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Woman fined $1.9 million for illegally downloading songs

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Vault 10
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Re: Woman fined $1.9 million for illegally downloading songs

Postby Vault 10 » Fri Jun 19, 2009 8:27 am

Bears Armed wrote:Last I heard, judges are "real human beings"...

They have to follow the letter of the law, even if they disagree with it.


Robarya wrote:If the fine was to be no higher than the original price of the product in question, there would be no incentive to avoid illegal downloading.

Indeed, the fine has to be higher than the price. But not outrageously so.

In order to be fair, the penalty should be proportional to the offense committed. "We can't catch all of them so we destroy those we do catch" is not just a poor excuse, it's no excuse at all. Demanding ridiculous "damages" is not a fair penalty.

I might point out that the Constitution grants one the right to a "fair and speedy trial" - not to unfair punishments - so this whole thing is, even if not in the letter, unconstitutional and unamerican in the spirit.
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BunnySaurus Bugsii
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Re: Woman fined $1.9 million for illegally downloading songs

Postby BunnySaurus Bugsii » Fri Jun 19, 2009 8:28 am

Ifreann wrote:
BunnySaurus Bugsii wrote:*snip Ifreann*

It's for the court to decide whether the maximum fine is applied. The really ugly part, though, is that they can't find against them and apply less than $750 per song. That's one crappy law!

I know, but since the idea, I mean hypothetical situation involves downloading many many many songs they'd probably apply the maximum fine.


You mean the minimum fine. Unless it's the jury from hell, or you are Warren Buffet.
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Surpsainia
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Re: Woman fined $1.9 million for illegally downloading songs

Postby Surpsainia » Fri Jun 19, 2009 8:29 am

Dosent the news tell people that downloading is piracy and piracy is funding Somalian pirates or something. If the US government is spreading that around then how can they claim that the jury was unbiased?

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Bears Armed
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Re: Woman fined $1.9 million for illegally downloading songs

Postby Bears Armed » Fri Jun 19, 2009 8:30 am

Sdaeriji wrote:
Robarya wrote:Obviously the fine is very high to serve as a scare tactic more than anything else, to deter pirates from downloading illegally. She will probably never be able to pay the 1.9 million dollars.


Obviously, and that's just the point. I know they're never going to collect $1.9 million from this woman. They'll settle for an insignificant fraction. If the $1.9 million fine is intended to scare people, but everyone knows that there's no way to collect that much money and that the RIAA will always settle for a more reasonable sum, then why fine the $1.9 million in the first place. Its value as a scare tactic goes out the window when we hear the RIAA saying they're always willing to settle for a lot less. It just seems futile. It's bad PR for an organization that hasn't had good PR in its history and, above all, it's impotent. So I just don't see the point.

I'm unfamiliar with some details of how the American legal system works: Once the accused woman had insisted on a trial, instead of settling out-of-court earlier, how much input into the level of fine imposed would this 'RIAA' actually have had?
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Pope Joan
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Re: Woman fined $1.9 million for illegally downloading songs

Postby Pope Joan » Fri Jun 19, 2009 8:32 am

Here is another point, made in an academic Journal: The industry is shooting itself in the foot because those who fileshare songs on Peer-to_Peer, which RIAA says is piracy, are actually significantly more likely to buy the damned albums than are listeners who do NOT pirate!

A study was done by Andersen and Frenz of the University of London
in which they took a sample of the Canadian population that used Peer-to-Peer (P2P)
applications for downloading music. The study found that for every 12 songs downloaded
through P2P, 0.44 albums were bought by these so called "pirates". However, those people
that did not download music bought fewer albums than those that did. In this study, the most
cited reason for downloading music before buying the album, or songs individually, was due
to cost of the album and to sample the music before committing to a purchase. From these
statistics, one can conclude that "piracy" does not inhibit album sales, but in fact generates
sales in a music environment that has become stale and formulaic.[1]

http://www.cs.ucdavis.edu/~rogaway/clas ... 07/p22.pdf
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BunnySaurus Bugsii
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Re: Woman fined $1.9 million for illegally downloading songs

Postby BunnySaurus Bugsii » Fri Jun 19, 2009 8:37 am

Bears Armed wrote:
Sdaeriji wrote:
Robarya wrote:Obviously the fine is very high to serve as a scare tactic more than anything else, to deter pirates from downloading illegally. She will probably never be able to pay the 1.9 million dollars.


