A jury of Jammie Thomas-Rasset's peers just levied a $1,920,000 fine against the young mother of 4 for sharing 24 songs on Kazaa.
The defendant, and others, are basically saying... "Good luck collecting it... you can't get blood from a turnip."
They (the RIAA) don't have to collect it. That wasn't the point. They made an example by publicly "executing" her.
The RIAA just showed every "tweenie," teen, pirate and casual illegal downloader in the country that they will subpoena every IP address, data record, ISP account and bank statement available to build a federal case against any and all individuals, no matter how "small" and "off-the-radar" they are.
This was the legal equivalent of a town-square public-hanging.
Let's break this down point for point...
A. This wasn't about money for the RIAA. It wasn't about settlements, dollars, statutory damages pursuant 17 USC 504 or recovering anything for the industry. It was about sending a cold, clear message to everyone who thinks that "Pirate Bay Rules!" and that they can download anything they want, because they'll "never get caught."
B. It was the defense's tactics that caused the RIAA to make this issue so public. My group hears the "it really wasn't me at my computer" defense, everyday. That doesn't fly, and the RIAA found a very, very public forum to prove this to the world.
C. The "What is Kazaa? What is Internet? What is keyboard? I love lamp." defense. Garbage.
D. "There will be another trial... She'll keep fighting... bla bla bla..." Why? She's lost twice. She pirated music. The first time, a jury of her peers said she owed $220,000. This time a jury of her peers said that she owed $1.9 Million. The next trial, they'll probably make her wear a "scarlet circle-C."
I don't understand what anti-RIAA proponents are waiting for... God? The Copyright-Fairy? ...To part the clouds and say "It's OK, my children, to steal all the music, movies and software you want... go forth... steal everything... live long and prosper...Go Pirate Bay!...Go Packers!..." Really? I mean... Really?
It's... not... going... to... happen.
Pirate Bay guys - jailed
Kazaa Girl - lost two trials and is now owned by RIAA
ISP's - strong-armed into bending to the RIAA's will
More fun stuff...
This judgment will follow her forever. Recent court rulings (known as "case law") have clearly established that willful copyright infringement is nondischargeable in bankruptcy. Which means, anytime she gets a paycheck, alimony payment or birthday-card from grandma... the RIAA will be there to garnish it. A $1,920,000 judgment will appear on her credit for the rest of her life. Which means... no car loan... no house loan... and probably no job above that of "burger flipper."
Let me be perfectly clear... the RIAA literally, and legally owns Ms. Thomas-Rasset.
As for the statement, "You can't squeeze blood from a turnip." True. But you can publicly crush it.
For the record... I am not pro-RIAA, pro-BSA, pro-SIIA, pro-Hollywood nor pro-Big-Software. I believe in (and love) the law. Specifically, copyright law. It's my job. It's my life.
I work, everyday, to help people and companies avoid problems, just like the one Ms. Thomas-Rasset is now facing. The first step is education on what copyright is, and how it works.
Copyright is extremely complex, and very complicated.
Rule 1: If you wait until someone is "knocking on your door" to start worrying about copyright, music files, software licenses, etc... it is too late.
(This comment contains subjective opinion, and is an editorial)