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Music Industry Asks Court to Bar File-Sharer

6 Jul, 2009 By: Chris Tribbey

Attorneys for the music recording industry are asking the judge in Jammie Thomas-Rasset’s file-sharing case to prohibit the 32-year-old woman from downloading or sharing any more music.


Meanwhile, attorneys for Thomas-Rasset are demanding a new trial.


Thomas-Rasset was found guilty June 18 of violating the copyrights for 24 songs, and a federal jury leveled a fine of $80,000 per song, for a total of more than $1.9 million. It was the first such verdict the music industry had won against an individual accused of violating copyrights. In court documents filed July 6, lawyers for Capitol Records, Sony BMG and other labels asked the judge in her case to go further, and permanently bar Thomas-Rasset from going near file-sharing services. The documents also seek to destroy all illegally downloaded music that Thomas-Rasset currently owns, which could be more than 1,700 files.


“In this case, the entry of an injunction is necessary to preserve the integrity of the copyright laws which seek to encourage individual efforts and creativity by granting valuable enforceable rights,” the documents read.


Lawyers for Thomas-Rasset filed their own paperwork July 6, requesting a new trial and a reduction in the damages found against her.


“The verdict in this case was shocking. For 24 songs, available for $1.29 on

iTunes, the jury assessed statutory damages of $80,000 per song,” the documents read. “Such a judgment is grossly excessive and, therefore, subject to remittitur as a matter of federal common law.


“Moreover, such a judgment is inconsistent with the Due Process Clause of the United States Constitution. To the extent that such a judgment is permitted by the Copyright Act on evidence such as was presented in this Court, the statutory-damages provision of the Act offends the Constitution and is not law.”

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