Thomas-Rasset loses second trial against RIAA

Thomas-Rasset loses second trial against RIAA

Jammie Thomas-Rasset lost her second trial against the RIAA after the jury committing 24 acts of copyright infringement for a second time. The jury ruled that Thomas-Rasset should pay $1.92 million in damages to the recording industry.

In a repeat of the verdict from Jammie Thomas-Rasset's first trial, the jury found her guilty of wilful copyright infringement on 24 songs shared over KaZaA.

The new jury, however, were more severe in their judgement, awarding the record labels damages totalling $1.92 million or $80,000 per infringement. The damages award is a massive increase from the previous trial, which ordered her to pay $9,250 per song.

The reason for this is believed to be because Thomas-Rasset changed her story in this trial, presenting arguments that she hadn't used until this point in her four-year fight against the music industry.

She also admitted a major misstep - the hard drive that she handed over to the authorities was not the one in her computer at the time of the alleged infringement in February 2005. Her computer went into Best Buy for repairs in March 2005 after the hard drive mysteriously died - a replacement hard drive was installed by the Best Buy reps at this time and that was the drive she handed over for inspection.

Following the verdict, Thomas-Rasset didn't blame the jury "They did their job and I'm not going to hold it against them," she said before adding that the recording industry would never collect the money. "Good luck trying to get it from me... it's like squeezing blood from a turnip."

Cara Duckworth, a spokesperson for the RIAA, attended the trial and upon conclusion, told reporters: "Since day one we have been willing to settle this case...and we remain willing to do so."

Kiwi Camara, Thomas-Rasset's lawyer, said that there was a settlement on the table, but maintained that it's up to Thomas-Rasset to decide whether she wants to fight on. She suggested that she does want to continue fighting on, even though there's an offer on the table. "[This case was] one for the RIAA, not the end of the war," she said.

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thehippoz 19th June 2009, 16:02 Quote
it's like one mental midget beating up another
DXR_13KE 19th June 2009, 16:04 Quote
$1.92 million??? that's insane!
Tris 19th June 2009, 16:09 Quote
The whole thing is batshit to be fair, as the defendant has said several times she doesn't have any money, so its all rather a moot point. They could award the RIAA $1 billion for all the difference it would make.
Passarinhuu 19th June 2009, 16:42 Quote
$80.000 for infringement? Did she absorb the whole internet and then shared it?
Furymouse 19th June 2009, 16:52 Quote
And how much of that money will the hard working artists see? Silly me thought these laws were to protect artists creation, not the corporations bottom line....
Tris 19th June 2009, 17:14 Quote
I actually read an interesting article (and an associated research paper) on the reg earlier about the assumptions around copyright law - apparently it was initially created to ensure creativity and prevent artists from being sitfled, not for large companies to extort the public. Who knew....

I'd link the article but I am probably not supposed to, but its the article called "Economists say P2P file-sharing fuels art". Well worth a read for those who are interested in reasoned pro-p2p arguments, regardless of personal feeling on the subject.
frojoe 19th June 2009, 18:14 Quote
Did the RIAA only go after people who uploaded music, or those that downloaded it as well. I would imagine the penalties for downloading are far less than uploading.
Darkefire 19th June 2009, 18:39 Quote
Whatever happened to juries standing up for the little guy? What possible discussions could have lead to awarding a giant corporation almost $2 million from a woman who is for all intents and purposes penniless?
thehippoz 19th June 2009, 18:46 Quote
ha really? it's whoever has the best lawyer(s) or if you have money to throw around.. like donte' stallworth got 30 days for killing a guy drunk driving- he's rich and paid off the family.. now someone like me gets 10-12 years for that.. the riaa has deep pockets- best just to stay out of the court system
Elton 19th June 2009, 19:52 Quote
I saw this last night...

Yeah, America is going down even more. But the main problem here is the lack of the Music Industries realization that CDs aren't the only way.. Along with the RIAA totally going out of hand(she's penniless for god's sake, and it was bloody 24 songs, not $1.92 Million worth of the internet. $80,000 per song? Isn't that a bit arbitrary? Even the original $5 or $6k per song settlement was obscene.
HourBeforeDawn 19th June 2009, 19:59 Quote
ehh either way the record company wont see a dime, I doubt they will even bother to collect as there is nothing to collect. This is more for publicity sake to scare others in stopping their actions.
Elton 19th June 2009, 20:09 Quote
Yeah, more fear mongering.