Obviously, and that's just the point. I know they're never going to collect $1.9 million from this woman. They'll settle for an insignificant fraction. If the $1.9 million fine is intended to scare people, but everyone knows that there's no way to collect that much money and that the RIAA will always settle for a more reasonable sum, then why fine the $1.9 million in the first place. Its value as a scare tactic goes out the window when we hear the RIAA saying they're always willing to settle for a lot less. It just seems futile. It's bad PR for an organization that hasn't had good PR in its history and, above all, it's impotent. So I just don't see the point.

I'm unfamiliar with some details of how the American legal system works: Once the accused woman had insisted on a trial, instead of settling out-of-court earlier, how much input into the level of fine imposed would this 'RIAA' actually have had?


Not as a lawyer, but logic tells me quite a bit. They chose how many songs to sue her for, and the KaZaA folder apparently had about 1,700 in it.

They could have gone for 4 (since they represented 4 companies, 1 each) or heaps.

I'm sure Sadaeri can answer just fine. My last 2c for now.
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Re: Woman fined $1.9 million for illegally downloading songs

Postby BunnySaurus Bugsii » Fri Jun 19, 2009 8:41 am

Pope Joan wrote:Here is another point, made in an academic Journal: The industry is shooting itself in the foot because those who fileshare songs on Peer-to_Peer, which RIAA says is piracy, are actually significantly more likely to buy the damned albums than are listeners who do NOT pirate!

A study was done by Andersen and Frenz of the University of London
in which they took a sample of the Canadian population that used Peer-to-Peer (P2P)
applications for downloading music. The study found that for every 12 songs downloaded
through P2P, 0.44 albums were bought by these so called "pirates". However, those people
that did not download music bought fewer albums than those that did. In this study, the most
cited reason for downloading music before buying the album, or songs individually, was due
to cost of the album and to sample the music before committing to a purchase. From these
statistics, one can conclude that "piracy" does not inhibit album sales, but in fact generates
sales in a music environment that has become stale and formulaic.[1]

http://www.cs.ucdavis.edu/~rogaway/clas ... 07/p22.pdf


Correlation is not causation.

But I find it plausible. Like the effect radio had way back when ...

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Bears Armed
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Re: Woman fined $1.9 million for illegally downloading songs

Postby Bears Armed » Fri Jun 19, 2009 8:54 am

Vault 10 wrote:
Bears Armed wrote:Last I heard, judges are "real human beings"...

They have to follow the letter of the law, even if they disagree with it.

But aren't juries supposed to do that, to, instead of deciding on verdicts based on whether they like the laws (or plaintiffs) concerned?
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Re: Woman fined $1.9 million for illegally downloading songs

Postby Sdaeriji » Fri Jun 19, 2009 8:59 am

Bears Armed wrote:
Sdaeriji wrote:
Robarya wrote:Obviously the fine is very high to serve as a scare tactic more than anything else, to deter pirates from downloading illegally. She will probably never be able to pay the 1.9 million dollars.


Obviously, and that's just the point. I know they're never going to collect $1.9 million from this woman. They'll settle for an insignificant fraction. If the $1.9 million fine is intended to scare people, but everyone knows that there's no way to collect that much money and that the RIAA will always settle for a more reasonable sum, then why fine the $1.9 million in the first place. Its value as a scare tactic goes out the window when we hear the RIAA saying they're always willing to settle for a lot less. It just seems futile. It's bad PR for an organization that hasn't had good PR in its history and, above all, it's impotent. So I just don't see the point.

