Thursday, November 4, 2010
3rd Monstrous and Shocking Jury Verdict Against Woman for Sharing 24 Songs on the Internet
"A federal jury has decided a Minnesota woman owes $1.5 million for sharing 24 songs over the Internet.
[Federal] jurors determined Wednesday that Jammie Thomas-Rasset owes $62,500 per song. Last year, a federal jury found Thomas-Rasset willfully violated the copyrights on 24 songs. She was ordered to pay $1.92 million in damages, or $80,000 per song. [Note: there was an earlier trial, 3 jury trials in all. In the first case, reveresed by the jury awarded RIAA a$300,000 + verdict. That verdict was reversed by the trial judge on his own motion based on an erroneous instruction.]
But Chief U.S. District Judge Michael Davis reduced the verdict to about $54,000 in damages, calling the jury's penalty 'monstrous and shocking.' The Recording Industry Association of America, a trade group representing the major music labels, rejected the reduced penalty, setting up the new trial to determine damages.
The RIAA says in a statement it hopes Thomas-Rasset 'finally accepts responsibility for her actions.' A message left for Thomas-Rasset's attorney was not immediately returned."
How about that RIAA? Are we nuts in this country, sometimes?
We are nuts.
There is a report this morning at the news site for Portland Press Herald (Maine) about a local man who won a $125,000 federal court jury verdict for being beat up by local cops. Maine law caps damages at $20,000. While I profess my guilt at comparing apples and oranges, isn't it amazing that a huge corporate lobby organization can get two million dollar jury awards vis-a-vis an individual for sharing 24 songs online, while someone who sustained provable physical injuries against the constabulary has his verdict "cap[ped]" at $20,000?