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DoJ sides with RIAA in Thomas appeal

DoJ sides with RIAA in Thomas appeal

Jammie Thomas has been ordered to pay around £110,000 in damages to the RIAA after being found guilty of sharing 24 songs on KaZaA.

The RIAA’s case against Jammie Thomas has come to a close with the US Department of Justice choosing not to side with the single mother from Minnesota, US during her appeal.

Thomas, who was found guilty of illegally sharing 24 songs using the KaZaA filesharing network, was ordered to pay over £4,500 for each of the 24 copyright infringements, making the total fine awarded to the RIAA a whopping £110,000.

During the appeal, she called the RIAA’s case unconstitutional and claimed that the companies involved in the lawsuit didn’t incur £110,000 worth of damages.

Unfortunately for Thomas, the Department of Justice decided to reject the appeal, noting that the damages awarded fell under the guidelines in the Copyright Act. The DoJ’s ruling also said that Thomas’ fine was designed to act as both compensation and a deterrent.

“Given the findings of copyright infringement in this case, the damages awarded under the Copyright Act’s statutory damages provision did not violate the Due Process Clause,” claimed the report.

As we noted back in October, this is the first case of its kind as, although many other lawsuits filed by the RIAA against online music pirates, they have all been settled out of court. This is the first to go all the way, and the outcome was in favour of the record companies, setting a precedent for future lawsuits.

Do you think that Thomas has got what she deserved, or do you believe that the fines were a little harsh? Let us know your thoughts in the forums.

20 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
steveo_mcg 6th December 2007, 12:11 Quote
Hands up who's surprised??
quack 6th December 2007, 12:17 Quote
I wonder how she's going to pay it.
Hugo 6th December 2007, 12:25 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by quack
I wonder how she's going to pay it.

Selling boot-leg DVDs on the street ;)

Scary precident though...
yakyb 6th December 2007, 12:31 Quote
how long owuld the jail sentance be for not being able to pay?
samkiller42 6th December 2007, 12:32 Quote
I think she may have to give these people a call:
Quote:
Originally Posted by oceanfinance
Whether you are looking to consolidate your existing finances into one manageable monthly payment, considering carrying out some overdue home improvements or perhaps think now is the right time for you to consider a complete remortgage package, we could have the right solution for you.

On a more serious note, i still think 4k per song is a little ott, however, as it said in the report, it is to act like a deterrent, however still, they could have been less greedy, but hey.

Sam
yakyb 6th December 2007, 12:46 Quote
plus i thought it was against the law to make an example of some one by giving them a large sentance
TreeDude 6th December 2007, 12:58 Quote
She made some big mistakes in the case. She deserved what she got for her stupidity. You don't have your HD wiped after finding out your going to court for file sharing. She has now made it harder for when the next person tries to fight it.
Leitchy 6th December 2007, 13:01 Quote
£4500 for 24 songs, I may aswell make myself bankrupt and go into hiding!
Drexial 6th December 2007, 13:01 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by samkiller42

On a more serious note, i still think 24k per song is a little ott, however, as it said in the report,
Sam

its so she can never afford another computer again.
Bauul 6th December 2007, 13:26 Quote
Meh, it's bad luck for her, but will this have any effect on anyone else in the world anywhere?

Of course not.
Tim S 6th December 2007, 13:44 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leitchy
£4500 for 24 songs, I may aswell make myself bankrupt and go into hiding!

don't forget it's 4500 quid per song, not collectively... ;)
chiper136 6th December 2007, 13:52 Quote
Thats...just evil...so many people file share so much more, they could have at least some ******* who blatantly deserved it for like sharing a couple thousand files or something, but a single mother being done for 24 songs, thats just going to give them lots of negative press.
<A88> 6th December 2007, 14:12 Quote
It wasn't just 24 songs she shared though- the prosecution accused her of sharing 1700, but the record companies only charged her for 24 of them. Add to this the fact that she seems to have lied her way through the court case instead of opting for the out-of-court-settlement and you'd be inclined to think that she was maybe hoping to become more a martyr of the file-sharing community than a rational single mother who knows what financial responsibility is.

<A88>
steveo_mcg 6th December 2007, 14:27 Quote
But you can't be fined for sharing 1700 songs if you're only charged with sharing 24. This is effectively an illegal fine under US law but since the whole country is paid for by big business its been upheld. But yeah i agree she's tried to fight the system which is slightly silly in her situation, but hey maybe she doesn't like bullies.
<A88> 6th December 2007, 14:52 Quote
She wasn't fined for 1700- only 24, and at 1/3rd of the maximum fine at that. I'm not saying it's reasonable- it actually seems like an extortionate amount of money to me, but she didn't do herself any favours by fighting a losing battle anyway. She didn't really have a leg to stand on in the first place, so getting a lawyer to act as crutches has just made the wound a lot worse.

<A88>
Drexial 6th December 2007, 16:33 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by steveo_mcg
But you can't be fined for sharing 1700 songs if you're only charged with sharing 24. This is effectively an illegal fine under US law but since the whole country is paid for by big business its been upheld. But yeah i agree she's tried to fight the system which is slightly silly in her situation, but hey maybe she doesn't like bullies.

she wasnt fined for all 1700, she was fined about $9,000 per song = $220,000 for all 24 songs. she was looking at over a million dollar fine maximum just for those 24 songs.
pendragon 6th December 2007, 18:19 Quote
the fine was excessive IMHO, but yea, this woman shot herself in the foot so to speak :( it really stinks, as I'd love the RIAA to die a firey death
Rebourne 6th December 2007, 20:40 Quote
Thats absurd, copyright laws were made to protect copyright holders from other people making money off of what they created. If she was out on the street corner selling a bunch of burned CD's to people and making a bunch of money the fine might be fair.
quack 6th December 2007, 22:59 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by TreeDude
She made some big mistakes in the case. She deserved what she got for her stupidity. You don't have your HD wiped after finding out your going to court for file sharing. She has now made it harder for when the next person tries to fight it.
But she didn't have it wiped, she had it replaced.
DXR_13KE 7th December 2007, 01:05 Quote
so if they warn me that i am going to be but raped and then my hard drive suddenly fails/explodes/catches fire then i am boned....
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