P2P Filesharing Retrial Highlights Out of Tune Damage Awards

BY CCIA Staff
June 15, 2009

The retrial for Jammie Thomas-Rassat begins today in Minnesota. In October 2007, she was found guilty of illegally downloading and sharing music. Thomas-Rassat was ordered to pay $222,000 to six record companies for making 24 songs available for file sharing. Last September, the judge ordered a new trial because he said his jury instructions were unclear about whether making the music available for download was infringement.

The following statement in response can be attributed to Computer & Communications Industry Association President & CEO Ed Black:

“The courts and jury have a second chance to get it right in this file sharing case. It is a positive step that the court has rejected its earlier rulings that misinterpreted the Copyright Act. But the bigger issue that also warrants a second look is the ridiculously high damage awards that are completely out of tune with the damage here.

“We support artists getting a fair profit for their creativity, but the up to $150,000 in damages per infringement allowed by law and this zero tolerance enforcement isn’t worth the disharmony it strikes with fans and with those who could help share and market their music to draw more concert-goers. We worry about the silencing effect damage awards like this could have on people sharing information on the Internet.”

Related Articles

Unvetted Copyright Measures In Spending Bill Concern CCIA

Dec 22, 2020

Washington — Congress has wrapped several controversial copyright measures into a must-pass end of the year spending bill.  The intellectual property part of the legislation includes the CASE Act, the Trademark Modernization Act, and the Protecting Lawful Streaming Act. While the Computer & Communications Industry Association doesn’t oppose the language of the streaming proposal, it…

CCIA Response To Proposed Digital Copyright Act

Dec 22, 2020

Washington — Senator Thom Tillis, R-NC, has introduced a discussion draft of a controversial copyright bill that reads like a Christmas wish list for Hollywood and big content companies, and takes cues from contentious copyright reforms in Europe. Among other sweeping changes to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), the bill increases the role of…

Senate Judiciary Considers Controversial Copyright And Section 230 Legislation

Dec 10, 2020

Washington — Controversial legislation combining flawed copyright and Section 230 bills was considered by the Senate Judiciary Committee today before being withdrawn. The Computer & Communications Industry Association has serious concerns with S. 4632 (the Online Content Policy Modernization Act), which is a bill containing S. 1273 (the Copyright Alternative in Small-Claims Enforcement (CASE) Act…