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Jammie Thomas Denied Supreme Court Appeal

Unknown Lamer posted about a year and a half ago | from the freedom-for-none dept.

Music 347

sarysa writes "The Supreme Court has refused to hear the latest appeal of the 7 year old Jammie Thomas case, regarding a single mother who was fined $222,000 in her most recent appeal for illegally sharing 24 songs. Those of us hoping for an Eighth Amendment battle over this issue will not be seeing it anytime soon. In spite of the harsh penalties, the journalist suggests that: 'Still, the RIAA is sensitive about how it looks if they impoverish a woman of modest means. Look for them to ask her for far less than the $222,000.'"

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$24 (5, Funny)

schlachter (862210) | about a year and a half ago | (#43208915)

How about they ask her for $24.
Seems pretty reasonable.
Would still deter people from sharing thousands of songs.

Re:$24 (4, Insightful)

sqrt(2) (786011) | about a year and a half ago | (#43209037)

Or we can, as a society, reject the notion that non-commercial file sharing should be a crime at all and take back our collective cultural birthright from the parasitic rent-seeking content cartels and their toadies in Congress.

Re:$24 (3, Interesting)

fyngyrz (762201) | about a year and a half ago | (#43209095)

ok, how?

Re:$24 (3, Insightful)

thunderclap (972782) | about a year and a half ago | (#43209143)

a 9.0 magnitude earthquake should solve the problem quickly.
OK that was wrong, but seriously the only solution is using the internet against them like we are doing. There is no other way that doesn't shed blood.

Re:$24 (1)

fyngyrz (762201) | about a year and a half ago | (#43209331)

Well, not to put too fine a point on it, but it doesn't seem to be working.

Re:$24 (4, Interesting)

mrclisdue (1321513) | about a year and a half ago | (#43209657)

Well, not to put too fine a point on it, but it doesn't seem to be working.

Isn't it?

Whilst the "content-cartels" occasionally ruin the odd-person's life, hundreds of millions, if not a billion, people continue to share files, every second of every day. Young whippersnappers under 30 don't even *get* what the fuss is about (or why we even *share* (or own) music files when there's spotify, grooveshark, pandora...)

And I do think it's tragic, and despicable, that even one person is ruined by the various aa's and their/our bought-and-paid-for politicians/legislatures.

Ultimately, the few sporadic *gains* by the bad guys pale in comparison to the sheer number of those who don't feel threatened. Or who rightly believe it's an amoral issue unworthy of their attention.

It's not unlike weed use. Are the anti-weed folks winning? Sooner or later (measured in decades...) common sense does indeed prevail.

A lot of us may not live long enough to experience it, though.

cheers,

Re:$24 (2)

AK Marc (707885) | about a year and a half ago | (#43209781)

Young whippersnappers under 30 don't even *get* what the fuss is about (or why we even *share* (or own) music files when there's spotify, grooveshark, pandora...)

My wife is under 30 and she doesn't "get" streaming. She buys iTunes and Amazon music. I am older and stream free (and legal). She drops back to claims of playlists and such, but she doesn't have that level of memory of the music, if a few extras were slipped in, she wouldn't notice. Though she doesn't like the ones where she has to create her own playlists manually. But a 6-disc changer in the car, with 6 discs in it, and she still prefers the radio (an older free streaming service). But put it on the Internet, and she doesn't get it.

Re:$24 (5, Insightful)

fyngyrz (762201) | about a year and a half ago | (#43209921)

Isn't it?

No.

hundreds of millions, if not a billion, people continue to share files, every second of every day

Ongoing activity is not evidence of a "win." Look at the drug war for your benchmark. About a million and a half people are in jail over that in the US alone, the war is wrong in every way that matters, yet it continues, people continue to suffer, the jails overflow.... not a win. In the case of file sharing, the laws and the tech are getting more draconian, not less, and the harm is beginning to spread. Again look at the drug war and see the risk you're facing: Just as in the 60s we did drugs with a "so what" mentality, and then many of us (including me) got swept up and jailed, surprise, the system has teeth and they count. You think facing down the corporate interests with a "so what" mentality will win the day, I'm really afraid you're not only wrong, but wrong in a way that's going to get a lot of people hurt.

Young whippersnappers under 30 don't even *get* what the fuss is about (or why we even *share* (or own) music files when there's spotify, grooveshark, pandora...)

Yes, but again, they don't know very much about it yet, nor do they understand the potential consequences. There's a great deal of "Internet Superman" behavior -- loudmouthery and etc. -- but when it comes time to face the judge, that stuff tends to evaporate like the worthless bluster it is.

Ultimately, the few sporadic *gains* by the bad guys pale in comparison to the sheer number of those who don't feel threatened. Or who rightly believe it's an amoral issue unworthy of their attention.

Again, perfect parallel to drugs in the 60's. While we frolicked in the parks and ran naked through the woods, they were just beginning to wrap their heads around strategies that would become more and more vicious, and they've not stopped to this day. You're at the very beginning of your fight with the copyright holders, and they -- realistically now -- hold all the cards. They own the airwaves. They control the Internet. They know your IP and what you're doing with it. They have congress in their pocket. Congress effectively controls the legal system with very little interference from the judiciary (and even when they do take an interest, they usually side with the corporations and the government.)

