Friday, October 22, 2010

Third Jammie Thomas-Rasset trial: Game on

The third trial of Jammie Thomas-Rasset for downloading and "sharing" songs over the Internet without permission from copyright holders will proceed as scheduled Nov. 2. Today Judge Michael Davis denied the defendant's motion for reconsideration of the court's earlier order reducing the verdict in the second trial on common-law remittitur grounds. Thomas-Rasset had sought to have the court void or reduce the $1.92 million jury award in the second trial on constitutional grounds, which would have permitted an immediate appeal to the Eighth Circuit. But in his brief order today, he concluded that his remittitur order "contain[]ed no manifest errors of law or fact." The third trial will focus only on damages; Thomas-Rasset's liability for willfully infringing 24 songs has already been established.
Order denying motion for reconsideration


  1. "The third trial will focus only on damages; Thomas-Rasset's liability for willfully infringing 24 songs has already been established."

    24 songs, 24$. Then maybe 5$ for each song to help the other side cover their attorney fees. They certainly shouldn't have spent more than that. All told, maybe 200$ should do it.

  2. Glad to see this coming to a close. She'll be on the hook for thousands of dollars, though it'll be far from the hundreds of thousands (or millions) that the recording industry has supported years on end - and for just 24 music files. Imagine... just imagine the compounded injustice (hundreds of millions of dollars in liability) IF the recording industry chose to sue for ALL of what she was sharing. It's no wonder they chose only to prosecute for a handful of infringing files at any one time. How clever.

  3. @Anonymous #2
    Once this trial is over, can the RIAA then sue her for the music files that were *not* included in this suit?

    That would be clever?!?!


  4. Of course, the flip side is also just as true. She could have avoided millions of dollars of her own legal fees (which she'll never be able to pay) and thousands (or millions) of dollars in damages (which she'll never be able to pay) if she had spent $24 to buy the music she was found to have downloaded without authorization.

    Statutory damages were designed both compensate the plaintiff and to deter others. What is so surprising about both Judge Davis' opinion in this case and Judge Gertner's decision in Tenenbaum is their claims that a lower damage award would be sufficient to deter, when it is manifestly obvious that all of the litigation efforts by the RIAA (however misguided they may be been) have completely failed to deter such behavior.

  5. Why don't we take it to its conclusion, then? Everyone who has ever obtained music without paying for it should be fined: $1.92 million dollars per 24 songs. That would deter.


Comments here are moderated. I appreciate substantive comments, whether or not they agree with what I've written. Stay on topic, and be civil. Comments that contain name-calling, personal attacks, or the like will be rejected. If you want to rant about how evil the RIAA and MPAA are, and how entertainment companies' employees and attorneys are bad people, there are plenty of other places for you to go.