Wednesday, June 24, 2009

RIAA spokeswoman: Thomas-Rasset damages award was 'unexpected'; 'We will settle this case if she allows it'

Yes, everyone was surprised by the size of the size of the $1.92 million verdict against Jammie Thomas-Rasset -- even the RIAA. Elaborates RIAA spokeswoman Cara Duckworth on the trade association's blog:
By now everyone knows what the verdict was. It’s fair to say that the damages were unexpected given the size of the award in the previous trial. But when it comes down to it, the jury heard a case about Ms. Thomas-Rasset distributing more than 1700 songs to potentially millions of people – not merely downloading 24 songs. We will settle this case if she allows it. We’ve always wanted to settle this case. But she has consistently refused, which has led us to today’s verdict.
I wonder what Ms. Thomas-Rasset must be thinking right now. One thing is clear – it is our sincere hope that she changes course and opens herself up to a settlement to make this better for everyone. We remain ready and willing.
Just to clarify one point: it is true that evidence was presented establishing that there were 1,702 song files in Thomas-Rasset's Kazaa shared folder. However, the jury awarded damages only as to 24 specific songs. The jury was presented with evidence establishing that Thomas-Rasset had both downloaded and distributed those songs, though the verdict form asked only whether the defendant had committed an "act of infringement" as to each song. The jury was instructed on both reproduction (downloading) and distribution ("sharing").

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