Thursday, July 2, 2009

Copycense: Don't 'Free Jammie'

Copycense is highly critical of the music industry, but even more critical of Jammie Thomas-Rasset in the wake of the $1.92 million verdict against her for use of Kazaa to download and "share" songs:
[I]n [their] case against Thomas-Rasset, we have absolutely no problems with what the labels did and why they did it. Even though hers were civil jury trials, there can be no reasonable doubt: Jammie Thomas-Rasset was downloading and exchanging hundreds of songs without compensating the artists or the copyright owners, and she got caught.

As much as we think the music industry’s broader campaign against customers is poor business and policy, we completely support a system in which a copyright owner has the exclusive right “to do and to authorize” anything under Section 106 or Section 106A. We never have questioned that principle, or the system that supports that principle. Jammie Thomas-Rasset has violated these principles without a legal excuse or limitation, and it seems she has played the public for foolishness, taking advantage of a broader anger at the music industry specifically, and more generally, a U.S. copyright system that has some problems, but is still one we feel needs calibration but is worth supporting.

Ms. Thomas-Rasset should pay her lawyers for their work, and the copyright owners for her infringements.

Doesn't sound like that's going to happen.


  1. My thoughts about this are that T-R was NEVER supposed to win; she was, instead, intended to be a Pyhrric victory for the industry. The copyfighters WANTED her to lose the case, WANTED her to be subject to a huge damage award; that way, they can turn around and say "look, the RIAA are such bastards, they're suing poor single moms for (large amount of money)". The plan all along was to feed T-R to the beast in the hope that it choked on her.

    The next stage of this will be for T-R to declare bankruptcy. If she goes to bankruptcy court, she'll cry her eyes out in front of the judge, pull her hair, rend her clothes. The industry lawyers will be in the unenviable position of trashing such a pitiful figure; it's likely that they won't even bother. She won't pay a dime, and it's a huge PR win for the copyfighters.

  2. "She won't pay a dime, and it's a huge PR win for the copyfighters."

    Except that judgments resulting from certain willful acts are not dischargable in bankruptcy. Refusing a very, very, very generous settlement opportunity, especially when she has lost not one, but two trials, is reckless, especially when she runs the very real risk of a bankruptcy judge not discharging the judgment which would leave her not only with ruined credit but also a two million dollar albatros around her neck.

  3. How do they assign the monetary values to a copyright enfringement?

    Seems a little insensitive to say the least, Copycense. The punishment should fit the crime afterall, otherwise, Copycense might be in indirect support of fascist tyranny. So international bankers and corporations can get away with murder, figuratively or literally, patenting life while destroying it, all for profit, but individuals are held to much higher standards. There is a distinction, but it's all connected.

    I wouldn't want to make such a condemnation, again, where the punishment, and in this case, condemnation does not fit the crime.


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