Jammie Thomas Ordered To Pay $1.92 Million

from the bad-bad-idea dept

Last month, we noted that it was a really bad idea for Jammie Thomas not to settle her lawsuit with the recording industry. There was simply way too much evidence for a jury not to convict her. The trial itself was, again as expected, something of a circus, rather than anything interesting or compelling. So, it should come as no surprise that, yet again, Thomas has been found guilty. But what is surprising is that the the jury chose to fine her $1.92 million, or $80,000 per song. That’s $1.7 million more than the original trial. $80,000 per song! Still, it was a really bad idea for Thomas to go through with this suit as there was way too much evidence linking her to the music (and too many problems with her own testimony). Now the RIAA is handed a gift. A verdict that it can gloat about and misrepresent to its own advantages. What might be interesting is whether (for all the RIAA gloating) this ruling has a similar impact as The Pirate Bay victory had in Sweden — galvanizing people to support the Pirate Party. Somehow, the story isn’t quite as compelling though.

Filed Under: , , , , , ,

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Jammie Thomas Ordered To Pay $1.92 Million”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
105 Comments
Anonymous Coward says:

Re: How do you pay that back?

no she doesn’t go into hiding, she pays it back like any upright citizen should. she has a judgment against her, and she needs to pay it back. i don’t care that she’s a single mother of two, she needs to pay it back because she willfully infringed on 24 songs.

batch says:

Re: Re: How do you pay that back?

Paying back that amount of money doesn’t seem feasible, even for the most upstanding citizen imaginable, especially not for someone who doesn’t pay for all their music to begin with. The amount per song is totally unrealistic to burden a single person with and honestly expect anything to come of it. Now she’ll just file Chapter 11 immediately rather than attempt to pay the fine.

Although that is beside the point: The RIAA can still cite the ruling in their favor. The money is secondary, so long as they have a court precedent on their side. They can keep on suing and settling out of court with people who can afford to pay a few thousand each.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

“actual damages”?

Give it a rest – she shares a single song with one person, and that person shares with a couple more, that share with a couple more… because remember, once you share, you can’t control what else will happen – but you started it.

So if there are a million illegal copies, even at 8 cents a copy, you get to $80,000 per song. It isn’t unreasonable to consider that a single seeded song could get that many downloads.

So really, Thomas got off lightly, and yes, the RIAA has something to work with.

Eclecticdave (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

> Give it a rest – she shares a single song with one person, and that person shares with a couple more, that share with a couple more… because remember, once you share, you can’t control what else will happen – but you started it.

Seriously? OK, I can see the argument for liability WRT to the people she directly shared with – but by what logic does she become liable for what those people then did with the music (and what the people who share with them did as so on)?

What is this, some kind of crazy inverted pyramid scheme???

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Not at all. It is a basic “conspiracy to commit” sort of crime setup. Basically, She shared the music online with the full understanding that at least one of the people she shared with would in turn share it, it is the nature of the game, right? If she had not made the initial share, these people would have had nothing to share.

Left hand does not have to know exactly what the right hand is doing to still be liable, when you are all in on the same thing.

She started an inevitable chain of events which lead to the music being shared widely. Only one person could stop it, her – by not sharing to start with.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

She may or may not be. Doesn’t matter – each sharer is the start of a new chain. Every person sharing has, by nature, a huge pyramid of downloaders and re-sharers under them, and it grows wider at each iteration. go down 3 levels, and start with any one person down there, and they too have a pyramid under them, and so on.

The Infamous Joe (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

Right, so by *your* “logic” she is being sued not only for her direct infringement (which they have no proof of whatsoever, except for what MediaSentry downloaded itself) but ALSO for the acts of the people after her.. but if they then go to the next person down the chain, they are most certainly going to sue for the same exact amount. So, if person A shares with person B who shares with person C and they sue and take into account A, B and C, then they sue person B for sharing with C and D– they’ve sued for person B and C twice.