I'm unfamiliar with some details of how the American legal system works: Once the accused woman had insisted on a trial, instead of settling out-of-court earlier, how much input into the level of fine imposed would this 'RIAA' actually have had?


Their lawyers argue as to how much damage her illegal downloading caused them, but ultimately, it's up to the jury. The law allows up to $150,000 per song; the RIAA likely argued for the maximum or very close to the maximum, and the woman's lawyers for whatever the minimum is.
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Vault 10
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Re: Woman fined $1.9 million for illegally downloading songs

Postby Vault 10 » Fri Jun 19, 2009 9:20 am

BunnySaurus Bugsii wrote:It may be. I want to be sure you're getting my point, so I'll rephrase it.
Any artist whose song is used in a suit of this kind would be boycotted UNLESS they specifically renounce the RIAA. Reverse the onus of proof.

That's possible, perhaps. But takes some better coordination, after all, people would need to have a list. And we certainly don't want to create a reverse effect by providing fame to those bands. For a person who isn't tracking it all, it's easier to boycott the RIAA as a whole.
Well, in practice, just the big four, as RIAA includes some small studios too, but it's good enough.

I know for a fact that a lot of former fans have become disillusioned and disgusted with Metallica after their pro-copysuit statements. These were an example of hypocrisy taken to the mind-blowing extent - a band with more than a few fight-the-man songs sucking down to protect their already massive incomes through lawsuits. Of course, Metallica already had a reputation of being a bit sold-out, but it's one thing to sell out to another music style, and another to sell out to just what you used to preach against.


BunnySaurus Bugsii wrote:I'm starting with the idea of a boycott and trying to improve on the boycott as an approach to building some workable alternative and extinct the companies who behave like Sony does. Preferably without any potential for any other centralized manipulation of the market to arise in its place.

There are alternatives. And I don't just mean the donation model.

For instance, movies can be produced and profited off in a completely capitalist way without any copyright. It takes a change of model. Currently it's the packaged food model - you produce X amount of packaged perishables, and then wait for the people to buy it or not buy it. If enough buy it, you win, otherwise, you lose. But there is also the restaurant model: you order the food, the chef makes it, you pay your bill, and if you liked the service, a tip.

In application to movies, you would pledge a certain sum for a certain director or producer to create a movie he has outlined the proposal for, or continue a series. If there is enough money pledged to produce it, once the movie is done (and possibly another condition is met, e.g. it's not Rotten), the money pledged pays for the costs. The incentive here is that if you don't pledge enough, the movie or series won't be made at all, and the more you (collectively) pledge, the more budget will it have. Of course, the incentive can also include physical perks - priority reservation for cinema tickets, cinema passes, direct download available if you prefer to watch at home, possibly printed and electronic media mailed, and all that. And then you can additionally reward or not reward the director by supporting or not supporting his next project.

This model also has a "built-in" viral advertisement system, as the fans have very material interest to convince other people to support the project. And most importantly, it promotes cooperation and rapport between the producers and the viewers. It also increases the incentive to use the fan-base help in production, though this part is more relevant for software than movies.
That's not to say it's perfect, or necessarily better than the current model, but it's definitely a competitive model that doesn't depend neither on copyrights nor on charity to work, and indeed is likely to prosper more in a copyright-free environment, as the producer benefits from free copying.



BunnySaurus Bugsii wrote:It has to be worth their while either way. Perhaps those people who pay for music could go get free copies AND donate money directly to the artists they're boycotting. The bands would be nowhere in the charts, all over the net, and just as well off as if their label was selling all the music their fans listen too. But the company wouldn't.

An interesting idea. Maybe workable. But it requires the band to be certainly known to be willing to leave their RIAA label. Otherwise it's free-money-for-nothing.


BunnySaurus Bugsii wrote:Ten years from now, and only if they haven't morphed into a standover racket by then?

Ten, twenty, thirty. Whatever it takes.
That's a maximum goal, but the realistic one is to drop their share in favor of the independent studios (which also usually produce significantly higher-quality recordings) and alternative models.


