Saturday, October 06, 2007

To the RIAA, I Say Uncle

RIAA wins first-ever file-sharing case to go to trial, awarded $222,000
Regardless of the incredibly asinine and consumer-hostile comments made by Sony BMG's head of litigation the other day, the jury found Jammie Thomas, a single mother from Minnesota, liable for willful copyright infringement and awarded the RIAA plaintiffs $222,000 -- that's $9,250 for each of the 24 songs she was alleged to have made available on Kazaa, for those of you keeping track at home, and probably something like, oh, say, $222,000 more than she should have had to pay, since the RIAA plaintiffs weren't required to show that Thomas had a file-sharing program installed on her machine or that she was even the person using the Kazaa account in question.

I'm sorry that Jammie Thomas has to be made an example of but this case had to happen. The fines are excessive. There is no way that the fine amount can be justified. On the other hand, the case has educated the masses. I learned more about copyright law and what is considered a violation than I knew before. Before this case, I did not truly understand the RIAA's point of view. I just didn't get it.

File sharing was quaint back in the Napster and Suprnova days but now, I must admit, there's no excuse for it. We have everything we want. We have music on demand for dirt cheap; iTunes, eMusic, AmazonMP3. We have portable music players to carry these songs on. We have pretty much every TV show and movie on demand for dirt cheap; iTunes, Netflix, Amazon Unbox. These services are more convenient than the alternative which is why I rely on them now.

No one can justify illegal file sharing from this point on. I think there should be a truce between the suits and the consumers. Everyone should get a shiny, red candy- like reset button from this date forward.

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