Seems like a scam to me.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

So, if at one point, the dollar in my wallet was stolen, and I buy something with it, then I’m using ill gotten monies to obtain merchandise, at which point it qualifies as stolen, and when the person using that dollar does the same, then the renumerations of their actions are something I should be responsible for? Fuck that, you’re retarded.

hegemon13 says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

It doesn’t matter. She can’t be held accountable for what others did with the copy. She can only be charged in a court of law for her own actions, meaning the copies SHE shared. This ruling is ridiculous beyond contemplation. The RIAA just lost every last bit of goodwill in the eyes of the public. By making these demands, they have signed their own death sentence because this will make the public furious. There is nothing like publicly bullying a young mother to completely destroy your public image. So she shared music. We’re not talking about a freaking murder. She will become a martyr (financially) for this cause, and the RIAA will die.

bigpicture says:

Re: Re: Re:

What are you one of the RIAA goons? They will all get their comeuppance, you really do reap what you sow. GM was once proud and arrogant, and used their influence on the US government. Soon the artists will discover that they no longer need the recording companies, chapter 11 looming. There is this little requirement of ADDING VALUE in the market, GM stopped effectively doing that too.

What kinds of decisions can you expect from 12 people not smart enough to get off civil case jury duty, that’s why they don’t have the jury system for civil cases in a lot of other countries.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

yeah, yeah, tough talk from mom’s basement. Please.

Gm was proud, arrogant, and made a crappy product that fewer and fewer people wanted.

I dare you to delete all the “crappy” music that the record industry has put out off your hard drive, off your MP3 player, etc – and I dare you not to listen to any more of it ever. You can’t, because YOU LIKE THE PRODUCT – you are just too arrogant to admit it.

When you can come back and say “I don’t listen to any music from a record label or an artist that sells it in any way”, then we can talk. Until then, you are like a priest that complains about the drug problem, and then smokes crack after the sermon.

Isaac K (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Actually, AC, I already have.

I have NO music on my computer anymore. none.
And if I choose to listen to something, it’s the wonderful world of (presently) free FM radio.

Try it.

You’d be amazed what you hear once you shut out the noise (and your own voice) and listen.

On another point – Did anyone think to point out that all the songs pirated could have been easily ripped from the radio and digitally cleaned?
In that case, it’s already been paid for. By the radio station. The RIAA has no proof that that wasn’t the case.

Also, someone should have pointed out to the jury WHO the money would be going TO. Bring in a former label musician and get them to testify how much debt the record companies put them in, and how much they fail to pay their artists by hiding the money from them in subtle fees. Then see if the jury would be so quick to award a bunch of theives their extortion money.

DCX2 says:

Re: Re: Re:

So if there are a million illegal copies, even at 8 cents a copy, you get to $80,000 per song

Some pirates buy the music they download. Most pirates were never going to buy it in the first place. Albums that sell a million legal copies are called platinum albums, (I guess it’s pretty rare for that to happen?). Are you sure you want to hold Jammie Thomas liable for crimes that other people committed further down the chain?

I’m honestly surprised that you can, with a straight face, say that this is anything but punitive.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Again, without her copy, no other crimes would have occurred. If she didn’t share, nobody else down that chain would have a copy of the song from her either to share. It’s amazing when you think about it, stop one share, and all those other people under her can’t share either.

Isaac K (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Apparently, you have NO IDEA how a file sharing system even works!

preventing ONE SOURCE (or seed) does NOTHING to stop others from downloading. It merely creates a higher density of connections to the existing files.

No way can this “million download” figure be applied. It’s simply impossible.
To say that “no other crimes would have occurred” when it is clear that it IS presently available regardless of any one persons actions is sticking your head in the sand.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

“by Anonymous Coward – Jun 18th, 2009 @ 6:17pm
Again, without her copy, no other crimes would have occurred. If she didn’t share, nobody else down that chain would have a copy of the song from her either to share. It’s amazing when you think about it, stop one share, and all those other people under her can’t share either.”