BunnySaurus Bugsii wrote:It's not the ten years I have a problem with. It's all the little people getting hurt in the meantime.

Do you mean the little people being sued or the ones in the industry?

If the latter, it's a mistake to care about them. One shouldn't do that, because, as they say, "no pain, no gain" - someone is always hurt in any change. But opposing change because of that is wrong. It's what happened to the Chrysler and GM, being constantly protected and bailed out because they couldn't stand on their own and their foreclosure would make some people lose their jobs. It's what the Luddites were doing - smashing the new equipment, because people were fired as the new machines did the job faster with fewer workers.

But eventually, everyone gained from the new equipment and progress in general. People being fired is not a bad thing if it's an effect of a progressive change in the economy. Eventually, the improvements pay off, and new jobs are formed to capitalize on the expanded labor market. More to the point, for every big-name band that went out of the play, a dozen new ones will spring up, who can now work in the new market as the expenses are lower. The recording crews fired from the big studios will eventually spread around the small ones. And as for the public - everyone in the public will have legal access to a thousands times larger selection of media; will, simply speaking, have more music to listen to, and more movies to watch.

Putting the "little people" in front of the progress and change is a tempting, but a wrong thing to do. Forget the "little people in the industry". It's not the jobs that count, it's the result of the work. There will always be new jobs, which will result in increased well-being for everyone.
Last edited by Vault 10 on Sat Jun 20, 2009 1:01 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Woman fined $1.9 million for illegally downloading songs

Postby Rhodmhire » Fri Jun 19, 2009 9:27 am

I knew it could, and would happen...this is why I don't use Limewire, everyone's like "Oh you won't get caught, don't worry." If i download something illegal and "don't get caught" it doesn't make it legal or right. What are we children or something? Are people stupid? "Oh you won't get caught, don't worry," sounds like a couple of kids or thugs at that.

This may only be one person, and it may never happen again in my lifetime, but it could happen, and it's easily preventable by me just listening to music on Youtube or just using iTunes. I have a few dollars to blow around, and screw getting 1,000 songs, I'd be bored with the first 900 by the time I got to 1,000...and I have crap luck with odds and chances, I'd rather not get fined a shit load of money for a couple of songs...
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Re: Woman fined $1.9 million for illegally downloading songs

Postby JuNii » Fri Jun 19, 2009 9:35 am

Pope Joan wrote:Here is another point, made in an academic Journal: The industry is shooting itself in the foot because those who fileshare songs on Peer-to_Peer, which RIAA says is piracy, are actually significantly more likely to buy the damned albums than are listeners who do NOT pirate!


yet, dispite the study, two of the USA's Largest record stores, Tower and Virgin, closed all their stores and laid off all their employees recently...
on the other hand... I have another set of fingers.

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Re: Woman fined $1.9 million for illegally downloading songs

Postby The Cat-Tribe » Fri Jun 19, 2009 10:18 am

I know I'll be villified for supporting the rule of law, but think for a moment people: if I rob a bank, should my total punishment be nothing more than returning the cash I took?
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Re: Woman fined $1.9 million for illegally downloading songs

Postby Iron Chariots » Fri Jun 19, 2009 10:22 am

The Cat-Tribe wrote:I know I'll be villified for supporting the rule of law, but think for a moment people: if I rob a bank, should my total punishment be nothing more than returning the cash I took?


Of course not. But neither should it be tends of thousands times the amount you took. I mean, imagine if somebody was fined $60,000 for stealing a candy bar from a gas station.
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Re: Woman fined $1.9 million for illegally downloading songs

Postby The Cat-Tribe » Fri Jun 19, 2009 10:26 am

Iron Chariots wrote:
The Cat-Tribe wrote:I know I'll be villified for supporting the rule of law, but think for a moment people: if I rob a bank, should my total punishment be nothing more than returning the cash I took?


Of course not. But neither should it be tends of thousands times the amount you took. I mean, imagine if somebody was fined $60,000 for stealing a candy bar from a gas station.


