it, hence she did commit a crime.

    @JP Strauss re Nice going -- "Good job on destroying this woman's life." She did that all on her own by perjuring herself (lying under oath). I have a feeling that had a lot to do with the size of the fine the jury awarded.

    @mark phoenix re Time to repeal this bad law -- "Firstly It is not illegal to share files for use by yourself. Secondly the punishment must fit the crime." Firstly, it IS illegal to distribute (share) files you don't hold the copyright to, unless for specific fair-use exclusions, none of which applied in this case. Secondly, TWO juries of her peers -- 24 people -- felt that the punishment did fit the crime. Just because you and I don't agree doesn't mean that we are right or that they are wrong.

    I'm sure could go on and on debunking the rest of the comments, but I've got better things to do. But before I do...

    @AC re Don't do the crime -- "...if you can't pay the fine or do the time. I know file sharing is illegal*. You know file sharing is illegal*. She knew file sharing was illegal*. She has no defence, she got done, she can't really complain to others about her own criminal actions." Well, at least one other person "gets" it and understands why a crime was committed, hence why she was in court.

  69. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    So im fucked then?

    Just did the math here. Apparently I will owe around $6.4 billion if I ever got nabbed....

    /anon because I dont have Bill Gates wallet

  70. Rupert The Bear

    Blame the Minnesotan Jury...

    Minnesota has more than its share of white sanctimonious types left over from the religious exodus from Norway and Germany (conditions weren't harsh enough for them). They love to think of themselves as diverse and cultured (they are, for the most part, well-educated, though) but behind the "Minnesota Nice" lurks a smug, nasty streak. At least that is what I and my west coast girlfriend noticed when we lived there for a few years. Couldn't wait to get out...

  71. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    Idiots

    Read some of the facts on the case before getting all hotted up about it. She had 1700 songs on her computer in a shared folder. At least 24 of them were downloaded as evidence of sharing. She refused any settlement with the RIAssA and went to trial. Her potential fine was from $750 to $200,000 or more PER SONG. She lost in the original trial and the JURY found her guilty and the JURY set the fine at something like $7500 per song. She appealed and got a second trial and a NEW JURY found her guilty AGAIN and set the fine at $80,000 per song. She gambled and lost. It was her computer; in her home; under her control. The JURY felt she was guilty and found for the RIAssA. She could have bought her way out of the whole deal at the beginning for $3-5000 total and been done with it. At least she can declare bankruptcy and get out of it and she won't be going to buttsex jail like McKinnon.

  72. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    judicial travesty

    This judicial travesty is just a symptom of a greater problem.

    There are now two kinds of people/entities now:

    1. The rich, corporate elites and the corporations themselves.

    2. Everybody else

    The politicians are useless as they have been bought and paid for

    by 1., "elections" are now mere formalities...

    Will the revolution be televised?

  73. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    Wrong is Getting Caught

    So after all the law only applies to those that get caught right? Then we should feel sorry for them because we disagree with the law. Do you suppose any of these "everything should be free" folks even knew who their congressional representatives are? Not likely. They probably haven't voted in any of those little non-presidential elections for their entire life. Much easier to sit back and philosophize than to take the time to participate.

  74. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    Justice in America?

    There is no justice in America, it's all a delusion that was buried with the founding fathers. Today justice goes to whoever has the most money, best lawyers, etc., because its not whats right or what happened, its what you can prove. It should be no secret that lobbyists have bought the justice system, after all justice is derived from laws and we all know lobbyists own Congress.

    Anyway, its sad that you can get drunk, go speeding down the highway, endangering god knows who and only pay a thousand or so in fines, whereas 24 **copies** of something, amounting to little more than 1's and 0's can get your life destroyed. The rest of the world must be laughing their asses off.

    The coat, representing the RIAholes with their hand on your wallet.

  75. Tom 13

    @Andrew Culpeck

    Nope, bankruptcy can't be used to get out of court imposed fines.

    Yeah, it sounds like she tried to yank the Judge's chain, and they tend not to take kindly to that. You can kill a couple dozen people and it's "yes sir" as long as you respect the gavel. Insult the Judge during a shoplifting trial over a pair of undies and you'll likely wind up doing 10 years of hard time.