Don’t you think that the subsequent file sharers would simply obtain the same song from sonmebody else, if they didn’t get it from Jammie (not that there is any eveidence that anybody at all got it from Jammie)

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

“Don’t you think that the subsequent file sharers would simply obtain the same song from sonmebody else, if they didn’t get it from Jammie (not that there is any eveidence that anybody at all got it from Jammie)”

It doesn’t matter – if she didn’t share it, and others didn’t share it, nobody would have a copy. Just because there are multiple sources doesn’t mean that she is suddenly in the clear and able to share with impunity. She was the one that could have stopped the process, she did not. She is responsible, and now she gets what she gets.

A few more like this and the Masnick effect will join Geocities in the mouldy history of the internet.

Gordon (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

“Don’t you think that the subsequent file sharers would simply obtain the same song from sonmebody else, if they didn’t get it from Jammie (not that there is any eveidence that anybody at all got it from Jammie)”

It doesn’t matter – if she didn’t share it, and others didn’t share it, nobody would have a copy. Just because there are multiple sources doesn’t mean that she is suddenly in the clear and able to share with impunity. She was the one that could have stopped the process, she did not. She is responsible, and now she gets what she gets.

A few more like this and the Masnick effect will join Geocities in the mouldy history of the internet.
————————
Here’s a question for you, retard.

Are any of the people BELOW Jammie in that great pyramid you’re talking about going to get prosecuted? How about the person or persons SHE got them from in the first place?

How about this? The RIAA should just petition the Gvt. to get a hold of everyone’s hard drives like they asked for in the Tenenbaum case ( they tried to get a hold of the defendants PARENT’S home pc). Then they could get a look at every American’s hard drives. I wonder how many record label ppl have digital music files in their personal pc’s.
Shit…..they might end up suing themselves.

Anonymous Coward says:

A few thoughts

Ars is reporting that the RIAA is hinting that it won’t pursue collection.

If this is true, it would make sense to this of this case as a sacrificial lamb- someone who would be held to huge award damages.

This benefits the legalistic process and current system, while thwarting technology. Ultimately, it will will scare more people into settling in the future, while also re-baselines the legal/court-based (NOT market-based) value to willful infringement.

As for the crazy-ass fine which is not tangible to reality, it’s not surprising– I am quite familiar with the court system in Minneapolis, and know first hand, that some of the judges are quite crooked. Perhaps this Judge is a Prince Fan. Who knows. But that’s Ramsey County for ya.

Anonymous Coward says:

Brought to you by Hennepin County, Representing Minnesota's Humor Campaign since 1852

Hennepin County has a long standing, and humourous history of being Minnesota’s smelly armpit.

This was where Larry Craig to visit for tapping his feet while dropping a duce, and also partially responsible for the Al Franken/Norm Colman Dispute (which, by the way hasn’t been decided yet.)

The only way she would have won is if she had superb lawyers.

This is political.

I’m just sayin’… Consider that these people can’t count votes and seat a Senator after 7 months, but can gleefully re-try a case and assign blame real quick.

Bob says:

Aynonymous coward,

We get it you’re a publisher. I hate to be the one to have to be the one to tell you, but you’ve been replaced. We don’t need your printing presses, we don’t need your warehouses, your trucks, or your stores. Society has changed. Distribution is no longer a scarcity. It can no longer be used to make money.

You’ve built a stand to sell bottled water next to a mountain stream, gushing with fresh water. No ones buying, so you’re trying to get the government not to let people get their water from the stream. Find a new profession. Evolve.

You have to understand you’re fighting a losing battle. There isn’t enough money or time in the world to litigate against everyone who has infringed on a copyrighted work.

We’re talking about copyright; not patent or trademark. We’re talking about works of art and culture, not inventions created through research and development. These things belong to the society from which they come. The more readily available they are, the more access creators have, the more will be created and shared. The more enriched society will become.

