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Woman found guilty in piracy case, RIAA wants $222,000


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DULUTH, Minnesota -- Jammie Thomas, a single mother of two, was found liable Thursday for copyright infringement in the nation's first file-sharing case to go before a jury.

Twelve jurors here said the Minnesota woman must pay $9,250 for each of 24 shared songs that were the subject of the lawsuit, amounting to $222,000 in penalties.

$9,250 for each song.

 

$9,250.

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I saw that when I came into work. Not suprising. I read her main defense was going to be about whether or not the RIAA misrepresented itself as the copyright owners. Seems like that went down the drain real quick.

 

If I was a juror, I probably would have found her liable as well (based on what was presented). She used the same alias throughout the internet. Kazaa, MySpace, some dating site, ect. Kinda hard to explain that away without BSing. And you know she replaced her harddrive on purpose once she found out she was in trouble.

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You just know she knew she was stealing. That's what happens when you partake in illegal activities. She should have been more careful and not get caught.

 

Besides, I'm sure some deal will be worked out. Probably a sum of cash similar to those "prelitigation letters."

 

I probably would have gone with a different angle. How can what the RIAA is doing be legal. Pay us or we'll sue you! Sounds like extortion to me.

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SWP, let's acknowledge the fact that piracy is an illegal activity and is not condoned on these forums. Let's also not imply that her punishment was due to her not being sneaky enough -- it's due the fact that she took part in an illegal activity.

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It still doesn't make the fact that she used the same alias all over the web a good idea. Look at me. You google the word "Kjølen," and I'm starting to show up more often than the mountain range in Norway. I've been considering getting a new alias, anyway.

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Yes, my city, as well. It just so happened to be where the first case was to take place. Something to do with removing the case to a desolate, removed location. :p

Actually, no reason to be scared, the case was pending for years.

 

Well, I wouldn't say we're so desolate, but we're not the biggest town either.

 

It's just so random, and I dunno, unfair. $9,250 for each song? I doubt that the record company or artists suffered that much of a loss from one lady downloading those songs. I'm sure, collectively, they may have suffered more loss, but putting the burden on her seems kinda, well, better said in German: scheußlich

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SWP, let's acknowledge the fact that piracy is an illegal activity and is not condoned on these forums. Let's also not imply that her punishment was due to her not being sneaky enough -- it's due the fact that she took part in an illegal activity.

 

Yes, stealing is wrong. If you steal, you're going to jail.

 

 

Here's an article on cnet with some reasons on why the RIAA won.

 

I hope she appeals and tries a different strategy. Piracy may be wrong, but I disagree with the actions the RIAA is taking.

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Technically, though, I don't think the woman was found guilty for stealing. She was found guilty of sharing copyrighted music files. Which begs the question: what sort of legal feasibility does the RIAA have for suing those who only download music? I haven't seen a case that prosecutes downloaders, only sharers.

 

Not that I'm condoning music downloading, of course. Music piracy is evil because the RIAA says so.

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Technically, though, I don't think the woman was found guilty for stealing. She was found guilty of sharing copyrighted music files. Which begs the question: what sort of legal feasibility does the RIAA have for suing those who only download music?
You're right about that. Supposedly the argument was that it violated copyright law in terms of distribution without permission. In other words making something available for download = distribution. I'm not happy to see that redefintion.

 

But how did they arrive at that crazy figure of $222,000 for 24 songs? How could one person possibly cause that much monetary loss by "distributing" 24 songs? According to iTunes, a song is worth $0.99. Did she get 222,000 downloads? Even if she did, is it fair to say that each of those downloads is lost revenue? How many of the 222,000 people who downloaded her songs would have actually gone out and bought them? I'm sure the RIAA claims 100%.

 

Did the lawsuit also assume that each of these downloaders would then redistribute? Hardly seems fair that she should take one for the "team".

 

I would like to learn more about how this monetary judgment was calculated. It seems she's being made an example of to get the point across and it's quite unfair.

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I would like to learn more about how this monetary judgment was calculated. It seems she's being made an example of to get the point across and it's quite unfair.

Emotional and psychological damages. Corporations are people too tee-kay, Sony Music and Virgin were heartbroken by the fact that someone would do something like this.

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I am totally against stealing anything, even music... not saying I've never stolen anything or never downloaded a song. But I really have bought almost every CD from every band I like, and thats A LOT.

 

I think she should have to pay a fine... but 9000+ a song is rediculous.... 100 mighta been better, 50 probably woulda been suitable.

 

Yes, the music business is full of greedy people, but that doesnt justify stealing at all. Just because Wal Mart is a monopoly doesnt mean you can just go in the store and steal stuff because they're greedy.

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Yes, the music business is full of greedy people, but that doesnt justify stealing at all. Just because Wal Mart is a monopoly doesnt mean you can just go in the store and steal stuff because they're greedy.

Touche!

 

No one doubts the legalities in downloading music I think, it's just a bit weird to see such inconsistencies withing the music industry as to how they should "defend" that right? (I used quotes there because more and more of their tactics are becoming offensive rather than defensive)

 

Wal-Mart doesn't exactly entrap people into stealing from their stores do they? They don't build fake stores with no security and open windows filled with fake iPods just so they can see who is willing to steal from them do they?

 

Just look at the MediaDefender debacle for a recent example...

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Yes, the music business is full of greedy people, but that doesnt justify stealing at all. Just because Wal Mart is a monopoly doesnt mean you can just go in the store and steal stuff because they're greedy.

 

The problem, though, is that by downloading music you're not taking anything physical from the record companies. If someone steals a bag of cheetos from Walmart, that's one less bag of cheetos Walmart has to sell. However, if someone downloads a Beatles song, for instance, the record company has physically lost nothing. The only they may have lost is a potential sale, which is much harder to prove.

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Its copyright infrigement that shes facing anyways... I just say stealing because she pretty much WAS. I know its not physical but it is sold in the same format, and she got it for free while others are paying for it. Record companies get a large part of their money nowadays from sales from iTunes... people who blame they dont want to go to a store to buy it have no excuse when they could easily download and install iTunes in the same time it takes for any P2P program. It'd be the same for books... you can buy them in stores, you can buy an e-book online, or you can do it illegally and free by downloading it. It may not be something physical you're taking, but its something you're taking without paying when you are, in fact, supposed to be paying for it if you really want the book.

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