In the second trial against Jammie Thomas-Rasset, mother of four children, the jury awarded the recording companies $1.92 million, $80,000 per uploaded song for 24 songs.
Naturally the representative of the recording industry from the RIAA was happy about the hight of the penalty and took this as a sign that the court took the violation of copyrights as serious as the recording industry.
If they would have punished her for all 1,700 songs found on her harddrive the penalty would have been $136,000,000 😉
I had to think a little bit about this verdict and started to calculate my expenses into music and film during the last 25 years. I could only make an estimation but I had around 150 music discs before I started to collect my about 1,200 CDs and around 200 VHS films and several hundered DVDs. Lets say a total value of around $28,000 in 25 years, not counting about 30 to 40 films I watch in a cinema every year or at least over 100 concerts I have seen.
I always thought that a penalty has to be spoken according to the commensurability of the delict but in this case I cannot find any proportions which makes me believe that behind the curtains there might be more agreement between the plaintiffs, the jury and the judge than obvious.
I think that this verdict is a slap into the face of everybody who supported the recording industry during the last 20-30 years by legally buying records so that they could become that powerful.
My reaction to this will be that I have to think about my collecting habits.