I know you’re worrying- “but how am I going to get mine?” You’re not. It’s called creative destruction. Allocate your time and resources else ware.

Thanks.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

“Society has changed. Distribution is no longer a scarcity. It can no longer be used to make money.”

Wow, you really drank the Masnick Koolaid, didn’t you?

Here’s a news flash for you: If the only distribution available is “everything is free”, then there is no incentive for anyone to make more music. Distribution isn’t the point – the SCARCE NEW MUSIC is the key. Mike makes you guys all think the distribution is the key point, but it isn’t – without new music, you will distribute the same old crap around and around.

Distribution isn’t just a question of “getting the product out there”, it’s also a system to pay to get more of it made. Remove the financial motivation for new music, and the only new music you will get will sound like Jill Sobule or some dude with a guitar in a coffee bar.

Distrubution can be inifinite, but without a business model, nobody will do business.

Fsm says:

Re: Re: Re:

Hi Harold.

You’re suggesting that all musicians are in it for the money made off of record sales. They get practically nothing from record sales in the first place, so I fail to see your point.

Some musicians like to make music because they like being famous to the point where their name is a household item, and free distribution of their work sure does that well. Then with their throngs of fans they can tour and sell t-shirts and do the things they’d be doing anyway, but with a much larger audience. Everybody wins!

PS: my house has no basement.

Robb Topolski (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

— QUOTE —
Here’s a news flash for you: If the only distribution available is “everything is free”, then there is no incentive for anyone to make more music. Distribution isn’t the point – the SCARCE NEW MUSIC is the key.
— ENDQUOTE —

Anonymous,

Radio stations that play the same songs until you’re sick of them do not pay one dime to the artists, yet the artists are happy to have them play the tunes because doing so spreads their art and generates demand — including sales of music.

I can tell you from first-hand experience that the goal isn’t to sell records. Please re-read that — artists aren’t in it to sell records. Selling records is a means to funding, that’s true, but the goal is to reach an appreciative audience. All artists want is an exhibition, they really don’t care how it gets funded.

So as long as the music is being heard and the artist is being well kept, then everyone is happy.

The old business model is broken but only somewhat so. I appreciate being able to jump on Amazon.com and get the music that I want. But a good fraction of an artist’s music is going to be out there for free — it always was — and it always will be.

The RIAA club in particular is still the buggy-whip set trying to exist in an automobile age. They need to morph or die.

Hephaestus (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Funny thing I have couple musician friends that play just because they enjoy it. Its called art, they are not into it for the money.

“and the only new music you will get will sound like Jill Sobule or some dude with a guitar in a coffee bar”

When I read that line I thought of yoko ono and Grinned a wide grin.

You can now get multi track (32 track i think) software for recording and mixing under the GNU GENERAL PUBLIC LICENSE. A high end studio mike will only cost you 100 bucks on e-bay. Add in a computer, USB Mixing board, and sound proofing you have a recording studio. All for under $2000 USD.

If you have listened to some of the remixes of linkin park, Suzanne Vega (Toms Diner), new stuff from Indie artists, or just garage bands with remixing software. You find its often better than what the studios are doing.

sound proofing – soundproofing.org
mixing board – http://www.zzounds.com/cat–2861

Note to self – Add GNU mixing software download area and equipment area to music site specs.

Xanthir, FCD says:

Re: Re:

This is good news. It will gett he penalty to the supreme court, and hopefully declare all these penalties unconstitutional.

I have to agree. The penalties for sharing were already *far* beyond the pale, meant to be a significant sting to *companies* infringing on content, and were never meant to apply to individuals – the relevant laws were written well before the internet.

This case is *so* ridiculous, though, that it should appeal nicely.

