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(Some Guy)   RIAA ordered to justify $750 fine over song available for 99-cents   ( recordingindustryvspeople.blogspot.com) divider line
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6286 clicks; posted to Geek » on 27 Nov 2007 at 4:24 PM (9 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



57 Comments     (+0 »)
 


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2007-11-27 02:22:51 PM  
It's about damn time.
 
2007-11-27 02:27:14 PM  
Thank God.
 
2007-11-27 02:27:23 PM  
HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Kill them. Kill them a LOT ;)
 
2007-11-27 02:29:28 PM  
I couldn't agree more, its about damn time.
 
2007-11-27 02:32:43 PM  
That's easy enough. they want to make more money than if they just sold them.
 
2007-11-27 02:35:23 PM  
"Okay. Ninety nine cents for the song, seven hundred forty nine dollars and one cent out of spite."
 
2007-11-27 02:45:43 PM  
The lawyers can't make a profit if the plantiffs don't settle for at least five grand. That would pull the rug out from under the whole filthy scam.

It's a moral imperative.
 
2007-11-27 02:47:39 PM  
Really? A monetary penalty imposed by a court has to exactly equal the cost of the item at issue?
 
2007-11-27 02:53:04 PM  
Pocket Ninja: A monetary penalty imposed by a court has to exactly equal the cost of the item at issue?

You can't claim $X in damages from "lost revenue" if you wouldn't have made that from said sale, no.

Really you can't just make up a number for damages, it has to be based on /something./ Time and money spent for therapy, away from work, etc. Generally yes, people shoot high in their "calculations" and that's why if they get anything they get less.

This just the magistrate saying "Wait, if you're claiming that much per violation what is your expense per legally downloaded track?" And that's what the RIAA does not want to have to answer in court.

IANAL.
 
2007-11-27 02:54:43 PM  
If they were charging a $750 fine for a single song stolen, then that would be overkill. Charging $750 a song for a person who stole hundreds of even thousands of songs and it starts to make a little more sense. You shoplift $1 of candy, they might not even fine you. Hijack a candy truck...
 
2007-11-27 02:58:10 PM  
If they were suing people for downloading the fines would definitely be lower.
They are suing people who leave things open to upload.
Present a $1 song for upload.
750 people download from you.
You are fined $750 for lost revenue.

Now, the argue could be made that on a BitTorrent network you never download the entirety of a file from anyone. So, unless you are the sole other person on the network, the fine should either be split equally between everyone that has the song available, or reduced by that same percentage.

That would kill them though. 750 people download a $1 song presented for download by 1500 people. That means the RIAA can only soak you for 50 cents, not $750 since you weren't the only one making it available.

I just listen to Pandora these days.
 
2007-11-27 03:02:26 PM  
dillenger69: I just listen to Pandora these days.

Bingo. That's what my wife does ;)
 
2007-11-27 03:04:24 PM  
dillenger69: Present a $1 song for upload.
750 people download from you.
You are fined $750 for lost revenue.


So then sue/fine people for $1 x share ratio. I doubt many people have a share ratio higher than, say, 1.5. Mine's like 1.1 or something (legal content only).
 
2007-11-27 03:06:13 PM  
dillenger69: I just listen to Pandora these days.

I started listening to Pandora a few months ago. That's an amazing service, and I'll tell you what else--I've bought about two dozen new CDs, and downloaded (legally) countless other individual songs, based purely on what I've heard there. If I were a record company executive, I'd be celebrating the existence of sites like Pandora.
 
2007-11-27 03:10:42 PM  
dillenger69: 750 people download from you.

Proving that is the rub, isn't it?
 
2007-11-27 03:15:44 PM  
dillenger69: That means the RIAA can only soak you for 50 cents, not $750 since you weren't the only one making it available.

Oh, I'd love to see the RIAA deluged in a mountain of $0.50 settlement checks!
 
2007-11-27 04:00:58 PM  
The RIAA is to Musicians, much as Al Sharpton is to black people.

Self serving, and counter productive for the people they supposedly represent.
 
2007-11-27 04:21:02 PM  
I suspect this case will be dropped prior to providing that information.
 
2007-11-27 04:29:45 PM  
I predict that the RIAA will continue to pull stunts that assuage any guilt I might have had about stealing music in the first place.
 
