Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Labels and Thomas-Rasset agree: We won't settle!

The major record labels and Jammie Thomas-Rasset don't agree on much, but they have come together in perfect harmony to tell the court: Hell no, we won't settle. Or can't. Or refuse to. Or, in the words of the joint motion they filed with the court today:
[T]he parties have concluded that a settlement of the present case is not possible. Any further settlement efforts would be futile, wasting the time and resources of the parties and the Special Master.
According to the motion, the parties tried to settle, both on their own and with the assistance of the special master the court appointed in June, to no avail. So it appears there really will be a third trial on October 4, this one addressing only the issue of damages. At last summer's second trial, the jury awarded the labels a total of $1.92 million for illegally downloading and "sharing" 24 songs, but the court later remitted the verdict down to $54,000. The labels opted for the new trial on damages rather than accepting the reduced award.
Joint motion re settlement


  1. You forgot to note what the court all but limited the damages to in this third upcoming trial.

  2. This is a petulant, greedy and entitled woman who had lied under oath, destroyed harddrive evidence and even tried to finger her own kids on the stand to save her thieving neck.

    It doesn't get much better than having Thomas-Rasset as the face of internet piracy. Would that this could have been a criminal conviction with real time to be served.

  3. I can't help but compare the outcome to what the punishment would have been had she simple stolen a few CD's from a record store with 24 tracks. Probably a few hundred dollars fine for a first offense. Actually stealing physical property deprives the owner of their property. It remains unclear that the record companies suffered any ACTUAL damage based on Thomas-Rasset's actions.

  4. @Previous,
    well (and eloquently) said, which is why I am surprised it was published on this blog.


  5. You have to wonder, when all is said and done just how much actual cash is going to be paid. Jaime Thomas-Rasset has proven that she can and will do anything to avoid paying, including forcing 3 trials. Frankly, the RIAA has already won the moral battle and to keep pressing for a "fair" settlement just makes them more and more the bully on the block.

    As for the arbitration, it's all been in the RIAA's court because Jaime has nothing to lose by simply saying I won't/can't settle. If I were in her shoes, my negotiating tactic would be to offer $1 for each track and remain firm (which is probably what she did).

  6. Hi Ben, thanks for letting us know that a third trial is in the offing. We are now in uncharted territory with new questions raised and no answers.

    The questions include:
    What if the court throws out for the third time a jury verdict that is within the statutory range. Will the court have usurped the role of Congress which has set up this statutory scheme?

    Does a trial judge have the authority to ignore a jury’s verdict because the court finds it “shocking” or to cap statutory damages at an amount the court believes to be fair?

    Doesn’t the cap contravene the plaintiffs’ 7th Amendment right to have a jury fix the appropriate amount of damages?

    Should statutory damages be less because the court finds the defendant to be a “noncommercial” infringer?

    I just posted these and some other questions raised by the case at http://www.ipinbrief.com/what.

    Let’s hope we get some answers that at least satisfy one of the parties to this seemingly never ending litigation

  7. Is it correct that Judge Gertner has just now followed down this same path of remittitur?

  8. @Anonymous 12:43:

    Judge Gertner just reduced the award in the Joel Tenenbaum case on constitutional grounds -- not via remittitur. http://copyrightsandcampaigns.blogspot.com/2010/07/court-slashes-tenenbaum-award-by-90-on.html

  9. Stop complaining about unjust results from unjust law.

    Intellectual property law harms society.

    Abolish all intellectual property law.

  10. @anonymous why do you think Intellectual Property Law harms society? you sound very strongly on the subject and I have been studying the topic in class this semester so I'm curious to why you feel the way you do.


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.