The drug war, in the meantime, has turned prison into a for-profit enterprise; it's no longer a negative to the state to incarcerate you (and take all your stuff, ruin your life, etc.) The more, the merrier: They'll just build more prisons and use you as slave labor. So when they begin to really reap the violators -- and you may be dead certain they will -- the prison system is ready to pack you in there like sardines, no problem.

It's not unlike weed use. Are the anti-weed folks winning? Sooner or later (measured in decades...) common sense does indeed prevail. A lot of us may not live long enough to experience it, though.

Now you're beginning to get it. Weed -- only one drug, and one so harmless it's amazing -- is just barely getting traction at the state level, while the feds -- congress and etc. -- continue to maintain the most draconian stance possible. It's been over half a century, and there's been one hell of a lot of suffering just in order to attempt assert the liberty one should have to ingest what one prefers to ingest. It isn't over, and it won't be over for a while, even assuming that in the end, the old, evil men in congress die and people come to power who actually understand liberty and comprehend punishing actual wrongdoing instead of going against every frightening ghost that lives in some weak-minded mother's head and then holding a grudge in the form of creating a permanent lower class of distinctly lower opportunity and economic potential.

On the one hand, I'm completely on your side -- my fairy tale concept of how creatives should be treated is a lot more like wandering minstrels, welcomed at the hearth, than it is this make-a-star commercial process with all its attendant hangers on -- but I have to tell you, the whole devil-may-care attitude is comprised almost wholly of ignorance and stupidity as opposed to common sense and any chance of success.

I would like to see someone propose some kind of approach that can actually take on the entrenched system and turn it around. I just am at a complete loss as to what that might consist of. The power in Washington is focused to a hard, shiny point that most people have almost no concept of. You begin to learn the truth the moment it shines on you. Been there, been shined, still burning from the experience.

Re:$24 (2)

jxander (2605655) | about a year and a half ago | (#43209227)

Therein, as the bard would tell us, lies the rub

If there was an easy way to enforce our rights, we would have done it by now. Best we've been able to muster is OWS.

If there was a hard, but otherwise legal and achievable way to enforce our rights, we'd be marching down that path. Best we've been able to muster is some noise on various websites

.

Have you ever been pissed off at a loved one (boyfriend, girlfriend, spouse, etc) ... and it was over the most trivial stupid inane thing? They left the cap off the toothpaste, or the didn't match the socks properly when doing laundry... maybe left the seat up, or parked the car a bit crooked... whatever. And it escalated into full scale yelling and arguing? I have the strange suspicion that the same thing will be happening on a much larger scale soon. Maybe it'll be file-sharing issues like this, or smart phone lockdown, DMCA, DRM or some other thing that just really should not matter on a big scale, and let the fireworks commence.

Re:$24 (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about a year and a half ago | (#43209765)

I have the strange suspicion that the same thing will be happening on a much larger scale soon. Maybe it'll be file-sharing issues like this, or smart phone lockdown, DMCA, DRM or some other thing that just really should not matter on a big scale, and let the fireworks commence.

So, you are saying Jammie Thomas should pull a Moahmed Bouazizi? [wikipedia.org]

Re:$24 (4, Interesting)

Fluffeh (1273756) | about a year and a half ago | (#43209103)

cultural birthright from the parasitic rent-seeking content cartels

I can't agree with this. You can't tell me that the latest boy band single that comes out is your birthright. It is a paradoxically impossible question. If you put the punishment for copyright infrigement at a "reasonable" amount - say, 10 times the price of the CD/whatever it comes on, then it costs more to chase the punishment than it does to get it back. If you put the punishment at a level where it potentially becomes financially feasible for the copyright owner to chase it down, then it is an asinine figure for the actual infringement.

The only solution that I see is for the media companies to make their products so accessible that it is simply no longer WORTH bothering to download it illegally, but the problem is that the folks who put torrents or downloads online do such a damn good job that is makes competing with them very difficult.

Re:$24 (2)

thunderclap (972782) | about a year and a half ago | (#43209173)

People are willing to pay for a good product even when offered for free. The problem is the industry has produced any. UK pays for TV so can you name 2 shows you would be willing to pay say $5 a month for? Its all about control. they are losing it and the masses have it.

Re:$24 (1)

mlw4428 (1029576) | about a year and a half ago | (#43209263)

The problem is the industry has produced any.

That's called an opinion. There are, undoubtedly, many people who like the music/movies/etc produced by major labels today. They pay for it. You don't inherently have a right to something I produce or create just as I don't have the right to your house, car, wife, or daughter. I do believe in ownership and I believe that a company can charge whatever the hell it wants for its product. I don't believe in massive fines for people who truly can't afford it. Community service, minimal fines, house arrest, and probation are ways to deal with this. Make someone's life inconvenient and a pain in the ass for a while and they're not likely to do it again. But you don't have the right to just take what I spent my time, money, talent, and passion.

Re:$24 (4, Insightful)

Fluffeh (1273756) | about a year and a half ago | (#43209285)

can you name 2 shows you would be willing to pay say $5 a month for

That's my point, not a month, but either per episode or per season - and yes.

Off the top of my head: Archer, Dexter, Walking Dead, Falling Skies, Revolution, Game of Thrones, Castle, American Horror Story, Big Bang Theory.