2007-11-27 04:36:38 PM  
Sigh to the Fark servers... Try two at this post.

Does the RIAA go after everyone seeding one torrent or do they just go after one person per torrent? The reason I ask is because, from my limited knowledge, you can't sue more than one person for a crime. For instance if 4 guys stole a cd from me and I decided to sue, I would only be allowed to get back $12 total from all four guys. I can split it however I choose in court (all from one guy, between two guys, etc) but I can't get $12 from each person. If the RIAA goes after each person on a torrent, aren't they essentially getting $12 from each person and, in the long run, getting more money than they lost?
 
2007-11-27 04:37:01 PM  
Marcus Aurelius: It's a moral imperative.

And from now on, stop playing with yourself.
 
2007-11-27 04:37:42 PM  
If it amounts to a copyright infringement, which I'm fairly certain it does, the Copyright Act allows for statutory damages (in lieu of actual damages)of a minimum of $750 up to $30,000 per infringed work and up to $150,000 if proven to constitute "willful" infringement. So, it would seem to fall within those guidelines.

US Copyright Act

Section 504

(c) Statutory Damages. -

(1) Except as provided by clause (2) of this subsection, the copyright owner may elect, at any time before final judgment is rendered, to recover, instead of actual damages and profits, an award of statutory damages for all infringements involved in the action, with respect to any one work, for which any one infringer is liable individually, or for which any two or more infringers are liable jointly and severally, in a sum of not less than $750 or more than $30,000 as the court considers just. For the purposes of this subsection, all the parts of a compilation or derivative work constitute one work.

But hey, don't let anything like the pesky statute get in the way of your arguments to the contrary.
 
2007-11-27 04:38:32 PM  
TommyymmoT: The RIAA is to Musicians, much as Al Sharpton is to black people.

Self serving, and counter productive for the people they supposedly represent.


You sir, win the internet today.
 
2007-11-27 04:38:38 PM  
This post deserves the "Hero" tag for the judge who made the call...
 
2007-11-27 04:39:26 PM  
lawboy87: If it amounts to a copyright infringement, which I'm fairly certain it does, the Copyright Act allows for statutory damages (in lieu of actual damages)of a minimum of $750 up to $30,000 per infringed work and up to $150,000 if proven to constitute "willful" infringement. So, it would seem to fall within those guidelines.

The law needs to be changed to keep up with the times.
 
2007-11-27 04:40:58 PM  
lawboy87: But hey, don't let anything like the pesky statute get in the way of your arguments to the contrary.

I was under the impression that part of the role of a judge, checks and balances and whatnot, is to swat down garbage statutes.

If this statute is a bad statute, then your smarmy attitude is pretty much baseless.
 
2007-11-27 04:41:05 PM  
Pocket Ninja: dillenger69: I just listen to Pandora these days.

I started listening to Pandora a few months ago. That's an amazing service, and I'll tell you what else--I've bought about two dozen new CDs, and downloaded (legally) countless other individual songs, based purely on what I've heard there. If I were a record company executive, I'd be celebrating the existence of sites like Pandora.


no see... if you were a record company exec, you would be incapable of using such logic.
 
2007-11-27 04:53:43 PM  
Pocket Ninja: Really? A monetary penalty imposed by a court has to exactly equal the cost of the item at issue?

Just an important note, that's not EXACTLY what's going on here. These are punitive damages - intended to serve as punishment - and not compensatory damages. So no, they don't HAVE to match the company's losses, but since they are "punitive" they should abide by the constitution's "cruel and unusual punishment" clause, and that's what's being challenged here.
 
2007-11-27 04:59:17 PM  
SchlingFo,

Do you realize that the Constitution gives Congress sole authority to deal with matters of Copyright and Patents? The Copyright Act is the SOLE controlling authority on issues of Copyright infringement and damages and judges cannot act outside of the limits within the statutes.

Article 1, US Constitution (Legislative)

Section 8. The Congress shall have power....

To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries;"

BTW, I'd rather have a "smarmy attitude" than not know what the fark I'm talking about and prove myself ignorant. You may not like the statute, but there it is and its application appears correct under the circumstances, don't shoot the messenger.