    Anyway, from the sounds of it, $3000, $5000, or $1.92 million, $100 million, or supertanker of petrol, it's all the same to her: more money than she can afford to pay.

  76. Roger Jenkins
    Stop

    Intentional?

    I see lots of cries here that the judge was incompetent or a fool.

    Has anyone considered that the judge maybe a lot smarter than is thought.

    He allows a judgment for a ridiculous sum. He knows that by doing so the case will be highly publicised, he knows that many very clever lawyers will want to jump onto the appeal bandwagon pro bono for the publicity.

    He knows that this judgment will be overturned by appeal. It's the appeal court that will set precedent, not his ruling.

    Maybe.

  77. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bah Humbug

    The RIAA - in living in an absolute glut of "entertainment" of every description from all directions; including music programs on TV - for about 30+ hours a week or more and that is only where I live - - and globally there must be some 3000 - 5000 broadcasters doing the same thing;

    On the radio 24-7 on about 40,000 stations, then

    There is all the downloadable content - from the broad casters themselves - including the program or seeing it streamed....

    After all of this you have P2P - I mean I wouldn't either need or want to be downloading anything......

    In fact; I kind of like having the radio and TV turned off.

    OK the old Jammie seems either to be telling the truth OR not terribly bright; BUT getting an award for almost $2 million dollars..... along with much of their SLEAZY manouverings..

    In respects to the RIAA - IF I ever get around to buying a CD... I'll make sure it's not from an artist signed up from one of their cretinous signatories, and it's not DRM crapfested; so I can rip it to an MP3 so I can take it on my phone / music player / home stereo etc....

    Just out of spite.

  78. Steen Hive
    Flame

    Copyright Infringement

    Is fast becoming a civic duty.

  79. Steen Hive
    Flame

    @Chris W

    "You know file sharing is illegal*. She knew file sharing was illegal"

    Except that file sharing isn't illegal, it's unlawful. And even if it was, you probably know there are students out there on the streets of Tehran getting peppered with 39mm bullets or getting banged up for "illegally demonstrating". What do you think of that "law"? Legalism isn't a cogent argument, it's an apology for totalitarianism.

  80. Frumious Bandersnatch Silver badge

    @charles9

    > Problem is that one illegal download becomes the proverbial "cat out of the bag" since its spread rate on illicit networks is well above 1:1.

    Eh, you do realise that that's an unbounded function. Any geometric progression where output > input by a fixed multiplier tends to infinity. So by your logic, even one lost download/purchase will swamp any legal download/purchase in short order. Why not sue her for $infinity. I hear there are even such a thing, mathematically speaking, as "transinfinites", if $infinity isn't enough for you.

    Shill? You?

  81. Watashi

    How much?

    A recent Times report says the average UK teenager has 800 illegally download tracks. Assuming this goes for all teenagers in the world (constituting approx 10% global population), that means the music industry has been denied around £20,000,000,000,000,000, or £20 quintillion. That's 290 times the GDP of the entire planet.

    No wonder we're in recession!

  82. Frumious Bandersnatch Silver badge

    FWIW

    Britney Spears has a concert here in Dublin one of these days. Piece in the local TV "news" has various fans saying that they don't mind if she's lip-syncing. My question, 'tards: is this what passes for "music" these days? (Quotes intentional, possibly ironic)

  83. Anonymous Coward
    Pirate

    "stupid bitch"

    @ Anonymous Coward Posted Friday 19th June 2009 15:53 GMT

    "Hopefully this dumb bitch got the message? She stole, she got caught, she was convicted and then foolishly appealed. The second jury made it perfectly clear how they felt about this woman stealing and then refusing to accept responsibility for her actions. This should be a message to all pirates. Prison time will be next for this dumb bitch, no doubt."

    What, pray tell, did the "dumb bitch" steal??? A digital copy of a song is not physical property, so how do you "steal" it? Sharing music violates copyright (sic), thats a civil infraction of the law.

    Downloading doesnt violate copyright, uploading does, can you or anyone else out there PROVE she uploaded files? Nah, i didnt think so! Yes there were mp3s in her shared folder,

    But to say that automaticaly means lots of peeps downloaded from her??? Justify the excessive fine shes expected to pay!!

    File sharing is not illegal, what if you needed a copy of Linux, and downloaded it from P2P?

    Would you be stealing??

