In Capitol Records v. Thomas-Rasset, the jury has returned a verdict in favor of plaintiffs in the amount of $1,920,000.00, or $80,000.00 per song file. I.e. 228,571 times the actual damages.
[Ed. note. Well I guess there is going to be a third trial.
I hope that during the next trial the RIAA's technical evidence will be challenged, the defendant's expert will not be precluded, the issue of recoverability of statutory damages will be tested, and the plaintiffs will be required to prove (a) dissemination of copies (b) to the public, (c) by a sale or other transfer of ownership, or by lease, rental, or lending, before being deemed to have shown an infringement of the distribution right.
I also hope that this time the judge and the lawyers will not overlook 17 USC 412 and caselaw about what needs to be shown in order to obtain statutory, as opposed to actual, damages.
The size of the verdict provides ammunition to those of us who are making the constitutionality argument as to the RIAA's mad statutory damages theories.
On a PR note, it is clear from reports I am seeing that this verdict is making the US an international laughingstock, providing great fuel to those inclined to laugh in their beer at the US justice system. When will the courts do something to stop this madness? -RB]
Commentary & discussion:
Digital Media Wire
Heise Online (German)
Electronic Frontier Foundation
Associated Press (via KATU Portland
SemiAccurate (prior to verdict)
SemiAccurate (after verdict)
Heise Online (6/20) (German)
Keywords: lawyer digital copyright law online internet law legal download upload peer to peer p2p file sharing filesharing music movies indie independent label freeculture creative commons pop/rock artists riaa independent mp3 cd favorite songs intellectual property portable music player