Music Piracy – Back and Forth On Damages In US Courts

riaa logo Jammie Thomas-Rasset may have caught a break, depending on whether the US courts can agree with one another on the amount of damages appropriate to each breach of music copyright. Originally, the consortium of record labels was awarded damages of $80,000 per track involved in their case (the plaintiffs only sought damages for 24 out of an alleged 1,702 tracks – $136,160,000, before you get your calculator out), but this was redacted by a certain Chief Judge Davis to a mere $2,250, reducing the total damage payment from $1.92 million to $54,000.

Despite the fact that this reduction is at odds with a statute that imposes a much higher limit of $150,000, it seems that this isn’t good enough for the defending legal team, and they’ve moved for a new trial. This exposes them to a new award for damages, which in turn would be subject to the same sort of adjustment… This repeating, ‘Wheel Of Fortune’ style allocation is bound to go on for a while, depending on the pressure from the recording industry, who have equal determination to, and presumably deeper pockets than the defendant, but whatever sum the clicker stops on, it will have very far reaching repercussions for the future of the fight against piracy in the States.

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