Rolling Stone: Government Wants to Clobber Copyright Violators

The digital age brings great opportunities for sharing information and even bigger risks of crimes against authors and publishers.

We think it is entirely just and plain common sense that the authorities have made such a giant example of an how costly it will be for a plain person in Minnesota to step over the line and steal artistic creations.

Bravo to the justice department for standing behind this judicial policy.
Justice Dept. Defends $1.92 Million RIAA Fine Against Minnesota Mom

The Department of Justice has defended the $1.92 million decision against Minnesota mom Jammie Thomas-Rasset for illegally downloading 24 songs off of a peer-to-peer network, according to the Daily Online Examiner. As Rock Daily previously reported, Thomas-Rasset asked for a reduction in the fine after she was sentenced to pay the RIAA $80,000 per song when a Minnesota jury found her guilty in her second trial. Thomas-Rasset’s lawyers had been pushing for a third trial, saying the fine of $1.92 million was disproportionate to the amount of damage she had actually done, but the Justice Department agreed with the massive ruling.

“The defendant’s suggestion that the actual harm can be measured to the ‘tune of $1.29 for each of the 24 songs’ … ignores the potential multiplying effect of peer-to-peer file-sharing,” the Justice Department said in legal documents filed last week reinforcing the decision. The papers also mention a 1999 amendment that increased the maximum fine per “infringed work for willful violations” to $150,000, so there is legal precedence for the huge fine against Thomas-Rasset. Lawyers for Thomas-Rasset argued that the $1.92 million fine was unconstitutional, but that too was rejected by the Justice Department...more...

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