DoJ Says $9,250 Per Song Is Fine

Aron Schatz
December 5, 2007

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The DoJ has weighted in on the case of a single mother appealing the RIAA win of her copyright infringement. They say that the $9,250 does not violate Due Process (even though it really does). What are these jurors smoking?


The DoJ also says that Thomas' motion ignores the fact that statutory damages are given in place of actual damages. "Statutory damages compensate those wronged in areas in which actual damages are hard to quantify in addition to providing deterrence to those inclined to commit a public wrong," argues the DoJ. It's also impossible for the true damages to be calculated, according to the brief, because it's unknown how many other users accessed the files in the KaZaA share in question and committed further acts of copyright infringement. That's significant, because it shows that the DoJ is siding with the RIAA when it comes to the issue of whether making a file available for download on a P2P network constitutes distribution. It was a contentious issue during the Thomas trial, with the jury instructions originally stating that making songs available is not the same as distribution. The RIAA objected to that instruction, and in its final form, all the jury had to do was find that Thomas made the files available.


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