It's time to revisit an old tale of copyright infringement with the RIAA's lawsuit against suspected P2P file-sharer Jammie Thomas-Rasset. This week, a federal jury in a Minneapolis court found her guilty again, with a $1.5 million price tag for sharing some decidedly average music.
The quick back story: Jammie Thomas-Rasset was sued by the RIAA for using P2P (peer-to-peer) file-sharing service Kazaa in combination with 1,700 songs. She was sued for 24 of them. She's appealed each time, after a verdict assigned her with $222,000, $1.92 million and $1.5 million each time she appealed. Jammie Thomas-Rasset can't afford to pay, and so keeps appealing the courts decision on copyright infringement.
"I can't afford to pay any amount. It's not a matter of won't, it's a matter of 'I can't. Any amount that I pay to them is money that I could use to feed my children. Any amount that I pay to them is money I could use to clothe my kids, and pay my mortgage so my kids have a place to sleep," she said when speaking with Associated Press.
What's more ironic: the fact that Jammie Thomas-Rasset keeps appealing her way to bigger fines or that she's way overpaying for some downright sub-standard music? Def Leppard? Richard Marx? Guns N' Roses? That's a hefty price tag for songs that you might want to be payed to be forced to listen to, rather than $62,500 per song.
Even more so, the RIAA offered to settle out of court for $5,000, a "steal" if I do say so myself. Jammie Thomas-Rasset declined.
The court battle: in one corner there's Jammie Thomas-Rasset, accused of copyright infringement for using KaZaA to download and offer for distribution almost 1,700 songs. In the other corner was the tag team of EMI (Capitol Records), Sony BMG (Arista Records) Vivendi SA's UMG (Interscope Records) and Warner Music Group (Warner Bros. Records) all represented through the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America); they offered that this was copyright infringement based on the premise that offering these files through KaZaA, Jammie was distributing the music and they felt that was illegal.
The RIAA Hit List: Jammie Thomas-Rasset's 24 Songs
Def Leppard - Pour Some Sugar on Me
Richard Marx - Now and Forever
Journey - Faithfully, Don't Stop Believing
Destiny's Child - Bills, Bills, Bills
Guns N' Roses - Welcome to the Jungle, November Rain
Vanessa Williams - Save the Best for Last
Janet Jackson - Let's Wait Awhile
Gloria Estefan - Here We Are
Aerosmith - Cryin'
Reba McEntire - One Honest Heart