In the damages retrial in Capitol Records v. Thomas-Rasset, which concluded yesterday, after the Judge refused to instruct the jurors that the amount of the award was required to bear a reasonable relationship to the actual damages sustained by plaintiffs, the jury returned a verdict of $62,500 per song, for a total of $1.5 million.
The Judge has previously ruled that the maximum allowable amount in the case is $54,000.
[Ed. note. No surprises here, given the contents of the jury instructions and verdict form. The only surprises are that (a) the judge felt it necessary to have a predictably futile third trial, (b) the judge refused to instruct the jury that the statutory damages must bear a reasonable relationship to the actual damages, which is a fundamental tenet of the law regarding copyright infringement, and (c) the judge has so far declined to reach the constitutional issue which is staring him in the face. It also seems odd to me that the judge had not instructed the jury that plaintiffs had proved a copying -- i.e. a download -- but not a "distribution" as defined in the Copyright Act. -R.B.]
Commentary & discussion:
Los Angeles Times
Electronic Frontier Foundation
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