RIAA Calls Another Critic Vexatious After She Points Out Flaw In RIAA Logic

from the time-to-get-a-thesaurus dept

It appears that someone in the RIAA's legal team discovered the word "vexatious" lately and now likes to use it. First, the RIAA declared lawyer Ray Beckerman vexatious, and now it's trying to pin the same word on a woman who is demanding a jury trial in her battle against the RIAA. We had written about this case back in August, where the woman used an innocent infringement defense to try to get the fines for file sharing decreased. That is, she admitted that she had shared the files, but rather than accepting the $750 to $150,000/per song fines that might entail, she claimed that she had no idea what she was doing was illegal, and that the law allows for such cases to be reduced to a $200/song fine.

The RIAA initially pushed back on this, but eventually relented and let the judge set a $7,400 total fine, thinking that the case was pretty much wrapped up. Except... there's the problem of the Jammie Thomas mistrial ruling, which added to a long list of rulings that claimed that "making available" files wasn't necessarily infringement. So, the woman in this case, Whitney Harper, is now pointing out that the number of files she's "guilty" of infringing should be reduced based on the Thomas ruling. She notes that while she made 37 songs available for download (hence the $7,400 fine), the RIAA only has evidence that six songs were downloaded. Thus, she believes the fine should be reduced to $1,200, and would like a jury to hear the case. You can understand why the RIAA might be frustrated, but considering how quickly it rushes out to tell other judges in ongoing cases whenever one judge rules in its favor, it seems only reasonable to have a court reconsider this case in light of the Thomas ruling.

Filed Under: innocent infringement, lawsuits, riaa, vexatious, whitney harper

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  1. identicon
    Mojo_Death, 20 Oct 2008 @ 9:19am

    Fines and the LAW

    It seems to me that if you do not break the law, it does not much matter what the fine would, could, should be.

    I'm amazed at how many people think it is OK to hold in their possession, and redistribute someone's intellectual property without the thought of compensation.

    Seems like an illogical, emotional, liberal argument of "screw the big mean corporation" - after all, they do not need to make a profit to stay in business in order to provide jobs, do they?

    Thinking this way is akin to saying, "I think Target should be forced to sell everything in their store at their exact realized cost."

    The argument does not hold water in a capitalist society. The same capitalist society that allows you to earn a living and pay your bills. Just remember, your time and talents have no inherent value either. It's not a far leap, with this logic of piracy is victimless, to argue that the company you work for should not be required to pay you for your time.

    Then your reply would be, "Then I would stop going to work." - which emphasizes my point exactly. If the RIAA is unable to protect their property, and sell it for a profit, they will simply stop "going to work" and you will have no music at all.

    The laws of nature in a capitalistic society prevail here. Just because the product is digital, does not change the economics involved.

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