Well the “wonderful people” at the RIAA and Capitol Records are back at it.
If you remember Jammie Thomas-Rasset from a few years ago, she has been fighting against the RIAA and Capitol Records for some time now. This time the Jury in her third trial has ruled she should pay $1.5 Million to Capitol Records. That’s a whopping $62.500 per song. Seems a little much considering the songs in question would have cost her about 25 bucks on iTunes. Unfortunately, she has become the poster child for the RIAA battle against illegal downloaders.
Her first trial she was ordered to pay $222,000 for copyright violations on more than 1,500 songs, (including songs from corporate sell outs; Green Day). Richard Marx, one of the artists who’s music she downloaded, said “I am ashamed to be associated with the Farcical prosecution of an illegal downloader”. Mrs. Thomas-Rasset has maintained throughout the many lawsuits that she was not the user who downloaded the music and that someone else in her household had used the computer. Her trial in 2009, ended with a much harsher result. $1.92 Million. Thankfully, A U.S. District court judge ruled that the $1.92 Million penalty was “Monstrous and shocking” and a “gross injustice”, and lowered it to $54,000.
The Recording Industry Association of America or RIAA which represents the major record labels was pleased with this current state of the case, even though they claim they have no intention to collect the $1.5 Million. “Now with three jury decisions behind us along with a clear affirmation of Ms. Thomas-Rasset’s willful liability, it is our hope that she finally accepts responsibility for her actions,” the RIAA said in a statement. Earlier this year, the RIAA offered her the opportunity to settle for $25,000 and an admission of guilt; which Thomas-Rasset declined.
Ok, What the hell are you people thinking. Really? $1.5 Million? Are you smoking crack? That is definitely the way to keep your fans happy. I really want to know who was the “PR Genius” who said “Hey I know, Lets bury a frigging soccer mom in debt. Then our fans won’t download anymore…Then…Profit?”. Your absolutely correct, your fans won’t download anymore. Personally, I wouldn’t buy anything from those artists ever again. I mean come on, this woman is not the person who is copying crap from CD’s she buys and putting it on the web, then returning the CD. Those are the people you should be going after, not this woman.
In closing just so we are clear. RIAA, Capitol Records and the judges who allowed this to happen, you guys are assholes.
-Zach “The Uber Geek” Morton