Thursday, February 21, 2008

Petition for certiorari filed in Panorama v. Zomba on issue of unconstitutionality of excessive statutory damages

In Panorama v. Zomba, a case challenging as unconstitutional an award of statutory damages in an amount that is 44 times the amount of actual damages, a petition for certiorari to the United States Supreme Court has been filed.

[Ed. note. By comparison, the award in Capitol v. Thomas, where a motion to set aside the verdict is pending, was approximately 23,000 times the actual damages. -R.B.]

Petition for Certiorari, Panorama v. Zomba*

* Document published online at Internet Law & Regulation

Keywords: 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


Anonymous said...

Wow, 172 pages and multiple copyright-related issues. This looks to be the kind of case that could, if accepted and ruled upon, rewrite the copyright landscape in significant regards. It could either limit the record companies to precisely defined rights, or give them unprecedented (and certainly unintended by many) rights over a huge swath of entertainment. One can only hope that the concept of "limited monopoly" and limitation of outrageous damages far above any actual damage could come through loud and clear from the highest court in the land.

-DM (Dodge Magnum)

bobble said...

Yea!! After reading some of Jacobson's deposition docs I was actually wondering if he really knows how a router works.

I can't believe no one has challeneged this guys baloney before now.

Justin Olbrantz (Quantam) said...

I gotta be honest, I really can't conjure any pathos for an award of 44x actual damages. That's at least in the ballpark of reasonable.

It's things like the Thomas verdict that are absolutely insane. One of my posts from Slashdot referring to that trial and a completely unrelated one:
"Share about $30 of music CD files on P2P: $200k fine.
Counterfeit $900 million in software: 4 years in prison.

Conclusion: if the RIAA comes after you for file sharing, tell them you'll happily do 2.1 seconds in prison for each CD, with no fine. And this punishment is Microsoft-approved for severity!"

(longtime lurker of the blog)

raybeckerman said...

alter_fritz, thanks for pointing out comment spam which i removed.... they fooled me...

raybeckerman said...

dear justin, how would you feel if you had a small business... let's say a restaurant... and there was a copyright infringement one night on the karaoke... the place takes in around $300,000 a year, of which you get to keep around $50,000... you make no actual money on the karaoke, and you pay some license fees, etc., for it, but something happened that you missed...

the music publishers are out about $1000.... you offer to pay them $3000, they say no... you offer them $5000 they say no... you then defend yourself, pay legal fees, etc.... then you have to pay them $44,000, almost your whole year's salary....

how would you feel?