Swedish BitTorrent User Accused Of Sharing Beyonce Album, Hit By $233,000 Lawsuit From Sony

from the that's-justice? dept

Lots of news regarding file-sharing has come out of Sweden over the years, but as TorrentFreak points out, until now, there's never been a prosecution for alleged unauthorized sharing using BitTorrent. The current case is unusual in a number of other respects:

The claim is that on June 8, 2011 a man from Gothenburg shared Beyonce's album '4' in advance of its June 24 commercial release date. The case was made even more interesting following the revelation that the 47-year-old is a music industry worker.
Because the album in question was a pre-release version, the Swedish prosecutor says he believes a heavy punishment could be handed down. As if that weren't enough, the label concerned -- Sony Music Entertainment -- has said that it intends to seek damages in a civil case:
In a submission to the Gothenburg District Court, Sony said that its business has been negatively affected by the leak on a number of fronts. The label says it has suffered damage to its marketing strategy, sales revenues and has also incurred additional costs. Sony adds that its relationship with Beyonce has been damaged and the artist's reputation hurt.

For all of the above Sony say they will claim 1.5 million kronor from the man, which is roughly $233,000.
But as various studies have suggested, rather than hurting Sony, it's just as likely that this leak helped make the official launch even more successful than it would have been. Similarly, it's hard to see how Beyonce's reputation was hurt by such a leak, since the more passionate the fan, the more pleased they would be by obtaining early access.

Anyway, the figure of $233,000 seems plucked out of the air, as is so often the case in this evidence-free area. Or perhaps it was inspired by the most famous damages imposed for unauthorized sharing of music, those against Jammie Thomas, who was fined $222,000 in her first trial (which then went up to $1,920,000 in the second trial, and to $1,500,000 in the third trial.) The fact that her sorry saga is still dragging on is an indication that even if Sony wins the current action, there are likely to be appeals against such a disproportionate and blatantly punitive figure.

Follow me @glynmoody on Twitter or identi.ca, and on Google+


Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Mar 2013 @ 12:44pm

    even if it did cost Sony this amount of money, by the time they have been through all the trials, what they get out of the guy, if anything, wont even pay the legal fees for the original trial. this is being done simply because it can be. Sony dont want or need the money, are aware of the negligible chance of getting anything, of the effects it will have on the accused and the negative feedback they will get. like all big companies, nothing is more important than at least appearing to be in charge and in control. look at the threats that were put to Geohotz to keep him quiet, when Sony were the wrong-doers

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Use markdown for basic formatting. HTML is no longer supported.
  Save me a cookie
Follow Techdirt
Special Affiliate Offer

Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads

Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.