Anonymous Coward says:

Distribution isn’t just a question of “getting the product out there”, it’s also a system to pay to get more of it made. Remove the financial motivation for new music, and the only new music you will get will sound like Jill Sobule or some dude with a guitar in a coffee bar.
————————-
No it’s not. It’s a system to get fat cats at record labels paid so they can gold plate their house. The ones making the music aren’t getting paid from it. Some artists are becoming more wise that you treat the music like a commercial and tour/release special editions for it.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

haha.

Please.

Without the music out there and distributed, promotes, and supported, you would never know the artist, and therefore they wouldn’t make a penny. Remove the record labels, and we are back to a society with tens of thousands of bar bands, nothing more – few will ever happen to get past that status.

You really need to put down the masnick koolaid and go see what the music industry actually does.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Huh? Take your meds today?

Without the music out there and distributed, promotes, and supported, you would never know the artist, and therefore they wouldn’t make a penny.

I can really dive into it if you want, but here’s some highlights you missed:
* Distribution can be handled via internet/iTunes/Amazon.
* Promotion can be done thru a hybird Youtube/Facebook/Fan Website/Local Radio Stations
* What is support? Support could be provided by revenue generated via iTunes, short term financing via Venture Capital or a more traditional bank loans. With some venues, you could even negotiate a net-90 payment schedule, so as long as you promote it right, you could feasibly run on the ticket sales float in the near term.

Remove the record labels, and we are back to a society with tens of thousands of bar bands, nothing more – few will ever happen to get past that status.

Actually, it opens up the ability to re-distribute control back to the band and away from the labels and the whole ideology of “Tollbooth Based Culture” and draconian copyright.

Several trials have shown that some artists are receiving $0.70 to the dollar gross revenue, versus the $0.20 to the dollar gross revenue under the legacy Label/Record Album Deals. Some bands have said that they’ve made much more in ONE self-produced album than five thru traditional record deals.

You really need to put down the masnick koolaid and go see what the music industry actually does.

Do you always “shoot first and ask questions later”?

Because it’s getting less and less funny.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Wow, you mean music didn’t exist before it was commercialized?

You mean that I can’t enjoy the music artists make unless a business man tells me what to like?

You mean that bar bands aren’t good and that only artists backed by SONY have any real talent?

The only person drinking electric Kool-aid here is you.

I would prefer it if you and those who share your extremely limited view point would drink some of that satisfying Jonestown juice and leave the rest of us to enjoy music without all the added bullshit.

Robb Topolski (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

— QUOTE–
Remove the record labels, and we are back to a society with tens of thousands of bar bands, nothing more – few will ever happen to get past that status.
— ENDQUOTE —

Every year for the past many years, one of my favorite Seattle bands, The Coats http://www.thecoats.net/ would make a trip through Portland. I’ve purchased most of their recordings. They are unsigned. They’ve published 10 albums. (They’re great, by the way.)

But think about those 10,000 bar bands. Do you really think that the first step to getting famous is to start selling CD’s? HECK NO! Even if they can get one recorded, no one buys one until they can get heard. They start gigging until they get a few people willing to take home a CD for a few bucks (believe me, they are so thrilled that they feel a little guilty for selling them). But that income remains a side income for a very long time.

Selling your recordings is one of the later privileges in the music business. It’s certainly not part of the music creation process, rather it is a result of it.

Robb Topolski (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

— QUOTE–
Remove the record labels, and we are back to a society with tens of thousands of bar bands, nothing more – few will ever happen to get past that status.
— ENDQUOTE —

Every year for the past many years, one of my favorite Seattle bands, The Coats http://www.thecoats.net/ would make a trip through Portland. I’ve purchased most of their recordings. They are unsigned. They’ve published 10 albums. (They’re great, by the way.)

But think about those 10,000 bar bands. Do you really think that the first step to getting famous is to start selling CD’s? HECK NO! Even if they can get one recorded, no one buys one until they can get heard. They start gigging until they get a few people willing to take home a CD for a few bucks (believe me, they are so thrilled that they feel a little guilty for selling them). But that income remains a side income for a very long time.