    And BTW i believe she downloaded SOME of the music she had in her computer, and got busted for it, but to make a mother of 6 pay a $1.92 mill fine is stupid.

    Another BTW, if shes a "stupid bitch", where does that put you???

    'nuff said!

  84. Haku
    Coat

    What songs?

    Was one of them "American Idiot" by Green Day?

  85. Anonymous Coward
    Alert

    I'd sue the guy who invented the intertubes!

    Obviously, that person is to blame for all cyber-nasties!

  86. Grease Monkey

    @Andus

    "<<There was no evidence that anyone but the prosecution had actually downloaded the songs.>>

    So, why aren't the prosecution up against the Beak??"

    Because the prosecution already own the songs. Duh!

  87. Dylan Fahey
    Unhappy

    For the british lads and lasses

    We here in America have given up all pretense of a freee society. The RIAA, hollywood and Exxon run our government now. We've left all hope of personal freedoms at the door, and are shackled to our TV's, watching worthless crap for hours on end. The only time any of our sheep, oh I mean citizens, gets upset are when they change the ingredients of their favorite soda or the wrong person wins IDOL.

    Our genetics are now being mixed to the lowest common denominator, we'll soon be eating food through straws and all using direct deposit on our government dole checks.

    I'm thinking of moving out of the country (USA) to somewhere more civilized. Maybe Tibet.

  88. Mei Lewis

    @ Chris C

    "However, the defendant was not authorized to distribute the material to anyone, even those authorized to download it, hence she did commit a crime."

    It's that kind of twisted, unreasonable logic that leads the vast majority of people think the law is an ass and the RIAA are arseholes.

    Suppose you're at a family gathering and you see a mum tell her son that it's okay for him to eat chocolate today because he's been good.

    You happen to have some chocolate so you give the kid a piece. Then BANG! the mother tears into you calling you every name under the sun and screams, "I said he could have chocolate but I didn't say you were allowed to give it to him."

    You'd think she was a psychotic bitch wouldn't you?

  89. Steen Hive
    Coat

    @ Grease Monkey

    "Because the prosecution already own the songs. Duh!"

    So it seems she has been fined $1.92m for allowing people who own copyright to exercise that copyright? What?

  90. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    punishment?????

    I always thought that that one of the basic tenants of the judicial system is that the punishment is supposed to be a reflection on the crime, her crime seems to have been to offend the RIAssA, or as this case has done, to make them look like a bunch of idiots.

    Who ever the real drivers of this law were, they though that by setting the fines at ridiculous levels that they would act as a deterrent for the breech of copyright, slap a fine of a few K on me and I might struggle to pay it, maybe even the bailiffs could find enough junk in my house to take to pay the fine, but 2M..... the bailiff would have to take my house and sell it 10 times to get the fine.....

    Does anybody beleive the RIAssA that they would have settled for $5,000, when Joel Tenenbaum offered to settle his case for $5,000 the RIAssA wanted $10,500

    The RIAssA, in attempting to hold on to their failed model of global domination, have, through their back-handed lackeys, have made it a "crime" to "make available for download", what's next? The heinous crime of having a broadband connection or a CD burner.

    According to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, plaintiff's attorney Tim Reynolds claimed that Ms. Thomas-Rasset was practically flooding the planet with copies of those 24 songs, saying she provided the 24 files to "millions" of fellow KaZaA users

    Millions????? This is evidence????? I thought that you could only present factual evidence in court, does that mean the RIAssA's attorney perjured himself in court?? I'm sorry, but the RIAssA has lost the plot entirely, they could only show that their own agents downloaded the songs.

    6 years legal work, and the only result they can get is a fine the defendant could never pay, it strikes me that in the big 4 music monopolies and the RIAssA might have been wiser to spend their money, sorry did I say their money, I meant the recording artist's money on developing a business model that could avail of the new technology.

    How ironic it is to see a representative of Sony suing somebody for breaching copyright, when Sony were the defendants when Disney and Universal sued Sony after the launch of betamax VCRs, claiming that home video recording contravened copyright law and made the studios to lose money.

    And who could forget the BPI Vs Amstrad, because Amstrad had created a twin deck tape recorder, and the whole "home taping is destroying the music industry" load of crap. 'funny, the music industry seems to be healthy enough to pay lawyers for a six year case that they will never get any return from.