I practice in this area of law and the vast amount of ignorance, misinformation and outright baloney I encounter daily in regard to copyright and trademark is quite remarkable. If people don't like the result they seem to resort to just making shiat up. I didn't make the freakin law, but it is what it is and most people evidence the fact that they don't have a clue what it is on a routine basis.
 
2007-11-27 05:00:43 PM  
Serious question:

How are people being caught?
 
2007-11-27 05:04:54 PM  
jonny_q

The 8th Amendment's "cruel and unusual" punishment clause is applicable only to criminal cases. It has no applicability to civil litigation. Since the government isn't a party to this case, it cannot be plead as a basis for reducing damages.
 
2007-11-27 05:11:25 PM  
lawboy87: To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries;"

So, this means that Congress can pass any law they want regarding copyright, and judges have no say in whether a copyright law is kosher or not?

Congress can pass a law saying that violating a copyright is punishable by death, and judges have no say at all in that law??

Of course not. The Constitution gives rights directly to the people, and judges still have a say in laws regarding those rights.

Get off your high horse, dude.

Even if you are, by some magical chance, correct and this one clause of the Constitution is magical and is not subject to judicial oversight in any way, shape, or form, I'm not going to shed a tear if some judges do overstep their bounds.

They've been doing it in regard to personal liberties in this country for decades, so excuse the rest of us if we don't get too choked up if the judges do it to organizations that should be prosecuted under RICO.
 
2007-11-27 05:39:34 PM  
SchlingFo: They've been doing it in regard to personal liberties in this country for decades, so excuse the rest of us if we don't get too choked up if the judges do it to organizations that should be prosecuted under RICO.

Hell, I might even throw a party.
 
2007-11-27 05:44:24 PM  
kenwastinger: Serious question:

How are people being caught?


By using BitTorrent instead of a client that doesn't suck.
 
2007-11-27 05:44:51 PM  
lawboy87 said what I came in here to say. They're not asking for $750 per song because they're greedy bastards (which they most definitely are). They're asking for that much because that's the minimum they can ask for.
 
2007-11-27 05:48:05 PM  
lawboy87: jonny_q

The 8th Amendment's "cruel and unusual" punishment clause is applicable only to criminal cases. It has no applicability to civil litigation. Since the government isn't a party to this case, it cannot be plead as a basis for reducing damages.


You may be right, but I think that's still the premise of this case (err, motion or whatever).

I can understand it not applying to most civil litigation, but does it make a difference that we're talking about "punitive" damages? Do you have any thing that says that it doesn't? I'm just curious and you may very well be right.
 
2007-11-27 05:50:37 PM  
Honest Bender: for that much because that's the minimum they can

As I understand it, that's the minimum for punitive damages. That could have alternatively asked for compensatory damages (forgive me if I'm butchering terminology here...) if they could determine the amount of revenue they lost due to the alleged copyright infringment. Since that amount would be roughly 8 peanuts, they went with punitive damanges instead.
 
2007-11-27 05:51:39 PM  
SchlingFo

Dude, you're wrong. Sorry. I respect you as a farker and I see your name on here all the time with some solid posts behind it but you're just wrong here. Judges are not interpreters of the law. They are enforcers of it. They often have leeway in handing out punishment, but they still have to operate inside the law.
 
2007-11-27 05:54:31 PM  
jonny_q

I see what you're saying. You're probably right too. RIAA probably seeks, and is granted, punitive damages which have a minimum amount of $750.

/not a lawyer btw.
//been wrong a few times before.
 
2007-11-27 06:16:25 PM  
I would like to know how long subby looked at the keyboard before he realized the symbol for 'cents' was not on it.
 
2007-11-27 06:43:46 PM  
dillenger69: I just listen to Pandora these days.

Can't get it in Canada anymore because of those cocksuckers
 
2007-11-27 06:46:30 PM  
Honest Bender: SchlingFo

Dude, you're wrong. Sorry. I respect you as a farker and I see your name on here all the time with some solid posts behind it but you're just wrong here. Judges are not interpreters of the law. They are enforcers of it. They often have leeway in handing out punishment, but they still have to operate inside the law.


