Saturday, January 23, 2010

Judge Lowers Jammie Thomas' Damages to $54,000

"Judge Michael Davis has slashed the amount Jammie Thomas-Rassett is said to owe Big Music from almost $2,000,000 to $54,000. 'The need for deterrence cannot justify a $2 million verdict for stealing and illegally distributing 24 songs for the sole purpose of obtaining free music. Moreover, although Plaintiffs were not required to prove their actual damages, statutory damages must still bear some relation to actual damages.' The full decision (PDF) is also available."
"Judge Davis also indicated that he found even the reduced amount to be "harsh" and that, were he -- rather than a jury -- deciding the appropriate measure of damages, the award would have been even lower than $54,000. But he felt that since the jury had determined the damages, it was his province to determine only the maximum amount a jury could reasonably award."

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