Selling your recordings is one of the later privileges in the music business. It’s certainly not part of the music creation process, rather it is a result of it.

Anonymous Coward says:

Question on Availibility Instruction

As I remember, one of the reasons she got a new trial in the first place was because the judge in first trial erroneously instructed the jury that simply making content available is copyright infringement.

Now, in this case was the jury again instructed that simply making content available is copyright infringement? If not, then how did they find infringement?

Answers, anybody?

Stingwolf says:

Re: Question on Availibility Instruction

There was no jury instruction regarding “making available” this time. The instructions just stated what infringement is (violating the plaintiffs right to copy/distribute by downloading/uploading, respectively). The instruction simply asked if the jurors believed that Thomas violated these rights.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Question on Availibility Instruction

There was no jury instruction regarding “making available” this time. The instructions just stated what infringement is (violating the plaintiffs right to copy/distribute by downloading/uploading, respectively).

It is those instructions as to “what infringement is” that I am asking about. In the first trial “what infringement is” included “making available”. Now you’re saying in this trial that the instructions were that infringement was limited to “copy/distribute by downloading/uploading”?

So, did they present any evidence that the material was actually uploaded, rather than being merely made available? I thought that I remembered from her first trial that there was no such evidence and that was why the jury was instructed to consider “making available” as infringement. Did they have some new evidence of actual uploading for this trial? Where would they have gotten such new evidence?

Anonymous Coward says:

haha.

Please.

Without the music out there and distributed, promotes, and supported, you would never know the artist, and therefore they wouldn’t make a penny. Remove the record labels, and we are back to a society with tens of thousands of bar bands, nothing more – few will ever happen to get past that status.

You really need to put down the masnick koolaid and go see what the music industry actually does.
————————-
What you mean we wouldn’t have the record labels pushing crap down our throats like Britney Spears, Flo Rida, Hannah Montana, Lady Gaga, etc.? I’d rather listen to tens of thousands of good bar bands then the crap pushed out by the record labels.

RD says:

Really? GREAT! Sign me up!

“Without the music out there and distributed, promotes, and supported, you would never know the artist, and therefore they wouldn’t make a penny. Remove the record labels, and we are back to a society with tens of thousands of bar bands, nothing more – few will ever happen to get past that status.”

Thank GOD!! NO more (c)rap music, no more arrogant rappers extolling the virtues of gin & juice and hos (doing what EVERY OTHER rapper does, while at the same time screaming constantly how “original” they are), no more EMO boy bands, no more Britney Whores…sounds GREAT to me! Where do I sign up for the law that makes this happen?

mjb5406 (profile) says:

Start Copying

I hope this ridiculous verdict backfires on the RIAA, the repugnant, repressive money mongers. Go to your library, check out as many CDs as you can, and rip them to your PC. Doesn’t matter what kind of music… don’t share it, just rip it. Then, blame the libraries for providing you with the media to collect music. See how the RIAA responds. They need to be forced to file hundreds of thousands of frivolous lawsuits, spend tons of cash on lawyers. Above all, do not buy any CDs at all.

To the Anonymous Coward (there are a lot of them) who is obviously in the RIAA’s employ, your masters need to be slapped down. If the courts won’t, it’s time to do it by public pressure. They are thugs, no different than the mafia who threatens harm if you don’t follow their rules. They have no concept of fair use (nor, for that matter, does the MPAA and Authors Guild). If I buy a CD, I should be able to make 10 copies if I want… play them in any personal device I own. They actually feel it’s illegal to rip a CD I own to play it on my iPod. They really need to be put out of business.

Anonymous Coward says:

This may have been discussed before, but…

When the RIAA gets money for a copyright violations against someone who allowed people to download songs for free, does that mean that everyone who downloaded the music for free now legally owns that music because the RIAA got paid for it?

