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Old 10-05-2007, 09:30 AM   #31
Liviu_5
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Wow - the average price of a house is only $220,000 in the US? I wish you could buy a house for that here .

Obviously the message that the RIAA want to go out from this is "ignore our warning letter at your peril". People are probably now going to think that paying $2000 (or whatever) is an easy get-off after reading about this court case.
Depends where you live, do not forget the US has wide spaces out there.. I wish I could pay that for a house here too

Regarding the RIAA case, I think that since their statistics affirm that the number of file sharing households increased from 6.3 million to 7.1 million in the period covered (03-05 I think), this case is just a drop in a bucket and the chances of happening to anyone are less than having a car accident...

This being said, I am still amazed at how many people share files with strangers not considering the possible consequences (viruses, trojans, leaving aside the legal stuff)
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Old 10-05-2007, 11:57 AM   #32
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Heh, 2100 square feet here runs you about $180k
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Old 10-05-2007, 12:43 PM   #33
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Heh, 2100 square feet here runs you about $180k
And if you move here, you'd practically have to tack a 0 on the end to get a house that size.
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Old 10-05-2007, 12:52 PM   #34
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I lived in San Jose/Sunnyvale/Santa Clara for almost 2 years in the middle '90's -- I think your estimate is a bit low, Alisa!
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Old 10-05-2007, 02:28 PM   #35
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From C|Net:
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Copyright law is harsh. Once the jury decided that Thomas was behind the IP address in question, there was almost certainly going to be a stiff fine--of at least $18,000. In this case, the jury was given these instructions:

"JURY INSTRUCTION NO. 22: In this case, each plaintiff has elected to recover "statutory damages" instead of its actual damages and profits. Under the Copyright Act, each plaintiff is entitled to a sum of not less than $750 or more than $30,000 per act of infringement (that is, per sound recording downloaded or distributed without license), as you consider just. If, however, you find that the defendant's conduct was willful, then each plaintiff is entitled to a sum of up to $150,000 per act of infringement (that is, per sound recording downloaded or distributed without license), as you consider just.

"In determining the just amount of statutory damages for an infringing defendant, you may consider the willfulness of the defendant's conduct, the defendant's innocence, the defendant's continuation of infringement after notice or knowledge of the copyright or in reckless disregard of the copyright, effect of the defendant's prior or concurrent copyright infringement activity, and whether profit or gain was established."

In this case, the jurors chose $9,250 in damages for each of the 24 songs, or $222,000. They could have gone as low as $18,000 in total or as high as $720,000, and seemed to want to pick something closer to the middle.
So now we know where the dollar figure comes from.

Last edited by Steven Lyle Jordan; 10-05-2007 at 02:34 PM.
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Old 10-05-2007, 03:41 PM   #36
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But if that will bankrupt and ruin someone's life, why do it? All it's going to end up doing is make her a burden to society. I'm sorry, but that fine is just too much for what was done. Also, I feel the RIAA should be taken to court for price gouging. I used to be able to get CDs to $9.99 and then suddenly $12.99 was the SALE price. Let the RIAA give back all the money they STOLE from customers.
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Old 10-05-2007, 06:40 PM   #37
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Heh, 2100 square feet here runs you about $180k
That's at least three apartments, here, so ... about $2 - $3 million or so, depending.
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Old 10-05-2007, 08:46 PM   #38
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But if that will bankrupt and ruin someone's life, why do it? All it's going to end up doing is make her a burden to society. I'm sorry, but that fine is just too much for what was done. Also, I feel the RIAA should be taken to court for price gouging. I used to be able to get CDs to $9.99 and then suddenly $12.99 was the SALE price. Let the RIAA give back all the money they STOLE from customers.
They can do it because they paid the lobbyist to get the laws passed that make their stealing legal while her stealing is illegal.
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Old 10-06-2007, 01:07 AM   #39
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They can do it because they paid the lobbyist to get the laws passed that make their stealing legal while her stealing is illegal.
yeah, I know. They break laws and get away with it. They accuse people and get them in big trouble without due process or proof. They have not always been correct on who they say is doing what. So they are the ones who need to spend some quality jail time (IMHO).
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Old 10-06-2007, 07:46 AM   #40
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If you think it's that bad, you can always stop buying music.
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Old 10-06-2007, 09:17 AM   #41
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$20,000 could be enough to ruin someone. Who's to say what is appropriate?
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The judge, presumably? Is it the judge who sets the amount of damages? That's the way it works in our courts.
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This is a civil case, right? If so then the issue at hand ought to be did she cause harm and how much.
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But as NatCh pointed out, in a civil case they're going to have to prove damages, and that's going to be tough. I don't think they are going to have an easy time proving beyond probable doubt that someone out there who would have paid them for a copy of the music didn't do so because of her actions.
The whole point of a civil case is to repair the harm caused. Sometimes the harm can be repaired directly, but usually it's by equivalent ($). So the amount of damages is whatever it takes to put the plaintiff in his original state before the harm was caused. Of course there's a lot of discretion on the part of the judge as to the actual amount, and proof of the harm is sometimes very iffy. Nevertheless, there's a principle according to which a judge must render a decision, even if the proof doesn't allow him to know exactly how much the damages should be. That doesn't mean he has to award damages when there is insufficient proof, it just means that when the proof is sufficient, but where he is unable to determine the exact appropriate amount needed to repair the harm by equivalent, he is forced to decide almost arbitrarily.