If I could download a decent quality (doesn't have to be super duper 1080p or anything like that) at the time it comes out and without a plethora of ads in it for $1 per episode, or get access to the whole season for say $15 or $20, I would gladly do so. Makes it easy for me to watch what I want to, and at the same time I can be smug in knowing that my money is supporting the shows that I like. It is a total WIN-WIN scenario.

Its all about control. they are losing it and the masses have it.

Absolutely. The problem is that the only way that they can wrest control back from the masses is to *at least* provide the same thing that they do. Make it even better, and the masses will give them control back.

Re:$24 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43209633)

That's my point, not a month, but either per episode or per season - and yes.

Off the top of my head: Archer, Dexter, Walking Dead, Falling Skies, Revolution, Game of Thrones, Castle, American Horror Story, Big Bang Theory.

If I could download a decent quality (doesn't have to be super duper 1080p or anything like that) at the time it comes out and without a plethora of ads in it for $1 per episode, or get access to the whole season for say $15 or $20, I would gladly do so. Makes it easy for me to watch what I want to, and at the same time I can be smug in knowing that my money is supporting the shows that I like. It is a total WIN-WIN scenario.

Amazon Instant has most of those shows the day after air without ads for a couple of bucks per episode.

Re:$24 (1)

Pseudonym (62607) | about a year and a half ago | (#43209443)

UK pays for TV so can you name 2 shows you would be willing to pay say $5 a month for?

I can name five that I'd pay $10-12 a month to a single biller for.

However, those shows are on different services, which only allow overpriced large bundles of crap I don't want. Oh, and some of those services aren't available in my country. Pirates do provide the service that I would happily pay for, but I don't patronise them.

Re:$24 (3, Interesting)

ancientt (569920) | about a year and a half ago | (#43209789)

I quit buying music albums when they were still on cassettes. The return simply wasn't worth the cost for me. I appreciate music in my life but not enough to spend much money, particularly when I was content with radio.

Then Pandora caught my attention. I enjoyed it enough that I actually paid (and have continued paying) for the upgrade. It's a small cost for getting to hear what I want and being able to get a wide variety. I don't really have to pay for those two things, but I get a slightly higher quality and no ads for the price of the upgrade, plus I'm supporting a company I want to succeed.

Recently I've begun buying albums and tracks again. I only do it on systems where I get a downloaded copy of the music that I can move to whatever device I desire. I don't have a tremendous collection by any means, but I appreciate being able to hear what I want, when I want to, and not pay for full albums when I only like one or two songs.

I am aware that I could download the same songs and albums without paying for them but generally speaking my Pandora subscription, the convenience and the quality of the download I'm able to get at the price I pay makes it worth more than the effort of attempting to do it illegally.

Even if there were no risk whatsoever, my history of purchases shows that I still pay for quality and convenience, particularly where I value the success of the company I'm dealing with.

I know that one user doesn't make the case, but thunderclap is right: Do it well and at a fair price and people like me are willing to pay even if they could get it for free.

Re:$24 (1)

TheCarp (96830) | about a year and a half ago | (#43209799)

Um no, you have it entirely wrong.

People are willing to pay for a product if its offered at a price that makes them paying for the media that they consume within their budget. The problem is, the industry hasn't done that for everyone yet.

While I may share your opinion that most of their stuff is shit, the fact remains that the people who do the most non-approved downloading are, in fact, the people who couldn't afford to have so much music or watch so many movies otherwise.

So whether people will pay for the product or not is not the question, people who have money will. I don't pirate anything. However, if I go downstairs and decide to spend the next 3 days watching Pay per View movies on cable, and order the latest boyband album, it doesn't mean my wife is out on the street doing tricks so we can eat. Simply the people with the most time to sit around and do nothing are the people with the least money (I know a family where both parents became disabled and can barely get around much less do their old labor intensive jobs, they have almost no money and almost infinite time to watch movies.... guess who it is that downloads the most of all the people I know?)

In fact, just about everyone I know, including myself, who used to download movies, music, pirate video games... every single one of us did it at a time when they were broke, and stopped doing it when they got jobs and could afford the media that they consumed.... the exceptions being... the ones who don't have any money.

Frankly, when it comes down to it... people just don't care about control or any of that. Oh sure, some of us do... but even I grabbed a video license off amazon when I wanted to spend a weekend showing my cousin firefly... even if I do find the idea of "buying" something and not controling the physical media. I mean hell, ideologically I find myself allied with Stallman on most issues around the owner of computer should have a right to the code that runs on it and the right to edit it. fuck yah! .... I still spend money on games for myself, wife, and gifts to our nephew and others.... without even a glimer of hope of seeing Skyrim come under the GPL anytime soon.

Anyway yah, I get it, most of the content sucks... but lets not delude ourselves as to why its happening or what the effects are. Its, mostly a null effect, as the people who pirate didn't have the money to begin with, and the people who have the money, already bought it because its not worth it to them to take the risk, or worry about getting a virus. So the only real effect is the added exposure that things get by being seen by people who otherwise wouldn't have seen them.... except that in these cases that "otherwise" means.... like decades ago before affordable recording equipment of any kind existed...because people have been making copies for each other ever since.

Re:$24 (1)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | about a year and a half ago | (#43209919)

People are willing to pay for a product if its offered at a price that makes them paying for the media that they consume within their budget. The problem is, the industry hasn't done that for everyone yet.
 
