The recording industry has set out to make an example out of Jammie Thomas-Rasset, a woman guilty of illegally downloading 24 songs. We mentioned her third trial this week while talking about Professor Charlie Nesson’s speedy benchslap.
Thomas-Rasset was trying to reduce the amount of money she had to pay for downloading the songs. You know, since the material costs $2, max, one would think her penalty wouldn’t be significantly more than a speeding ticket.
But like I said, the recording industry really wanted to make an example out of her. And apparently our judicial system is happy to be the compliant lapdogs of corporate interests. So Thomas-Rasset is going to have to ascend the pyre, because the courts lit her up, again…
After her third trial, here is Thomas-Rasset’s whopping penalty, from the WSJ Law Blog:
The Brainerd, Minn., woman on Wednesday was ordered to pay the RIAA — the recording industry trade group — $1.5 million for illegally sharing music online. For those scoring at home, that’s $62,500 for every one of the 24 songs the RIAA .
Once again her lawyer, the infamous Kiwi Camara, vows to keep fighting:
Thomas-Rasset’s lawyer, Kiwi Camara, said he’d appeal the jury ruling on grounds that such damages are unconstitutional.
It was the third jury to consider whether and to what degree Thomas-Rasset should pay damages for her copyright violations. And after each time, the mother of four has said she can’t pay.
Not to question a lawyer’s representation of his client, but before all of the jury trials, RIAA offered to settle with Thomas-Rassert for $5,000. After the first trial, she was ordered to pay $222,000. Now she’s on the hook for $1.5 million, maybe it’s time to stop fighting and start talking? Or start prostrating yourself in front of the plaintiffs and begging?
Because your client can’t afford any of this:
“I can’t afford to pay any amount. It’s not a matter of won’t, it’s a matter of ‘I can’t,’” Thomas-Rasset said Thursday.
I’m sure you can’t, Ms. Thomas-Rasset. But really, it’s pretty clear that the RIAA doesn’t just want your money. It wants your soul. It wants you mounted on its wall. It wants to put your head on a pike and parade it around as a warning to people who for years were forced to buy entire records and or CDs full of total crap in order to listen to one or two songs.
I’m sorry, Jammie Thomas-Rasset D’arc. Hopefully you will have your vengeance, in this life or the next.