Um. Shocking though it may be, but you can go to JAIL for stealing a candy bar. A fine is a lesser punishment.
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The Cat-Tribe wrote:With that, I am done with these shenanigans. Do as thou wilt.

Can't miss you until you're gone, Ambassador. Seriously, your delegation is like one of those stores that has a "Going Out Of Business" sale for twenty years. Stay or go, already.*snip*
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Re: Woman fined $1.9 million for illegally downloading songs

Postby Iron Chariots » Fri Jun 19, 2009 10:29 am

The Cat-Tribe wrote:
Iron Chariots wrote:
The Cat-Tribe wrote:I know I'll be villified for supporting the rule of law, but think for a moment people: if I rob a bank, should my total punishment be nothing more than returning the cash I took?


Of course not. But neither should it be tends of thousands times the amount you took. I mean, imagine if somebody was fined $60,000 for stealing a candy bar from a gas station.


Um. Shocking though it may be, but you can go to JAIL for stealing a candy bar. A fine is a lesser punishment.


A $60,000 fine is less a punishment than any jailtime, no matter how short? (Admittedly, I don't know how long you'd be there, not being a lawyer or otherwise knowledgeable about theft, but still)
Last edited by Iron Chariots on Fri Jun 19, 2009 10:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Woman fined $1.9 million for illegally downloading songs

Postby Wiztopia » Fri Jun 19, 2009 11:08 am

The Cat-Tribe wrote:I know I'll be villified for supporting the rule of law, but think for a moment people: if I rob a bank, should my total punishment be nothing more than returning the cash I took?


Your logic fails considering that robbing a bank (stealing) and downloading some songs (copyright infringement) are not the same thing.

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Re: Woman fined $1.9 million for illegally downloading songs

Postby The Cat-Tribe » Fri Jun 19, 2009 11:15 am

Wiztopia wrote:
The Cat-Tribe wrote:I know I'll be villified for supporting the rule of law, but think for a moment people: if I rob a bank, should my total punishment be nothing more than returning the cash I took?


Your logic fails considering that robbing a bank (stealing) and downloading some songs (copyright infringement) are not the same thing.


Um. You fail to point out the logical difference between two different types of illegal stealing.
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The Cat-Tribe wrote:With that, I am done with these shenanigans. Do as thou wilt.

Can't miss you until you're gone, Ambassador. Seriously, your delegation is like one of those stores that has a "Going Out Of Business" sale for twenty years. Stay or go, already.*snip*
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Re: Woman fined $1.9 million for illegally downloading songs

Postby Greed and Death » Fri Jun 19, 2009 11:20 am

Pope Joan wrote:Here is another point, made in an academic Journal: The industry is shooting itself in the foot because those who fileshare songs on Peer-to_Peer, which RIAA says is piracy, are actually significantly more likely to buy the damned albums than are listeners who do NOT pirate!

A study was done by Andersen and Frenz of the University of London
in which they took a sample of the Canadian population that used Peer-to-Peer (P2P)
applications for downloading music. The study found that for every 12 songs downloaded
through P2P, 0.44 albums were bought by these so called "pirates". However, those people
that did not download music bought fewer albums than those that did. In this study, the most
cited reason for downloading music before buying the album, or songs individually, was due
to cost of the album and to sample the music before committing to a purchase. From these
statistics, one can conclude that "piracy" does not inhibit album sales, but in fact generates
sales in a music environment that has become stale and formulaic.[1]

http://www.cs.ucdavis.edu/~rogaway/clas ... 07/p22.pdf


you have 2 out of 3 for causation.
1st. there is a correlation.
2nd there is temporal precedence.

What the study lacks is proof of non spuriousness. Music lovers are both more prone to download music and buy records.
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Re: Woman fined $1.9 million for illegally downloading songs

Postby Greed and Death » Fri Jun 19, 2009 11:22 am

The Cat-Tribe wrote:
Wiztopia wrote:
The Cat-Tribe wrote:I know I'll be villified for supporting the rule of law, but think for a moment people: if I rob a bank, should my total punishment be nothing more than returning the cash I took?