$7 per month for Amazon Prime or Netflix is a pretty good deal. Add to it advertising supported sites like hulu, pandora, crackle etc etc, not to mention 700 free "channels" on things like Roku, then there is spotify etc etc. There is plenty of content available at a VERY low price. Just because you can't get every song and every show at a price you want doesn't make it all right to pirate them.

Re:$24 (3, Insightful)

jedidiah (1196) | about a year and a half ago | (#43209317)

> You can't tell me that the latest boy band single that comes out is your birthright.

Sure I can. That's the real purpose for copyright. The fact that you dishonestly cloud the issue by focusing on an example that's easy to deride does not really alter that fact.

The whole goal of the system is to enable "piracy". It's not intended to create a new form of "property".

Re:$24 (1)

Fluffeh (1273756) | about a year and a half ago | (#43209371)

I think you just made me enter an infinite loop of trying to work out whether you are serious or whether you are being sarcastic.

Thank you Poe's Law. Thank you very much.

Re:$24 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43209859)

Excuse me Fluffeh, but jedidiah wrecked your argument. It would behoove you to read and understand what he wrote.

Re:$24 (5, Insightful)

rubycodez (864176) | about a year and a half ago | (#43209913)

The original purpose of copyright in the USA was to give sole right of reproduction and distribution for a *limited* time, after which the work became the public's (the culture's). that time period was 14 years, with an option to renew for another 14 years if the author was still around and still wished to do so. So 28 years, and then it became the common cultural property. but the system we have today is the opposite of that, to keep things from the people indefinitely. This is done by cabals of power and money grubbing scum who are robbing the people of things valauble to culture.

Re:$24 (4, Interesting)

mattventura (1408229) | about a year and a half ago | (#43209517)

Here's the problem. There ARE supposed to be punishments are are strong enough to deter people from committing the crime, but those are punishments, not reimbursement. If I steal money from someone, I would generally be expected to pay back what I stole and then serve jail time as a punishment. Does the victim benefit from me being in jail? No (apart from the fact that there's one less thief on the streets). If you let media corporations sue for such huge amounts of money that it becomes beneficial to them for people to commit crimes against them, they have no motivation to actually prevent the crime in the first place. You know something's wrong when the victim of the crime comes out significantly better off than they were before.

Re:$24 (1)

girlintraining (1395911) | about a year and a half ago | (#43209521)

I can't agree with this. You can't tell me that the latest boy band single that comes out is your birthright. It is a paradoxically impossible question

No, it isn't a paradox, it's just misunderstood. The OP was clearly going for emotional appeal at the expense of clarity. Birthright may be a strong word, however, consider that most of a society's culture is defined by its art. Our popular media -- television, radio, movies, books, etc., are not just consumables like tomatoes, cars, or mobile phones. They also are part of the foundation of our definition of self, and our relation to the larger society. One could even argue that participation in our culture requires access to these artistic expressions. The President of this country recently joked that his detractors were trying to use a "jedi mind meld trick", and while the juxtaposition of two geek cultural icons caused many to cringe, the real point here is -- without having seen either of those creative works, you'd have no context upon which to understand what the President was saying.

So it may not be a "birthright" per-se, but it does seem to be essential to be able to participate in our society. Without access, you are an outsider. You're not a "real" american, in the same way people who immigrate to this country and screw up speaking idioms or fail to catch "inside" jokes and references wind up being on the wrong side of the glass.

If you put the punishment for copyright infrigement at a "reasonable" amount - say, 10 times the price of the CD/whatever it comes on, then it costs more to chase the punishment than it does to get it back. If you put the punishment at a level where it potentially becomes financially feasible for the copyright owner to chase it down, then it is an asinine figure for the actual infringement.

There is no obligation in our justice system that punishment be "financially feasible". Our justice system is supposed to be fair, impartial, and reasonable. This financial feasibility test exists nowhere but in the minds of exploitative industry executives. We have to look at things as they affect society as a whole, not a tiny minority and ask ourselves which public policy serves the greatest good? I do not think you will find very many people at all who think suing an impoverished mother for hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars, with the end result being to impoverish her further and reduce her quality of life in a dramatic fashion, in order to justify a propaganda war enacted by industry executives who will never fear hunger, sickness, or poverty, to be the greatest possible good. However, I welcome you to attempt to advance such an argument.

The only solution that I see is for the media companies to make their products so accessible that it is simply no longer WORTH bothering to download it illegally, but the problem is that the folks who put torrents or downloads online do such a damn good job that is makes competing with them very difficult.

Study after study have shown that pirates are the largest consumers of these products. They may download thousands of files, but they also spend hundreds of dollars in legitimate sales as well. You're making a false equivocation here -- that the market for "pirated" goods mirrors that of legitimate goods. The markets serve different needs, and with different products. The incongruity is made plain by looking at the runaway success of the online streaming website Netflix, who for a small monthly fee allows realtime access to much of the same material that is pirated. Curiously, Netflix sales continue to rise while traditional distribution of things like CDs, music, etc., continue to fall. It's clear then that pirated products don't compete on an even playing field with legitimate alternative distribution formats -- but where you see a disadvantage, I see a clear market advantage. Pirated products can't compete with the simplicity and ease of access of a service like Netflix.

