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Post by trog @ 12:14pm 19/06/09 | 43 Comments
In a case in the US that is drawing a bit of attention at the moment, a court has awarded the RIAA damages of USD$1,920,000 (around AUD$2,398,940) in the second round of a trial against Jammie Thomas, accused of downloading just 24 mp3s from the Internet.

Initially offered settlement at "just" USD$9,250 per song, the jury went away and decided that's not enough and bumped it up to USD$80,000 per song.

Ars have a good article and Slashdot is worth a read, particularly for the comments of user 'NewYorkCountryLawyer', a lawyer running a campaign against the tactics of the RIAA and MPAA. His blog is a good read, and points out that this will probably go to a third trial:
Well I guess there is going to be a third trial. I hope that during the next trial the technical evidence will be challenged, that the issue of recoverability of statutory damages will be tested, and that 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. The nonsensical exorbitancy of the verdict actually enhances the constitutionality argument, demonstrating how open ended the statute is if the RIAA's wild eyed interpretation of it is allowed to survive.



riaapiracy





Latest Comments
FraktuRe
Posted 12:21pm 19/6/09
How the hell can downloading a $2 song for $0 entitle you to $3204723 compensation? What the f*** are they thinking...
tequila
Posted 12:21pm 19/6/09
thats some expensive music, I'm interested to know just how they go about justifying $80k per song

damn music industry, everyone hates the RIAA/MPAA and they -are- the music industry.
it's all just a front so that we keep buying music but we also have someone to hate on, meanwhile the (non mpaa/riaa side of the) music industry looks all shiny and "innocent"

paging faceman
3dee
Posted 12:43pm 19/6/09
How does prosecuting one random dude make any difference??
infi
Posted 12:44pm 19/6/09
yeah bully the little guys. nice one music industry.
Syco
Posted 12:45pm 19/6/09
How does prosecuting one random dude make any difference??


Pays the lawyers to sue another 10 :)
trog
Posted 12:49pm 19/6/09
How does prosecuting one random dude make any difference??
it's scare tactics is all - obviously they have zero expectation that they're going to get anything more than a couple grand out of these people (barely worth the effort when you consider the legal cost). Pity they didn't take all that money into modifying their business practices, because obviously it's made f*** all difference, other than taking money out of the pockets of artists and trying to plug the holes in the dam.
Nathan
Posted 12:49pm 19/6/09
Not arguing with the ludicrousness of the fine, but did she download 24 songs, or upload them?

From what I've seen those sort of punitive measures tend to apply when you distribute content, not just obtain it.
Fireblood
Posted 01:09pm 19/6/09
The ABC article mentions she used Kazaa - so she most probably uploaded.
Twisted
Posted 01:25pm 19/6/09
Ouch. Just declare bankruptcy.
demon
Posted 01:43pm 19/6/09
ohh $80k ... better update my irc script!

[13:38:46] (+demon) I owe the RIAA US$1,313,280,000 of which they will never see a cent. (16,416 mp3s @ US$80000 per breach of struggling artist's copyright.)

heh. even though... in reality the mp3s i have aren't the sort the riaa would be interested in, nor did i download them using p2p.
shad
Posted 01:44pm 19/6/09
Maybe it was Spooks Top 10 so it was worth the cost?
Pinky
Posted 01:53pm 19/6/09
Maybe it was Spooks Top 10 so it was worth the cost?

Hahahaha.

During the verdict the Jury was quoted as saying, "American Pie - Madonna!? The defendant MUST pay a hefty price for distributing that s***!"
Crakaveli
Posted 01:57pm 19/6/09
Holy f***.. If i got busted i would be in a lot of debt.
FaceMan
Posted 02:30pm 19/6/09
Conroys Web Filter when its passed will be extended to P2P because Pedophiles share porn on P2P too. And then the Music Companies will be safe again to price gouge us.

I have my suspicions that the big ChildPorn raids over the last 12 months are actually a plot conceived by the RIAA to spread fear and disgust at P2P and lead to the Banning of P2P software.
BillyHardball
Posted 02:40pm 19/6/09
Well, don't break the laws and then complain about it when you get caught... but 80k per song? I'm conflicted :O
dranged
Posted 03:28pm 19/6/09
A single mum with 4 kids... f*****g great work RIAA.