Your logic fails considering that robbing a bank (stealing) and downloading some songs (copyright infringement) are not the same thing.


Um. You fail to point out the logical difference between two different types of illegal stealing.



In stealing a physical item the previous owner no longer has access to the item.
By copying music the owner of the music can still play his music anytime he wishes.
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Re: Woman fined $1.9 million for illegally downloading songs

Postby The Tofu Islands » Fri Jun 19, 2009 11:22 am

Bears Armed wrote:Last I heard, judges are "real human beings"...

No, they're shapeshifted reptilian humanoids from the constellation Draco.

Didn't you get David Icke's memo?
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Re: Woman fined $1.9 million for illegally downloading songs

Postby Lunatic Goofballs » Fri Jun 19, 2009 11:25 am

The Cat-Tribe wrote:
Wiztopia wrote:
The Cat-Tribe wrote:I know I'll be villified for supporting the rule of law, but think for a moment people: if I rob a bank, should my total punishment be nothing more than returning the cash I took?


Your logic fails considering that robbing a bank (stealing) and downloading some songs (copyright infringement) are not the same thing.


Um. You fail to point out the logical difference between two different types of illegal stealing.


Stealing not only is the taking of something that doesn't belong to you, but the deprivation of that same something to the rightful owner. Copyright Infringement in the case of illegally downloading music is the making of an unauthorized copy for personal use.

It's more like counterfeiting money than actually stealing it. ;)
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Greed and Death
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Re: Woman fined $1.9 million for illegally downloading songs

Postby Greed and Death » Fri Jun 19, 2009 11:26 am

Lunatic Goofballs wrote:
The Cat-Tribe wrote:
Wiztopia wrote:
Um. You fail to point out the logical difference between two different types of illegal stealing.


Stealing not only is the taking of something that doesn't belong to you, but the deprivation of that same something to the rightful owner. Copyright Infringement in the case of illegally downloading music is the making of an unauthorized copy for personal use.

It's more like counterfeiting money than actually stealing it. ;)

Wait?!?! that's illegal ?? :blink:
I mean of course it is. :ugeek:
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Poliwanacraca
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Re: Woman fined $1.9 million for illegally downloading songs

Postby Poliwanacraca » Fri Jun 19, 2009 11:44 am

Cara Duckworth, a spokeswoman for the RIAA, said the industry remains willing to settle. She refused to name a figure, but acknowledged Thomas-Rasset had been given the chance to settle for $3,000 to $5,000 earlier in the case.

"Since Day One we have been willing to settle this case and we remain willing to do so," Duckworth said.


Yes, the fine is excessive. Which is why the RIAA, the people so many of you are whining about, offered her a much more reasonable fine. Somehow, I doubt that will silence the whining, though. :roll:
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JuNii
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Re: Woman fined $1.9 million for illegally downloading songs

Postby JuNii » Fri Jun 19, 2009 11:52 am

Poliwanacraca wrote:
Cara Duckworth, a spokeswoman for the RIAA, said the industry remains willing to settle. She refused to name a figure, but acknowledged Thomas-Rasset had been given the chance to settle for $3,000 to $5,000 earlier in the case.

"Since Day One we have been willing to settle this case and we remain willing to do so," Duckworth said.


Yes, the fine is excessive. Which is why the RIAA, the people so many of you are whining about, offered her a much more reasonable fine. Somehow, I doubt that will silence the whining, though. :roll:

especially since it wasn't the RIAA that set the amount but the Juriors.

A federal jury ruled Thursday that Jammie Thomas-Rasset willfully violated the copyrights on 24 songs, and awarded recording companies $1.92 million, or $80,000 per song.

Thomas-Rasset's second trial actually turned out worse for her. When a different federal jury heard her case in 2007, it hit Thomas-Rasset with a $222,000 judgment.
on the other hand... I have another set of fingers.

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