That’s the valuation set by Texas judge Edith Brown Clement (right).
She’s ordered a college student to pay $27,750 for allegedly illegally sharing 37 copyrighted songs online, says the Courthouse News Service, going on:
“The court rejected the former high-school cheerleader’s claim that she was ‘too young and too naïve’ to understand that CD copyrights applied to downloaded music.”
Her local Girl Guide troop obviously didn’t have the advantages of troops in Los Angles where, thanks to stirling efforts on the part of the entertainment industry, intellectual copyright merit badges are de rigueur.
Or maybe it did teach IP law but she wasn’t a Girl Guide?
Anyway, Clement has ordered Whitney Harper to pay $7,400, or $200 per track, based on her “innocent infringer” defense, says the story, quoting her as stating:
“Harper cannot rely on her purported legal naivety to defeat the (statutory) bar to her innocent infringer defense.”
Now a senior at Texas Tech, Harper said she didn’t know it was wrong when she began sharing songs online at age 14, adds the Courthouse News Service.
Says Ray Beckerman at Recording Industry vs The People:
“The Court’s treatment of the innocent infringement defense is unsatisfactory. It appears that the Court may be misinterpreting the word ‘access’ in the statute, following the same error committed by the Gonzalez court.
“The mere fact that a copy exists somewhere on the planet with a copyright notice does not preclude the ‘innocent infringement’ defense. The defense was created to protect someone who — like Ms. Harper — had copied something which bore no copyright notice. The Court likewise errs in assuming, without plaintiffs’ ever having proved, that the defendant had access to copies which bore the copyright notice.
“I do not disagree with the proposition that the statute makes a person’s lack of legal sophistication irrelevant if he or she made the infringing copy from a copy which bore the copyright notice. But that is a big ‘if’, since it did not occur here.”
..… and identi.ca
First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win ~ Mahatma Gandhi
Courthouse News Service – Student Fined $27,750 for Sharing 37 Songs, February 26, 2010
de rigueur – MPAA corrupts US Scouts, October 21, 2006
Recording Industry vs The People – 5th Circuit rules innocent infringement defense not supported in Maverick v Harper, February 27, 2010
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