Makes me wish for the revenge of Napster.......
LastElf
Posted 03:44pm 19/6/09
So when are they going to start hitting the big groups that release these things? Reloaded would probably be arrested for life with how much they're sourced to the public. That will cut down on 80% of the illegal downloads (games at least). Instead they pick on a tiny person who in the grand scheme of things cost them a total of 5c profit.
Zak
Posted 03:46pm 19/6/09
Her case is highlighted in the Rip - A Remix Manifesto doco I highlighted in the thread about Steroids. Worth the download fer sure.

Mouse me

Spook
Posted 03:46pm 19/6/09
Maybe it was Spooks Top 10 so it was worth the cost?


haaha, i would have rated my top 10 at round $150k per song fyi
`ViPER`
Posted 03:48pm 19/6/09
So if they know what 24 songs she has downloaded, if she ever pays a fine, does the original artists get a cut of the fine?
deadlyf
Posted 03:53pm 19/6/09
What a useless figure. There was a post on /. saying that the total average revenue for a song is around $62 grand so there is no way $80 grand is going to stick.

RIAA must be praying for a settlement at this stage.
Vell
Posted 03:57pm 19/6/09
Too bad the artist wouldn't get any of this money. Just goes to the Company >_>
paveway
Posted 03:58pm 19/6/09
how did this poor schmuck get done for downloading 24 songs in the first place?
FaceMan
Posted 04:03pm 19/6/09
Musicians need to go out and earn their money Like PINK is doing.
The days of making a song and being paid forever are over.
And that goes ditto for Music Companies.

I was reading somewhere that record companies are now taking a slice off the top from Live performances of bands. They must be getting a nice little earn out of Pink. 10 concerts in Brisbane ?

last edited by FaceMan at 16:03:40 19/Jun/09
thermite
Posted 04:25pm 19/6/09
Can anyone find out what songs they were?
Vell
Posted 04:28pm 19/6/09
@Faceman
Pink also does some aerobatics, so it's like two shows in one. Double the value.
SquarkyD
Posted 05:42pm 19/6/09
I was reading somewhere that record companies are now taking a slice off the top from Live performances of bands. They must be getting a nice little earn out of Pink. 10 concerts in Brisbane ?


maybe if they are on a development deal or being funded for tour by the label, but not for a "big" name. Pink for example would not be having slices taken from live performance, and if she is, she has a s*** manager. I'm a big fan of bands like NiN and even aussie guys like Silverchair who are doing their own labels so they are free from greedy contracts of big companys.

At the end of the day 90% record labels are pure scum, dont give a f*** about the artist and will screw them as long and hard as they can to make 5 bucks.
Mass
Posted 07:31pm 19/6/09
It all comes down to the RIAA trying to hold back the tide, dam near impossible. They had their chance years ago when instead of taking Napster to court they could have reinvented their ditribution model of captured a market before it got out of hand. Its only now with the innovations from companies like Nokia that they are going to see some of this wind back.

MPAA is in exactly the same boat that the RIAA were in years ago. Trouble for them is that they are stuck on the idea that Movies have to be distributed at the Cinema, then DVD, then Pay-TV then Free TV. If only they would wake the f*** up and realise that unless they do away with this model and offer movies on the net at the same time as Cinema releases they are going to pwned by John Q Citizen the same way the RIAA has been.

It would be interesting if they actually did this, we might see cinema prices actually come down and they might have to offer some real service to get patrons back.
thermite
Posted 08:28pm 19/6/09
how did this poor schmuck get done for downloading 24 songs in the first place?


This isn't the first time she's been sued for this, so now they're watching her.
BillyHardball
Posted 11:24pm 19/6/09
Can anyone find out what songs they were?

This is a great idea - let's find out the songs, then "encourage" people to "get" the music themselves, so the WWW smashes those songs to teach the record industry a lesson.
CHUB
Posted 07:04am 20/6/09
Here you guys go...