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What's the standard for a Civil case? I can't remember....
Criminal is "Beyond a reasonable doubt" but I'm thinking that civil is something about a "preponderance of evidence" ... maybe that varies from state to state ....
The standard in civil proof is the balance of probabilities, or the preponderance of evidence (or plenty of other terms) which means that a fact's existence must be determined to be more probable than its nonexistence. It's like voting at a referendum: 50%+1 vote. It doesn't vary from state to state or from country to country.

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Do they have any say in the matter now that she's been found guilty? In this country, once a court has set a fine, it's the court system which enforces payment, not the original plaintiff.
In a civil case, it's not the court's responsibility to enforce a judgement; it's the plantiff's. A plaintiff must hire an officer who executes the judgement on the defendant's property.
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Old 10-06-2007, 09:57 AM   #42
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The whole point of a civil case is to repair the harm caused.
That wasn't the point of this case at all. The point was to make an example of someone, with a serious monetary fine that had nothing to do with any actual harm caused ("statutory damages"). They clearly stated that they were finding her guilty of making the files available, and not on whether or not a single file was downloaded as a result of her actions.

Last edited by Steven Lyle Jordan; 10-06-2007 at 10:00 AM.
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Old 10-06-2007, 11:18 AM   #43
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That wasn't the point of this case at all. The point was to make an example of someone, with a serious monetary fine that had nothing to do with any actual harm caused ("statutory damages"). They clearly stated that they were finding her guilty of making the files available, and not on whether or not a single file was downloaded as a result of her actions.
That's a questionable motive on the part of the plaintiff, but the fact remains that the only thing the courts are interested in is repairing the harm caused. But there are some weird exemplary (penal) damage laws in the US which mix repression into the civil process, so it could be possible that most of the damages asked for in this case were exemplary damages. I also find questionable using the term "guilty" in a civil suit.
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Old 10-10-2007, 01:54 PM   #44
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I think RIAA is like the rest of the industry in that they have grossly overreacted to a problem that is not going to go away. The part I consider funny is that most of the music out is not worth buying. Same with the video's. Few are keepers.

But I fight back. No buying new CD's, no downloads. I buy only used CD's for half the cost of downloads. I get a hardcopy with all the artwork and RIAA gets nothing.

Dan <><
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Old 10-11-2007, 02:32 AM   #45
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The part I consider funny is that most of the music out is not worth buying.
Isn't that rather a subjective judgement? I'm an opera fan, but I'm well aware that many people can't stand it and certainly wouldn't consider it "worth buying". I can't stand "rap" music, but many people consider that worth buying. We all have different tastes, and I'm sure that most music that's commercially published is bought by somebody.
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