Wow,thats a big fail. Legislative=makes the laws Executive=enforces the laws Judicial=interprets the laws

//the judge can strike down this law if he feels it violates a preexisting law or the constitution.
///and if file sharing is stealing(as the RIAA claims) the penalty is equal to the value of what was stolen,in this case $1.
 
2007-11-27 06:54:48 PM  
Mars232

Legislative = congress/house
executive = president
judicial = supreme court

I wasn't aware the judge in this case was on the supreme court... oh wait, he wasn't? Then he has no room to interpret the law. His job is to preside over the case and hand out punishment as it is established in law.
 
2007-11-27 06:55:17 PM  
Pocket Ninja:
I started listening to Pandora a few months ago. That's an amazing service, and I'll tell you what else--I've bought about two dozen new CDs, and downloaded (legally) countless other individual songs, based purely on what I've heard there. If I were a record company executive, I'd be celebrating the existence of sites like Pandora.


I do the same thing. I love Pandora and I too have bought countless CD's mostly off amazon.com. It's just a great service.
 
2007-11-27 06:57:21 PM  
Honest Bender: SchlingFo

Dude, you're wrong. Sorry. I respect you as a farker and I see your name on here all the time with some solid posts behind it but you're just wrong here. Judges are not interpreters of the law. They are enforcers of it. They often have leeway in handing out punishment, but they still have to operate inside the law.



The judicial branch doesn't enforce laws. The Executive branch does. The judicial branch interprets laws and/or determines constitutionality. The legislative branch creates the laws. That's the three roles of each and the checks and balances therein. The final check is the jury which is the highest authority created by the Constitution.
 
2007-11-27 07:02:12 PM  
Honest Bender: executive = president

Honest Bender: Legislative = congress/house
executive = president
judicial = supreme court


All you did was list the head of each branch, not all of the members. The Supreme Court is the only court that can change something in the Constitution of the US, but is in no way the only member of the judicial branch.
 
2007-11-27 07:06:47 PM  
Honest Bender: Mars232

Legislative = congress/house
executive = president
judicial = supreme court

I wasn't aware the judge in this case was on the supreme court... oh wait, he wasn't? Then he has no room to interpret the law. His job is to preside over the case and hand out punishment as it is established in law.


Any judge can strike down any law if they feel it violates a preexisting law or a state constitution or the US constitution.That ruling can be over turned by higher court and that courts ruling can be again overturned by the next higher court and so on until it reaches the Supreme court which has final say .

//separation of powers
///you can has fail in it
 
2007-11-27 07:07:58 PM  
hockeyfarker: dillenger69: I just listen to Pandora these days.

Can't get it in Canada anymore because of those cocksuckers


Try shoutcast.com
 
2007-11-27 07:19:30 PM  
Couldn't they argue along the lines: we have a study suggesting we bring up for prosecution less than 1 in a 1000 copryright infringers, so if the fine was only a few dollars per track, that would mean copyright infringement was on average far cheaper than buying them, so the fine has to be at a level that is realistically discouraging people from breaking the law.

If a counterargument that this result suggests a larger fraction of infringers should be prosecuted and each fined at a lower level (to equally rebalance the issue to make copyright infringement less financially attractive) then that would overwhelm the legal system unless some streamlined process was put in place - say making it closer to speeding tickets that mostly are cheaper not to contest even for not guilty people and would essentially leave the RIAA a blank check to just randomly accuse anyone they feel like for a few hundred bucks at a time.
 
2007-11-27 07:42:50 PM  
Ryan2065: lawboy87: If it amounts to a copyright infringement, which I'm fairly certain it does, the Copyright Act allows for statutory damages (in lieu of actual damages)of a minimum of $750 up to $30,000 per infringed work and up to $150,000 if proven to constitute "willful" infringement. So, it would seem to fall within those guidelines.

The law needs to be changed to keep up with the times.


Actually it needs to be interpreted according to the copyrighted material. For something like software, where the cost per unit is something on the order of 50 to 100$ or more, yes, I understand an absolute minimum of 200$ and max of 150,000$ for the infringement. I would even understand a 750$ punishment for 30 copyrighted songs, but to say that there is reasoning for 750$ in damages PER SONG is absolutely ludicrous, and it's the judge's duty to ensure that groups like the RIAA don't pervert the law.
 
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