Re:$24 (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about a year and a half ago | (#43209537)

In the meantime, since its not the justice / executive department's job to worry about business models, how do you suppose they approach the problem? Just completely ignore the existing legislation on copyright?

Re:$24 (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43209641)

You can't tell me that the latest boy band single that comes out is your birthright.

The right to take culture, modify it, and release it back to the world, enriching our common cultural heritage ... that certainly can be argued to be our birthright, in which case the current copyright regime is manifestly unjust. There's a reasonable compromise in which we say that modifying and releasing previous works is a human right, but getting paid for it isn't: in which case copyright should be enforced for commercial infringement only.

Re:$24 (2)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about a year and a half ago | (#43209813)

You can't tell me that the latest boy band single that comes out is your birthright.

Yes, all culture is our birthright. It isn't a question of quality because that is subjective.
Who are you to say that Symphony No. 9 is better for me than the Macarena?

Re:$24 (2)

rubycodez (864176) | about a year and a half ago | (#43209829)

it isn't about "the latest boyband". it's saying that any song should not be allowed to be copied for the life of the author plus an additional 70 years. If the author transfers ownership or their identity is unknown the copyright will expire 95 years after publication or 120 years after creation, whichever is shorter.

it's past time to put these power and money grubbing cartel fucks into the garbage can

Re:$24 (1)

jedidiah (1196) | about a year and a half ago | (#43209291)

The two propositions aren't mutually exclusive. File sharing could still be a crime. It could just have a punishment to actually fit the offense. The real problem here is how extremely cruel and unusual the "punishment" is.

If she was getting hit for an amount comparable to shoplifting, this verdict wouldn't seem like such a crime.

Tort reform for the rich, crime and punishment for the poor.

Re:$24 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43209301)

The claim of rent seeking is laughable given that you're basically demanding that culture creators work for free for your benefit.

Re:$24 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43209707)

isn't there a way for people to directly impeach the whole shit load of SC, senate, congress and the prez? This is what is needed in situations like this.

Our gov't (0)

Frank T. Lofaro Jr. (142215) | about a year and a half ago | (#43209817)

The President is a great leader, most of the Senate is passably OK, the Supreme Court is messed up in some ways but sometimes does right (in both cases usually 5-4 decisions) and the House of Representatives is basically filled with jackasses, racists and thieves.

So a blanket kick them all out isn't what we need.

We need to intelligently VOTE. We did a great job picking Obama in 2008 and 2012 (although the fact that nearly half the country voted for that sociopath who ran against him in 2012 is disheartening), but why did we screw up the House so bad in 2010? What were we thinking? Were we thinking, or just watching Fox News?

We need a good Congress to fix the laws, since Supreme Court members hold their positions for life or close to it.

Unfortunately, the President can't do much without Congress...

Re:$24 (1)

fnj (64210) | about a year and a half ago | (#43209831)

isn't there a way for people to directly impeach the whole shit load of SC, senate, congress and the prez? This is what is needed in situations like this.

It's called a revolution. Governments aren't supposed to be a heavy yoke oppressing the people at the behest of the privileged. WE put the government in place to serve US. The people who did that would be aghast at what we are putting up with now.

Re:$24 (1)

anagama (611277) | about a year and a half ago | (#43209101)

$24? Are you nuts? In the Federal Courts, you can expect only the harshest outcome unless you are fabulously wealthy and connected. I know Jamie wasn't the perfect defendant here (didn't she lie about hard drives or something?), so it is easy to kind of say she deserves it, or to at least feel no sympathy, but it is unsympathetic defendants that make bad or unjust law. It is sort of shocking that the same administration which has absolutely sat on its hands [huffingtonpost.com] (*) about $gazilions of Wall Street fraud, encouraged the Supreme Court to reject the case [wired.com] . Justice for some, and especially good justice when you can purchase laws you want, or in the case of Wall Street, inverse justice (rewards for crime, cabinet positions). The little guy can just have his or her life utterly destroyed. That's the Feds.

(*) William K Black is worth reading on the issue because he headed up the litigation team that put 1000 banksters in jail in the S&L crisis -- a crisis 1/40th the size of the meltdown.

Obama (2)

Frank T. Lofaro Jr. (142215) | about a year and a half ago | (#43209873)

Stop blaming Obama for everything.

He inherited this mess and is doing the best he can, with Congress tying his hands.

Obama doesn't personally OK everything the Department of Justice does, he doesn't have the time to do that!

His time is spend trying to fix this country despite a Congress which is trying to block him for almost everything he is trying to accomplish, often due to hateful reasons that have no place in civilized society.

Obama has done a LOT to make gov't more accessible (White House Android app, We The People petitions, etc). Stop bashing Obama, remember Clinton signed the DMCA and Bush the 2nd signed the Patriot Act, etc, etc.

