Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Richard Marx: Thomas-Rasset 'got a raw deal'

Just about the whole world has by now weighed in last week's $1.92 million copyright verdict against Jammie Thomas-Rasset. Except, until now, Richard Marx, whose "Now and Forever" was one of 24 songs the jury found Thomas-Rasset had downloaded and "shared" on Kazaa. As Ars Technica reports, Marx says he has "always objected to the practice of illegal downloading of music." But he's no fan of this verdict, and says he's "ashamed" to be linked to it:
So now we have a "judgment" in a case of illegal downloading, and it seems to me, especially in these extremely volatile economic times, that holding Ms. Thomas-Rasset accountable for the continuing daily actions of hundreds of thousands of people is, at best, misguided and at worst, farcical. Her accountability itself is not in question, but this show of force posing as judicial come-uppance is clearly abusive. Ms. Thomas-Rasset, I think you got a raw deal, and I'm ashamed to have my name associated with this issue.
Ars' Nate Anderson, who pleads guilty, with an explanation, to actually owning a Richard Marx CD, correctly notes that "Now and Forever" was the only one of several songs played at the trial that Judge Michael Davis professed to enjoy. (Sarah McLachlan's "Building A Mystery" and No Doubt's "Different People" failed to earn his judicial seal of approval.)

Personally, I'm still waitng for reax from Gloria Estefan, Joe Elliott, and most of all, Slash.


  1. There is no punishment too severe for such severely bad taste in music.

  2. I read your breakdown of the case, and your speculations on why the jury granted such a huge award to the labels and punished Jammie Thomas so severely. I think we can add to your list of Ms. Thomas' missteps: insulting the jurors' intelligence. From your description, the forensic evidence that she personally downloaded her favorite songs was overwhelming. If the jurors believed the forensic experts, they could only conclude that Jammie Thomas was lying. That she would lie repeatedly, stubbornly, without shame or regret, and ask the jury to swallow her absurd fabrications was arrogant and an insult to the jurors intelligence and sense of justice.

    That she would then offer up her kids and ex-boyfriend as the "true culprits" compounded her lie and showed her to be cowardly and selfish. Taken together, I would imagine she was an unsympathetic character.

    Moreover, the labels were smart to leave the award amount to the jurors to decide. This tactic robbed (pun intended) the other side of the ability to paint the labels as greedy and draconian. Mr. Marx may not like the jury's final judgment, but he can't blame the labels. 12 of his fellow citizens decided that Jammie Thomas was a thief.


  4. Don't you think a statement from Richard Marx should have been more in the neighborhood of:

    She Shoulda Known Better. While that $1.92 million Don't Mean Nothin' if she simply has no money, the RIAA will be Right Here Waiting for as long as it takes for them to be Satisfied, even through Endless Summer Nights. They'll just Keep Coming Back, Now and Forever, and they'll do it Until [they] Find [her] Again. They'll take her car, they'll even Take This Heart that she's had all her life. I suppose she can Hold on to the Nights, but this is the Real World, and there's Nothin' You Can Do About It.


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.