p2pnet news | RIAA News:- In the Bush administration’s most blatant support of the commercial music industry yet, the US Department of Justice has stepped in on behalf of Warner Music, EMI, Vivendi Universal and Sony BMG’s RIAA in the Jammie Thomas case.
The DoJ is filing a brief defending the constitutionality of the $9,250-per-song-file jury verdict, says Recording Industry vs The People.
America’s top law agency tries to justify the amount by claiming the damages awarded aren’t, “so severe and oppressive as to be wholly disproportioned to the offense or obviously unreasonable”, and that it’s, “impossible to calculate the damages caused by a single infringement, particularly for infringement that occurs over the internet,” says Ray Beckerman.
Thomas is the Minnesota mother who was the first of the 30,000 innocent men, women and children to actually be hauled into court by the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America).
A jury decided her alleged file sharing was worth almost a quarter of a million dollars.
“A single mother has made legal history by forcing America’s biggest record companies into a costly and potentially embarrassing trial after she refused to pay an out-of-court settlement for alleged music piracy,” said Britain’s prestigious The Times of the case.
It went on, “Jammie Thomas, a Native American from Minnesota, is one of 26,000 people the Recording Industry Association of America has sued over the past four years for alleged use of music ‘file-sharing’ software. But she is the first to refuse to settle and has forced the music industry into a trial that could set a legal precedent. ‘I refuse to be bullied,’ she said yesterday. ‘I know that I did not do this, and the jury will hear that I did not do this’.”
p2pnet posted, “She isn’t, of course, the first to refuse to settle, far from it – ask Patti Santangelo and Tanya Andersen – but the quote is interesting nonetheless because it doesn’t come in a North American media report.
“Instead, its the intro to a story in Britain’s upper-crust The Times, alarming – for EMI (Britain), Vivendi Universal (France), Sony BMG (Japan and Germany) and Warner Music (US) – because it proves the story is gaining legs with the reading public in Europe, something the Big 4 definitely don’t want and won’t like.
“Because the Thomas case is only one element of a massive, carefully orchestrated international campaign on the part of the Big 4 cartel to gain control of how, and by whom, music is distributed online.”
The Times goes on:
The case threatens to become another PR disaster for record companies. After they were initially accused of refusing to offer a legitimate alternative to file-sharing, the companies are now being attacked for the way they price such music. Their practices have prompted an investigation by the European Commission and alienated many big-selling bands. Next week Radiohead will release its new album independently and allow fans to decide how to much to pay for it online, through an ‘honesty box’ system.
Jammie Thomas case – Jammie Thomas: her story in her own words, November 2, 2007
Recording Industry vs The People – US Department of Justice files brief defending constitutionality of $9250-per-song-file jury verdict in Capitol v. Thomas, December 4, 2007
The Times – I won’t surrender to download bullies, says mother fighting the music giants, October 4, 2007
p2pnet – Jammie Thomas vs the RIAA: Day II, October 3, 2007
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