    This stupidity has gone on long enough, Pandora's box has been opened and there ain't any way of closing it again, the RIAssA, and the music industry generally, needs to adapt or die. At the moment they are committing economic suicide.

  91. JC 2
    Stop

    Absolutely Ludicrous

    Innit?

  92. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Three times a charm

    Hey she could have gotten off for like $5K if she just admitted her crime and wrote a check. She blew chance #1. She got a second chance with a trial and $220K fine and she blew that. She gets another trial and gets convicted again and a $1.92 M fine. JACKPOT ! Now she says they won't get the money so my guess is she'll go to prison to cool here heals and gain some respect for the law. What a dumb bitch.

  93. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's not a crime, it's a tort

    So come on, make that rhyme.

  94. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ It's not a crime, it's a tort

    So she won't be sentenced to the fort.

    I'm thinking that some people are missing the fact that she 'made available' 24 songs and that the fine is excessive for what she did. Yes, what she did was wrong. Yes, she seems to be pretty stupid. That doesn't mean the law is to punish someone excessively. The venomous tone, simply over some music. You'd think she was a child murderer by the sounds of things.

    By unfairly punishing people, EVEN THE GUILTY, it degrades civilized society. If you can't figure out why, then move to the third world and get a first hand experience.

  95. Nicholas Wright
    Thumb Up

    @AC

    Well, would you rather lose $5k of your savings (holiday, clothes, food for the children), or be faced with a bill for $1million, and declare yourself bankrupt?

    Tricky...

  96. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Now lets check if its even possible

    >to spread 24 songs 80.000 times.

    Where do you get the 80,000 from? That appears to be the value the court has set on distribution rights of a track, not the number of transfers.

    >24*4MB (songsize) = 96MB

    So yeah, pretty small beer that. Easily transferable and, in fact, proven in court.

    It's not a per song issue, it's the _right_of_distribution_ that has been taken and that is worth much more than the retail price of one track.

    The fine is bonkers though, there's something badly wrong with a judicial system that leaves itself so open to mockery.

  97. Brian Miller 1

    Did it ever occur to anyone that

    Maybe she is just giving them a hard time of it to illustrate the idiocy of there approach to dealing with music sharing.

    They already chose to ruin her life. $5k when you have $0 is as big a mountain as $1.92m. She is doing the right thing and showing these monsters for what they are.

    They can only afford to pay their lawyers for so long. The longer and more appeals she gets the better. Also she should counter-sue for harassment and torture. Get a few doctors to agree that she may well be depressed and that it can be linked to this civil case brought about by the RIAA.

    Selective enforcement of their rights, she has been prejudiced against because they thought she would be an easy target. etc etc. Then she just needs to get a larger award than they got and hey presto the system works. Hopefully the jury would give her a little extra for all this hard fighting she has had to do.

    Go Jammie woooot.

  98. Newrone
    Thumb Up

    Sign me up!

    Yet another recruit to the Pirate Party here.

    What were the songs anyway? And which of the music banks - sorry, record companies - were concerned?

    If we all download them again then the "potential loss" to the Record co. dictatorship would bankrupt them in 1 fell swoop!! (If it doesn't, then they don't have a case ;-)).

  99. SleepyJohn

    The Media Industry is like a cornered rat

    It seems to me that ever since we discovered how to record media a group of middlemen have controlled the distribution of it, through various shopfronts. They saw the internet as just another great big shopfront . Well, it is not; it is more like a digital atmosphere. And it is no more realistic to charge for media placed in it than to charge for the air you breathe out in the street. You have to find another way to earn a living, and millions of us do. This is simple reality. Morality does not come into it, and neither should legality.

    The RIAA is like the last diseased rat cornered in a barn, snapping, snarling and biting at every child that tries to remove it. Before long, however, a big man will hear the cries of the children and will come along and smash the rat with a large shovel, thus enabling everyone to safely use the barn. Or the internet; which can then become what it should be - a wonderful medium for ordinary people to connect with the arts, and a wonderful medium for artists to connect with ordinary people. It has made the world much smaller, and I see little moral difference between sharing an MP3 with millions over the internet and listening to a record with a few friends round your fireside.

    Perhaps the RIAA should invent a CD that will not play if there is anyone else in the room besides the person who bought it. Or read http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luddites .

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