$60K + RIAA slavery (1)

An dochasac (591582) | about a year and a half ago | (#43209727)

They'll probably do what the MPAA did to retiree Fred Lawrence when he was sued over $600,000 for 4 movies his grandkid downloaded that the kid already owned! First knock the fine down to the point where it only bankrupts her (not several times over, only fair ya' know.) Then make her into RIAA's "community service" slave warning others not to do what she did. [betanews.com]

Re:$24 (1)

SpaceMonkies (2868125) | about a year and a half ago | (#43209791)

$200K+ for sharing 24 songs? Those profound douche-baggery. I'm so glad that newer methods are emerging to kill off the record label. This is an example of the industry that we call "The legal system", milking the life-force out of lady justice and then ripping her corpse apart and devouring it without a napkin. There's no measure of justice involved at all. Was there REALLY $222K in damage? Hell no, she helped advertise a brand, of sorts. What a disgusting farce. Glad I don't live in the states.

"Still, the RIAA is sensitive about how it looks" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43208995)

The writer must be new here.

The RIAA is sensitive. (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43209003)

Still, the RIAA is sensitive about how it looks if they impoverish a woman of modest means. Look for them to ask her for far less than the $222,000.

Reminds me of the exchange of Good Will Hunting.

Will: He used to just put a belt, a stick, and a wrench on the kitchen table and say, "Choose."

Sean: Well, I gotta go with the belt there.

Will: I used to go with the wrench.

Sean: Why?

Will: Cause fuck him, that's why.

SCOTUS Lowered Exxon Valdez Punitive Award (4, Informative)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about a year and a half ago | (#43209019)

Yet the Supreme Court happily lower the punitive damages in the Exxon Valdez case. From http://www.marketwatch.com/story/us-supreme-court-orders-reduction-in-exxon-valdez-award [marketwatch.com]

Justice David Souter, in the court's majority opinion, said the punitive damages award should be brought into line with $287 million in compensatory damages awarded

So spilling millions of dollars of crude oil into the ocean in a grossly negligent act, destroying the local environment and wrecking people's livelihoods is not a big, but file sharing? There's a threat to the Republic!

Re:SCOTUS Lowered Exxon Valdez Punitive Award (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43209051)

Jammie Thomas didn't make any campaign contributions.

Re:SCOTUS Lowered Exxon Valdez Punitive Award (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43209627)

Yet another reason to ban elections to the Supreme Court.

Re:SCOTUS Lowered Exxon Valdez Punitive Award (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43209667)

Justices do not campaign. They are appointed, go through a confirmation process, and join the Court. I hate to rain on your "Everyone's bought" theory.

Re:SCOTUS Lowered Exxon Valdez Punitive Award (4, Insightful)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about a year and a half ago | (#43209745)

"Justices do not campaign. They are appointed ..." by people who receive bribes (oops, I meant "free speech" campaign contributions) and revolving door jobs (oops again, I meant highly merited post-political positions).

Re:SCOTUS Lowered Exxon Valdez Punitive Award (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43209837)

Justices do not campaign. They are appointed by someone that campaigned, go through a confirmation process by many people that campaigned, and join the Court. I hate to rain on your "Everyone's bought" theory.

Fixed it for you. The end result of all of that seems to be appointed stooges who agree with a given set of political views.

I never cease to be amazed that the supposedly nine most knowledge people on the laws of the nation can never actually agree on how those laws should be applied. It's like they're not seeking out facts, but national opinions. It's not like the supreme court hears cases where that need to determine who's lying to cover up a crime. Rather they mostly hear cases where both sides mostly agree on the crime, but differ on the legality of it.

Re:SCOTUS Lowered Exxon Valdez Punitive Award (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43209917)

Justices do not campaign. They are appointed by someone that campaigned, go through a confirmation process by many people that campaigned, and join the Court. I hate to rain on your "Everyone's bought" theory.

Fixed it for you. The end result of all of that seems to be appointed stooges who agree with a given set of political views.

I never cease to be amazed that the supposedly nine most knowledge people on the laws of the nation can never actually agree on how those laws should be applied. It's like they're not seeking out facts, but national opinions. It's not like the supreme court hears cases where that need to determine who's lying to cover up a crime. Rather they mostly hear cases where both sides mostly agree on the crime, but differ on the legality of it.

Never actually agree? Au contraire: most Supreme Court decisions are unanimous: http://www.forbes.com/sites/danielfisher/2012/06/01/so-much-for-politics-more-than-half-of-supreme-court-decisions-unanimous/. It is simply the most controversial ones that get most of the press.

Most cases that go to the Supreme Court have settled the facts through a long and arduous appeals process. By the time it gets to the Supreme Court, most cases are subject more to legal corner cases than they are to whether enough evidence has been collected.

look for the money (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43209937)

y'all might want to check up on the silent one's wife's job, she's a right-wing lobbyist, so Exxon and co can pour all the cash into her pockets, (and since they're married, their pockets), they want.

And of course she get's to talk to her husband whenever she wants, completely off any the record, nobody is permitted to ask her questions about it.

Wrong, wrong, wrong... (2)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43209041)

$15.00 - It's the equivalent of 2 crummie albums, the music wasn't very good, and she had no one profited in the way the law was designed to penalize, back when music publishing was a print only business.

This can't really be what equal treatment under the law was desigend to accomplish.

Re:Wrong, wrong, wrong... (3, Insightful)

Alwin Henseler (640539) | about a year and a half ago | (#43209139)

Equal treatment under the law? But yes, absolutely! No matter who you are, what you believe, or where you're from, an equal amount of justice for every dollar you have. How's that not fair?

