The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has struck again, winning over a US court which has denied an appeal from a woman currently losing a legal battle with the music industry body, who are seeking $222,000 for a measly 24 illegal downloads.
This seems to be the final play in a lawsuit that has been ongoing since 2007, writes RT. 35-year-old Jammie Thomas-Rasset is probably seriously regretting accessing the music through a downloading program we all used to use, Kazaa. Over the years, the fine has fluctuated rapidly, with Thomas-Rasset initially being sued $1.92 million (almost $90,000 per song) when a judge in 2007 found her liable to pay the copyright owners, before it was reduced to $54,000 in 2009.
It’s been said that the Association approached the defendant prior to the court case requesting a settlement of $5,000 and another of $25,000. Both were refused by Thomas-Rasset, who has stuck to her guns this whole time. She has also made a strong point that there’s no way they’ll be able to get the money.
“There’s no way they can collect,” she said. “Right now I get energy assistance because I have four kids. It’s just one income. My husband isn’t working. It’s not possible for them to collect even if they wanted to. I have no assets. As I’ve said from the beginning, I do not have now, nor do I anticipate in the future, having $220,000 to pay this… If they do try and collect, I will file for bankruptcy as I have no other option.”
Most of society saw this as the music industry’s glaring inability to adapt to change, but the courts have seen otherwise, and it seems that The White House pulled some sway as well. A brief from The Supreme Court reads: “An award of statutory damages under the Copyright Act does not simply redress a private injury, but also serves to vindicate an important public interest…That public interest cannot be realized if the inherent difficulty of proving actual damages leaves the copyright holder without an effective remedy for infringement or precludes an effective means of deterring further copyright violations.”
Downloading music is starting to get seriously red hot.