It’s not over yet, Jammie Thomas: RIAA appeals damage reduction

1 06 2012

The Recording Industry Association of America has appealed a judge’s decision to slash the damages award levied against Jammie Thomas-Rasset for copyright infringement from $1.5 million to $54,000 one month ago. The reduction in the amount of the award spurred the RIAA to question whether certain terms in the Copyright Act were misinterpreted and need further examination—specifically, the word “distribution.”

coverage on reduction

Thomas-Rasset and the RIAA have been fighting the same copyright battle since 2007 over 24 songs she shared over the KaZaA P2P network. At first Thomas-Rasset was ordered by a jury to pay $1.92 million, or $222,000 per song. A second trial ended up with a $1.5 million verdict, which federal judge Michael Davis then slashed to $54,000 total one month ago, saying the higher amount was unconstitutional.

Now the RIAA is appealing the case in the US Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit in St. Louis, saying that the court’s failure to classify Thomas-Rasset’s actions as a “distribution” under 106(3) of the Copyright Act wouldn’t deter her (and others, presumably) from repeating her actions and violating the Copyright Act again. The RIAA is hoping to vacate the jury’s verdict based on the interpretation of “distribution,” which would result in a third trial.


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