Why depend on the RIAA to be humane? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43209057)

Fundraise the money and put it on a special account. Tell Jammie Thomas the money is either to sell her of the hook or for some childrens' health fund in the case, the RIAA will not try to rip her off.

What about some childrens' fund in connection with 9/11? So the RIAA either gets the money or a 9/11 fund will get the money. And it's not the RIAA who puts the money there, it's the funding crowd...

Hrmph (3, Insightful)

dyingtolive (1393037) | about a year and a half ago | (#43209077)

Sensitive about impoverishing a woman, sure. I believe it.

I bet all they'll ask of her is a modest $200,000 and that she appear on television, making a public statement demeaning herself on behalf of the record companies. Fuckers should burn.

Re:Hrmph (1)

harlows_monkeys (106428) | about a year and a half ago | (#43209159)

The RIAA offered to settle for around $2 to $3 per song shared, and she refused.

Re:Hrmph (1)

stinerman (812158) | about a year and a half ago | (#43209243)

[citation needed]

Re:Hrmph (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about a year and a half ago | (#43209463)

on the assumption she shared each song 4000 times each? so between $192,000 and $288,000? That averages out to $240,000.

Re:Hrmph (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43209527)

fuck you liar

Re:Hrmph (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about a year and a half ago | (#43209555)

...And perjured herself, and tampered with evidence....

Everyone, this is not the mascot you're looking for.

Re:Hrmph (1)

jxander (2605655) | about a year and a half ago | (#43209563)

Complete hypothetical here, but my guess :

She was probably offered to settle for $2-3 per song, as long as she pled guilty and covered all court costs, or even just her own court costs, which could easily be $100,000 or more, assuming lawyer was pro bono. Factor in travel costs, time lost from work (probably fired from her job), and the inability to coutersue or force the plaintiff to pay her court costs if they're found guilty ... suddenly settling for $2-3 per song doesn't seem all that appealing

/speculation

>

Re:Hrmph (1)

guises (2423402) | about a year and a half ago | (#43209877)

According to Ars, the average settlement offered by the RIAA is $3000 plus a written statement by the accused saying that they will not do it again (and probably a confession). That sounds reasonable next to the fines that Thomas-Rasset has been saddled with, but $3000 for $24 worth of music is still outrageous. And even if she was able to swallow that, the written statement that they demand would put you at the RIAA's mercy if they decided to come after you again. It's no wonder that she fought this.

She refused a $5000 settlement offer. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43209121)

She gambled and lost.

Re:She refused a $5000 settlement offer. (4, Insightful)

TemperedAlchemist (2045966) | about a year and a half ago | (#43209147)

Since when should the legal system be like playing roulette?

Re:She refused a $5000 settlement offer. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43209177)

Mrs. Thomas broke the law and was kindly offered a reasonable settlement, which she made the conscious decision to refuse.

She was also offered a $25000 settlement, which she declined.

She had the opportunity to pay far less for her crimes, and she did not take it.

Re:She refused extortion. (4, Insightful)

Overzeetop (214511) | about a year and a half ago | (#43209249)

Those were essentially extortion offers. Pay us or we'll break your financial knees.

Re:She refused extortion. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43209283)

In the same way that lawful imprisonment is like kidnapping, sure.

She broke the law.

Re:She refused extortion. (2)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about a year and a half ago | (#43209391)

She broke the law.

So do jaywalkers and people who drive 5 MPH over the posted limit. What's your point, that "breaking the law" justifies any fine or punishment? How about $1M for the next minor infraction you commit.

Re:She refused extortion. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43209435)

She was tried by a jury of her peers, who found the amount justified based on the circumstances and the law.

How is that unfair?

Re:She refused extortion. (1)

dyingtolive (1393037) | about a year and a half ago | (#43209513)

Most juries aren't really your peers. That's just how it reads on the tin to get you to quit your bitching.

Find me a juror in any of these high profile "...with a computer" cases that have come up lately that understands even something so trivial as the difference between TCP and UDP. Fuck, that even has one person on it who has/can demonstrate that.

Juries aren't picked based upon being someone's peer, they're a compromise between the two legal bodies on who is both, most gullible and not inclined to already have their mind's made up. That's all.

Re:She refused extortion. (1)

alen (225700) | about a year and a half ago | (#43209549)

Who gives a shit between tcp and Udp in this case

She downloaded and distributed copyrighted songs. The distributed part is what got her

Re:She refused extortion. (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about a year and a half ago | (#43209793)

She was tried by a jury of her peers ...

So was Socrates. What's your point?

Re:She refused extortion. (3, Insightful)

vux984 (928602) | about a year and a half ago | (#43209417)

She broke the law.

And so what? So for a minor civil infraction that caused virtually no measured or measurable damage to anyone we should take away her house?

People break the law all the time. Breaking the law isn't carte blanche for the anyone to take everything you have, and then some.

For her situation, with 24 songs shared, first offense. Anything over $500 is WAY out of line relative to what she did. This sort of thing belongs in small claims court.

If she had shoplifted a CD (24 songs) from a Walmart and it was a first offense a $200,000+ fine would be utterly outrageous.

Re:She refused extortion. (2)

shentino (1139071) | about a year and a half ago | (#43209599)

Her crime is pissing off the RIAA and trying to duke it out with the establishment.

Re:She refused extortion. (1, Insightful)

fnj (64210) | about a year and a half ago | (#43209885)

She broke the law.