To be honest this is more ridiculous than scary. If they went to that many lengths to sue someone for 24 songs and fine her 2mil than you know they have far too much time on their hands.
Dreaming 20th June 2009, 14:30 Quote
She would have been better off stealing a car - the insurance would have paid out and she wouldn't have had to pay a dime. Sold the car, and bought the music legally.

My feeling on this is such a sentence can only be a result of a judge who is heavily in the RIAA's pocket or at least otherwise biased. On a level of common decency and common sense it makes no sense.
pendragon 20th June 2009, 16:41 Quote
vote your opinion of the RIAA with your wallet, folks .. I do
Rebourne 21st June 2009, 09:22 Quote
In my opinion it's not the jury's fault, she did commit the infringements. It's the judges fault for enforcing an outdated law. The infringement laws were created to protect companies from stealing material from other companies and using it to make a profit or stealing material from another company in order to damage that companies profit. For companies and corporations the fines and penalties aren't that outlandish, but for a normal person they are insane. Also if she doesn't pay they could take her to court again and have her wages garnished. For what she owes that would be for the rest of her life...
Natima 21st June 2009, 17:15 Quote
As a musician trying to make my way in the industry, I can safely say myself and countless others, would probably be far less likely to succeed if we hadn't had access to pirate material such as music and audio creation software. I have teachers at college that recommend pirate software to me. My guitar teacher, who happens to be the lead guitarist from Reef, said "Great! That's good you have this software!" when I told him about my pirate amp sims and recording software. I'm doing an apprenticeship with a top-level producer and songwriter who advised me on getting software through the internet. The fact is... 90% of all of us budding musicians/producers and students dont have the cash to pay £400 for a peice of software ON TOP of the extortionate hardware prices. £350 for a relatively featureless audio interface, Plus £400 for basic software with no plug-ins, plus guitars, amps, mics, studio monitors etc etc is just not possible. Even if you want to record without amps and mics, you need good DI boxes and amp simulation software, and virtual drum software.

If piracy is to be eliminated this all needs to change.
dyzophoria 22nd June 2009, 03:08 Quote
$1.92 million? seriously the RIAA has to rot somewhere , hell is not enough imho
sui_winbolo 22nd June 2009, 04:24 Quote
Why not get the all the artists who she "stole" from, and see if they are willing to accept $80,000 from a lady who doesn't have that much money.

If that was to actually happen, no artist would take money from a poor lady just because she downloaded a song.

The RIAA won't get any of that money. They just try to make examples out of people to scare people to not download music. The jury is a bunch if idiots too. I know they can't judge themselves, but come on, the RIAA is clearly an evil corporation.
HourBeforeDawn 22nd June 2009, 07:04 Quote
ehh all she will have to do is file for bankruptcy and be done with it ~_~
talladega 22nd June 2009, 07:29 Quote
Make her buy the cd's in which the songs she downloaded came off of and send her on her way.
liratheal 22nd June 2009, 10:10 Quote
Originally Posted by talladega
Make her buy the cd's in which the songs she downloaded came off of and send her on her way.

It's not so much that she downloaded, it's more that she uploaded.

Uploaders are easier to catch, and in most cases, are easier to prove guilty in court.

That's not to say they don't go after downloaders, but well, we've all seen how that ends for them.
Psy-UK 22nd June 2009, 11:58 Quote
"$9,250 per song"

How on Earth can that price be justified?
NeedlesKane 22nd June 2009, 16:50 Quote
this was done using kazaa? how long ago did she do this?
Elton 22nd June 2009, 21:49 Quote
Originally Posted by Psy-UK
"$9,250 per song"

How on Earth can that price be justified?

Dunno. They could always re-appeal, they've got one more trial.
quack 23rd June 2009, 10:12 Quote
Originally Posted by NeedlesKane
this was done using kazaa? how long ago did she do this?
Did you read the article? February 2005.
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