* Guns N Roses "Welcome to the Jungle"; "November Rain"
* Vanessa Williams "Save the Best for Last"
* Janet Jackson "Lets What Awhile"
* Gloria Estefan "Here We Are"; "Coming Out of the Heart"; "Rhythm is Gonna Get You"
* Goo Goo Dolls "Iris"
* Journey "Faithfully"; "Dont Stop Believing"
* Sara McLachlan "Possession"; "Building a Mystery"
* Aerosmith "Cryin"
* Linkin Park "One Step Closer"
* Def Leppard "Pour Some Sugar on Me"
* Reba McEntire "One Honest Heart"
* Bryan Adams "Somebody"
* No Doubt "Bathwater"; "Hella Good"; "Different People"
* Sheryl Crow "Run Baby Run"
* Richard Marx "Now and Forever"
* Destinys Child "Bills, Bills, Bills"
* Green Day "Basket Case"


http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2007/10/trial-of-the-ce/
Spook
Posted 07:08am 20/6/09
haha, ok, lock her up and throw away the key
Obes
Posted 07:56am 20/6/09
I assume since they have these huge payouts (larger then what these songs would normally make), that they are all now free to download right ?
Jim
Posted 08:43am 20/6/09
what mass said
BillyHardball
Posted 10:47am 20/6/09
MPAA is in exactly the same boat that the RIAA were in years ago. Trouble for them is that they are stuck on the idea that Movies have to be distributed at the Cinema, then DVD, then Pay-TV then Free TV. If only they would wake the f*** up and realise that unless they do away with this model and offer movies on the net at the same time as Cinema releases they are going to pwned by John Q Citizen the same way the RIAA has been.

It would be interesting if they actually did this, we might see cinema prices actually come down and they might have to offer some real service to get patrons back.

I completely appreciate your point, but I'd hate for movies to stop being shown at the cinema altogether. What I could imagine happening is that cinema venues only show blockbusters or award winners (which usually means the movie gets to the cinema about 6months after it's release), and neglect indies and less guaranteed money makers.

Don't get me wrong, I only go to the cinema about 10 times a year and only because I get really cheap student rates. The majority of movies I watch I rent from Video Ezy, but the shelves there are so full ofutter garbage I've been going less and less. I look out for DVDs that the store only has 1 copy of - they are usually better than the rest. Most of the time I borrow movies that I've already seen and enjoyed, because the alternatives are s***.

Point of the rant: if movies become available online at the same time as cinema release, cinemas will become really selective about what they screen, which is bad. For the few times a year when a decent movie comes out I'd rather see it at th cinema.
Dazhel
Posted 10:48am 20/6/09
Yeah, what mass said, cept this bit:

we might see cinema prices actually come down


Ahahahaahahaha!
demon
Posted 11:00am 20/6/09
haha, ok, lock her up and throw away the key

lol :D
Point of the rant: if movies become available online at the same time as cinema release, cinemas will become really selective about what they screen, which is bad.

perhaps. or perhaps with attendance numbers falling off cinemas will have to start branching out & offering extra incentives for people to attend like indie movies, double-features, dusk-till-dawns, live plays... or something~! :P
Jim
Posted 02:19pm 20/6/09
I don't reckon it'd be a bad thing myself
FaceMan
Posted 02:36pm 20/6/09
The Cinema problem is actually more about the huge fees they are charged by Distribution Companies to show the movies.
I dont know what the margins are for Cinemas but considering how much they overcharge for munchies Id say they make very little on the movies themself.

Why dont they move to other types of Viewing. For instance TV shows or even sport.
deadlyf
Posted 02:46pm 20/6/09
After seeing Terminator at the new Vmax at Robina I think the cinema industry are already moving toward a more experience driven market. The difference between offering movies online for home theatre viewing and revamping cinemas to be something worth going too is time and money. It'd take no time at all to create an online delivery system and comparatively very little money but it'd take years to get cinemas up to scratch and a s*** tonne of cash.

shad
Posted 03:50pm 20/6/09
I actually prefer to watch stuff at home now. Don't have to deal with people talking, shining laser pointers, smsing people. Also my old man ears don't have to put up with it being so loud.
sLaps_Forehead
Posted 04:29pm 20/6/09
^ yeah Ive found that on the rare occasion I go to the Cinema I'm finding that the background noise (Music, Explosions etc) often drowns out what the actors are saying on screen.
Now when I watch the latest DVD or pirated beer coaster at home I can pause and rewind the bits that get drowned out by the noise or simply put the subtitles on.

Quantum of Solace was a prime exmple.
Corrupt
Posted 07:14pm 20/6/09
Its unjustifiable thats for sure. Has nothing to do with justice its all about money.
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