Monday, 22 June 2009

£1.92 million for 24 songs

In what can only be called absurd, music pirate Jammie Thomas-Rasset this week was found guilty, during a re-trial, of music piracy... or more to the point, having songs available for others to download on Kazaa.

Normally, a judgement would be found in replacement value plus cost. So 24 songs, that's about $20, plus a couple of grand in costs. Nope, the RIAA pushed for a much more lenient $80,000 per song, amassing a whopping $1.92 million in damages.

The smack in the face here isn't against Thomas-Rasset, it's against the artists she pirated. You think they've ever seen anything CLOSE to $80,000 for the song they had pirated? Nope. You think they'll see any of the $80,000 per song the RIAA is claiming in damages? Nope. Basically, these 24 songs have facilitated the RIAA to claim an absurd amount of money from someone who couldn't feasibilty pay it off, so they can do what with it?

Update: Apparently Capitol Records were in on the suit with the RIAA. Of course, Capitol's artists - who receive a pittance in songwriting and mechanical royalties will never see a penny of this.

According to an AP report, EFF's Fred von Lohmann believes the verdict may hurt the recording industry, bolstering the argument that the copyright system is broken if it can impose such huge penalties for noncommercial activity.

I understand that breaking the law is wrong and you must pay, but shouldn't you pay against those you wronged, not some shadowy out of touch with reality organisation that doesn't seem to act on behalf on anyone but themselves?

This is just another lit pitchfork in the "down with the RIAA" movement. Good going guys.

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