Meaning, any money the RIAA gets is because they claim it was lost revenue because they didn’t make money from selling all those downloads. So, when the RIAA does get money, wouldn’t that mean that the people who downloaded the songs for free now own them because they were paid for by the copyright violator?

Anonymous Coward says:

“Looks to me like, judging by the commentary here, that you are losing ground in finding agreement with your ideas on how to make money on intellectual property”

This statement clearly shows that you have not paid attention, but that you are in fact an idiot.

While this may seem discouraging, I implore you to continue to look into the subject from more than one point of view, and then maybe, just maybe you can pull your head far enough out of your ass that you can see the light.

Beta (profile) says:

RIAA Penalty, Deterrent, Encouraging Fair use!

The RIAA needs to be clear about its manifest. The consumers who pay for music to enjoy them and the Artists who made music (composed or played or sang…) must be those benefiting from any action. What the RIAA does by imposing tall fines is to create a deterrent to unlicensed-online-copyrighted-music-file-sharing which it is unable to achieve by other means.
There are enough bands who can’t reach the public and need to create an audience. The RIAA often claims to protect interest of the artists but I don’t see them help upcoming artists who seldom get their albums published. The RIAA is fine with (and does not fine) you if you don’t buy music and listen only over radio or live performances.
While they have every right in discouraging “theft” of intellectual property, they need to get back to the drawing board and understand how best it can be done. If there is a smart way to reach the music lovers (Apple/iTunes) online and make money, then they should encourage that and pay attention to that. This approach of imposing huge fines just discourages both artists and music lovers.
How about shelving the lawyers and actually sending sales guys to the people who are enjoying music after downloading them illegally? How about educating your “customers” and helping them make the right choice? Truth is a lot of this is being done (eg. MoserBaer movie CDs and DVDs.) and is not being given due attention. There are bands who reach out without going through record labels when they haven’t yet done a number that is popular. Some of these fines and their amounts are beyond reason. The members of the RIAA have to really work on their customers and increase that base. There’s either win-win or lose-lose, the win-lose is lose-lose in camouflage. Just my $0.02.

Bettawrekonize says:

Re: RIAA Penalty, Deterrent, Encouraging Fair use!

I thought I already came up with a solution to this before. If a band doesn’t want the RIAA to represent them just put it in the beginning (or ending) of a song.

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20090616/0946355250.shtml

Read where I say

“This song is released to the public domain for anyone to freely copy, distribute, and play as they see fit. This includes playing the music in restaurants without a license. This disclaimer may never be removed from the song and by playing this song you grant everyone else the license that this song provides you.”

Have someone say that at the beginning (or ending) of the song. People should have a right not to be represented by the RIAA and if people do freely distribute music that explicitly gives them permission to do so, that should be enough proof for a judge/jury that the RIAA does not represent them on that song.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Help her out

That was my first incination too, thinking of all the “money bombs” we pulled out of our hats for Ron Paul…

The first problem, is that she would have to be the one to setup the collection.

BUT that’s the problem: sending her money sends a signal that people are willing to subsidize RIAA’s continual failure. This will only *prove* that the court was right in it’s ruling.

Secondly, if she claims Bankruptcy, she needs to claim all her assets, which may include the potential trust fund/donations collected, even potential FUTURE collected assets. The Bankruptcy court COULD still be able to collect and dispurse the money to the RIAA, even after the bankruptcy is finalized. She’s screwed.

Assume any money sent to her will be passed thru to the RIAA.

The light at the end of the tunnel is actually on the other side of the equation. Perhaps the artists and employees of the record companies and labels named in this case will “Man Up” somehow…

VeeEyePea (profile) says:

I’ve got this image in my head, but I can’t draw! Please someone make a drawing out of the following:

I see a big fat naked hairy dude (representing the RIAA.) He is jerking off two other fat blokes on each side (representing politicians and judges) who come all over him with dollar signs and in front of him there is a skinny dude he’s fucking up the ass, his pants showing empty pockets (representing artists). In the background there is a long line of people on chains being guilty of copyright infringement who leave all their money at a RIAA stand!

