p2pnet news view P2P | RIAA:- “The need for deterrence cannot justify a $2 million verdict for stealing and illegally distributing 24 songs for the sole purpose of obtaining free music. Moreover, although Plaintiffs were not required to prove their actual damages, statutory damages must still bear some relation to actual damages.”
So says judge Michael J. Davis in a decision which states Jammie (seen here with her family) now owes Big Music $2,250 instead of $80,000 for each of 24 songs she’s said to have downloaded without permission.
“With their Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) as a front, sub-units of Vivendi Universal (France), Sony (Japan), EMI (Britain), and Warner Music (US) have already put Jammie and her family through hell,” said p2pnet last June, going on >>>
First, they used the mainstream media to have her publicly tried, and found guilty, of the non-existent crime of illegal file sharing.
Then, she and her family had to endure another trial, this time before a judge and jury, at the end of which she was ordered to pay the corporate music industry almost a quarter of a million dollars in ‘damages’.
But the only suggestion Jammie had ever downloaded, or shared music on discredited p2p file sharing application Kazaa, came from MediaSentry, an equally discredited company used by the RIAA (and later fired by the RIAA) to collect ‘evidence’.
Soon after the case was over, however, judge Michael Davis, who’d heard it, declared a mistrial, admitting he`d committed a, manifest error of law by telling the jury the, “act of making copyrighted sound recordings available for electronic distribution on a peer-to-peer network, without licensefrom the copyright owners, violates the copyright owners` exclusive right of distribution, regardless of whether actual distribution has been shown.
“Defendant’s Motion for a New Trial, Remittitur, and to Alter or Amend the Judgment [Docket No. 344] is DENIED IN PART and GRANTED IN PART as follows,” Davis writes.
“The Judgment is amended to remit the damages award to $2,250 per sound recording infringed. Plaintiffs are directed to either accept the remittitur or to schedule a new trial on the issue of damages. Plaintiffs shall file a notification of their decision regarding remittitur no later than seven days from the date of this Order. The Court will defer amending the Judgment pending notification of Plaintiffs’ position with regard to remittitur.”
“The Judge did not reach the constitutional due process issue raised by Ms. Thomas-Rasset’s counsel, instead deciding the motion based upon standard principles of ‘remittitur’,” says Ray Beckerman on Recording Industry vs The People, going on >>>
The judge described the standard for remittitur as follows:
so grossly excessive as to shock the conscience of the court. A verdict is not considered excessive unless there is plain injustice or a monstrous or shocking result
In discussing the factors upon which his decision rested, Judge Davis indicated that he had found that Ms. Thomas-Rasset lied under oath.
Judge Davis also indicated that he found even the reduced amount to be “harsh” and that, were he — rather than a jury — deciding the appropriate measure of damages, the award would have been even lower than $54,000. But he felt that since the jury had determined the damages, it was his province to determine only the maximum amount a jury could reasonably award.
Jon Newton – p2pnet
Click here for p2pnet music downloads
..… and identi.ca
First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win ~ Mahatma Gandhi
Use free p2pnet newsfeeds for your site. Subscribe to p2pnet.net | | rss feed: http://p2pnet.net/feed
Net access blocked by government restrictions? Use Psiphon from the Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto. Go here for details.