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Jammie Rasset-Thomas to appeal damage award

Written by Rich Fiscus (Google+) @ 02 Jul 2009 17:08 User comments (5)

Jammie Rasset-Thomas to appeal damage award Jammie Thomas-Rasset will be appealing the $1.92 million judgement against her in the first RIAA file sharing case ever decided by a jury.
At issue will be the constitutionality of awarding $80,000 per song. US copyright sets minimum damages at $750 per song, but allows up to $150,000 for "willful infringement."

Attorney Joe Sibley told CNET News "She wants to take the issue up on appeal on the constitutionality of the damages. That's one of the main arguments--that the damages are disproportionate to any actual harm."

Although the courts have previously ruled that punitive damages in excess of ten times the actual damage caused are a violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the US Constitution, there's no precedent on whether statutory damages are similarly limited.

The Department of Justice has already shown they are willing to defend the damages. Earlier this year a lawyer from the DOJ Federal Programs Branch, which is headed by former RIAA lawyer Ian Gershengorn did exactly that in another case.

Assuming Ms. Thomas-Rasset can afford to continue her defense, this case could go as high as the US Supreme Court. Whether they will agree to hear the case is anybody's guess.

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5 user comments

19.7.2009 15:58

Judges must go cheap in Duluth, MN this poor lady is getting the shaft and everytime she goes back they hit her with more fines so if she persues this futher will it go to $4 million?

Maybe they will decide to raise that small limit from $150K to $1.5M, it's only fair as the RIAA is really hurting right now. LOL

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 09 Jul 2009 @ 15:59

29.7.2009 17:35

Best of luck Jammie.

39.7.2009 19:08

This lawsuit and penalties are, simply put, insane.
The recording business is grasping at straws and it somehow makes them feel better to hurt some little consumer rather than accept that they screwed consumers for years, and now their business model is bankrupt.

They need to turn their attention, not towards hurting the consumer, but instead how they can change their business model to give the consumers what they want at a fair price. Making buying CD's WORTH it...

Back in the old days of Albums, it was a nice deal: nice cover art, nice extras... how about cd's that have bonus tracks unavailable by net? How about cd's with nice packaging that cannot be downloaded? How about if you buy x number of cd's you get a free concert ticket? There are many ways they could help themselves but instead they'd rather eff us, the consumers.

Eff them.

410.7.2009 7:28

That is totally stupid. How do they expect one to pay back that kind of amount? I also remember that they were offering warnings to the person and told them if they got rid of all their content and promise to not do it again that there would be no lawsuit. How come they can't do it in this case? It sounds like they are just trying to make an example.

517.8.2009 9:47

But why would a jury agree to this rediculous amount? It says this case was decided by a jury. Did the RIAA Pay them off?

To me the Jury is just as bad as the RIAA.

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