Please someone who can draw, create this image for me!

PS
I, the copyright holder of this idea, give away any rights to anyone who want’s to use it!!!

Anonymous Coward says:

RE: "So really, Thomas got off lightly"

RE: “So really, Thomas got off lightly”

Here’s a nickel; go buy a clue!

Why does Jammie deserve to be “the example”?

Why is there such a humongous disparity between the damage the RIAA suffered (they *cannot* prove they lost a single penny because of Jammie) and the damage Jammie will suffer (permanent total financial ruin)?

And, even if Jammie did have $2 million to give them, will Prince, Sheryl Crow and the other artists they have been name-dropping ever see a penny of that money?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: RE: "So really, Thomas got off lightly"

We would think the punishment should fit the crime. But it really depends on who the crime threatens. If a small crime (like file sharing) threatens rich and powerful entities then the punishment should be huge. If a huge crime (like Bayer intentionally selling Aids tainted blood and the FDA allowing it) helps big corporations and harms the public at large, there should be no punishment whatsoever.

Michael L. Slonecker says:

Merely for information, evidence presented at trial demonstrated that Ms. Thomas’ hard drive contained about 1700 songs in its share folder. Rather than file suit based upon all of these songs, the labels selected a small subset of 24 for the lawsuit.

Of course, it did not help her cause that after being sent notices by instant messageing and FedEx that her hard drive mysteriously “broke” and was replaced with a new one she bought at a local Best Buy. When she was asked to turn over her hard drive for forensic analysis, she did herself no favor by turning over the new one and never mentioning anything about the one that “broke”. It seems she tried to pull a fast one and got caught in the process. The word “dumb” comes to mind, but somehow it seems totally inadequate in the context of this case.

Sammie Houston (profile) says:

Watunes, The New Music Industry!

There is a unique solution that we offer to alleviate issues with P2P, Bit Torrent, & other mediums whereby the artists & record labels lose major revenue. We provide an avenue to put the power back in their hands as well as keep all their royalties! As representatives for the largest digital distribution in the world, we will show you how to benefit from a Digital Distribution relationship. Gone are the days of selling your music through a physical means. Statistics say 48% of teenagers purchased their music online in 2007 with that number increasing from 32% a year prior. If you are still slanging CD’s, you are quickly falling into the dinosaur arena. We can help you change all that.

Watunes offers services for the entire independent music community, whether you already have digital representation or are just getting started in the digital world. We make it easy to distribute your content to digital outlets, promote your content using our innovative marketing systems, and manage your catalog and sales using our first-class technology.

WaTunes is a social media distribution service that enables artists, groups, and record labels to sell music, music videos, and audiobooks through leading online entertainment retailers, including iTunes,ShockHound, and eMusic. Artists and labels can sell unlimited music and earn 100% of their profits – ALL FOR FREE! In fact, as of Tuesday June 9th, we signed NBA Legend and Hall of Famer Earl ‘the Pearl’ Monroe who owns record label Reverse Spin Records. The link is listed right below & you can either click on it and/or copy & paste into your browser. Please direct any further inquires, comments, questions, or concerns to us. We’re more than elated to serve you anyway we possibly can.

Best,

Sammie

Earl “the Pearl” Monroe link:

http://news.google.com/news?client=safari&rls=en&q=watunes&oe=UTF-8&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&hl=en&tab=wn


watunes.com

Sammie Houston
SVP, Client Services
e-mail: sammiehouston@watunes.com
Skype ID: sammie.houston
Office: 678-598-2439

Sneak Preview: http://tinyurl.com/dh3mum

Youtube advertisements, don’t click on the link, please copy & paste into your browser:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ESwBmhWmF4k

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O2AYrcDVhCs

Check out our Reviews, add your comments & feedback too:

http://www.rateitall.com/i-1125252
watunes.aspx

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...
Loading...