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Entries in RIAA (2)


A new type of piracy is scaring Hollywood and the White House is ready to help

As high speed internet continues to become more widespread, Hollywood continues to grow more fearful of internet piracy. Unlike the RIAA (music industry), Hollywood hasn't yet started suing individual downloaders (though some independent studios have), but they have targeted websites and services that showcase illegally obtained videos. Now, according to the THR, Hollywood is targeting cyberlockering--an old foe with a new face.

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Jammie Thomas-Rasset, a 1.92 million dollar martyr against the RIAA

So the news came down that Jammie Thomas-Rasset was found guilty of sharing 24 songs on KaZaA. Her punishment: $80,000 per song, totaling $1.92 million in damages owed to the Recording Industry Association of America. That sum is about 8.5 times higher than an earlier Minnesota jury ruling, which had pinned the price Jammie owed per song at $9,250, totaling $222,000. Under current copyright law, the jury could have charged as little as $750 per song or as much as $150,000. 

What I think she should owe: $23.76. That’s how much it costs to buy 24 songs on the internet at the going rate of $.99 a song.

Assuming Jammie did “share” 24 songs on KaZaA back in 2004, it is impossible that she shared enough to cause $1.92 million in “lost sales.” According to a post on Moby, it would take nearly two million downloads of the 24 songs to reach $1.92 million, if we go by the $.99 average price of a song on iTunes. Her high-speed cable connection likely had an upload speed of about 256kps. At that speed, it would take more than nine years of 24/7 constant sharing to reach two million downloads. KaZaA had only been around for three years when this lawsuit was filed.

Is Jammie, a working-class single-mother of four, the public enemy that the RIAA wants? Probably not, but they’re too stubborn to back down. Unfortunately for them, she is too.

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