And Jewish shop owners in Nazi Germany broke the law by being Jewish. And they paid the penalty. First their shops were confiscated, then the "lawful government" grew emboldened and their lives were confiscated.

You seem to look on the law as your master. I believe it is supposed to be the people's servant.

Re:She refused a $5000 settlement offer. (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | about a year and a half ago | (#43209379)

When you're a single mum, $25K might as well be $25 billion. We don't get this crap in Oz since they can only sue for proven damages, they can't just pull numbers out of their arse and add or subtract zeros at their convienience.

Re:She refused a $5000 settlement offer. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43209459)

Why would they subtract zeros?

That's not how you make a profit!

Re:She refused a $5000 settlement offer. (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about a year and a half ago | (#43209569)

Well, seeing as she not only was guilty, but also lied under oath and tampered with evidence, its kind of hard to get mad at the justice system for passing a "guilty" verdict.

It would be a problem if she had gotten off scott free, and yet somehow I suspect most of slashdot would be praising such a travesty if it happened.

Re:She refused a $5000 settlement offer. (1)

westlake (615356) | about a year and a half ago | (#43209617)

Since when should the legal system be like playing roulette?

The odds are better in roulette.

There were three jury trials and verdicts against her and several rounds of appeal none of which ended well. Her performance on the stand was disastrous to her cause.

The appeal to the Supreme Court in such a case is melodramatic nonsense.

Just register yourself as a Corporation and a Bank (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about a year and a half ago | (#43209125)

There, problem solved, no jail time or actual real fine.

Re:Just register yourself as a Corporation and a B (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43209181)

You have a good point. There's a lot of offenses on the books that specifically have no jail time for corporations, just larger fines. Considering the fines for individuals tend to be so high that they go bankrupt, and going to jail tends to bankrupt people as well, incorporating yourself as protection from the state might not be such a bad idea! You'll still go bankrupt, but you get to start over a lot sooner.

Re:Just register yourself as a Corporation and a B (1)

fnj (64210) | about a year and a half ago | (#43209933)

There, problem solved, no jail time or actual real fine.

I think you know it is not as easy as that. It's an insiders' club. If you incorporate without playing the game by the old boys' rules, they have plenty of clauses to pierce the corporate veil and nail you good. My favorite one is that being an officer of a corporation does not protect you from individual liability due to fraud. Fraud is a code word for "not playing the game by the old boys' rules".

One of the few flaws (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43209169)

Of our system that the founders created for us. The Supreme court should not be allowed to cherry pick cases that make it all the way to their bench. it gives them far too much power.

Re:One of the few flaws (1)

shentino (1139071) | about a year and a half ago | (#43209639)

Indeed. Making review discretionary is a blank check to the appeals courts to fuck up however they please.

Re:One of the few flaws (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43209847)

Of our system that the founders created for us. The Supreme court should not be allowed to cherry pick cases that make it all the way to their bench. it gives them far too much power.

Whereas if they had to rule on every case, but had the option of ruling "the circuit judge got it right, move along, nothing to see here", they'd have less power?

She should move to Canada (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43209203)

If she were in Canada she'd be liable for a maximum $5000 fine (which would absolve her of this and any other past offences), and the government has been encouraging judges to hand out the lowest possible fine ($100) for first time offenders.

Re:She should move to Canada (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about a year and a half ago | (#43209409)

That's why we're going to have to invade Canada (again).

Move to Oz. (2)

TapeCutter (624760) | about a year and a half ago | (#43209775)

In Oz, there's no fine, they can only sue for provable damages. Most cases would not even pass the $50 minimum damages claim required for it to be heard by the small claims tribunal. MAFIAA lawyers can not harrass people with extortion notices (they have tried and been shot down before they could even lick the stamps). In short they have two choices, sue for provable damages, or shut the fuck up. Neither of which achieve their aims of sacring people into compliance with their bussiness model, consequently no individual has ever been fined or sued by an Australian court for file sharing.

In other words the Aussie justice system lives up to the Aussie cultural value of a "fair go", (at least as far as file sharing is concerned ;).

Like Death for Bicycle Theft (4, Interesting)

rmdingler (1955220) | about a year and a half ago | (#43209211)

When I was 6 years old, my father took me back to the store where I'd stolen a pack of gum with the money to pay the owner. After a rather sheepish apology that involved no eye contact from me at all, the proprietor accepted my dime and my remorse. My punishment was to return to the store after school and sweep for a week, every day after school. In the movies, that's how the story ends, with an errant youth learning a valuable lesson. In riaal life, his 11 year old son kicked the shit out of me every day but one... and that one day was the worst because I waited all day for the beating that never came.

Re:Like Death for Bicycle Theft (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43209929)

probably taught you a valuable lesson you sand nigger

What an insult (5, Insightful)

jamessnell (857336) | about a year and a half ago | (#43209307)

$200K+ for sharing 24 songs? Those profound douche-baggery. I'm so glad that newer methods are emerging to kill off the record label. This is an example of the industry that we call "The legal system", milking the life-force out of lady justice and then ripping her corpse apart and devouring it without a napkin. There's no measure of justice involved at all. Was there REALLY $222K in damage? Hell no, she helped advertise a brand, of sorts. What a disgusting farce. Glad I don't live in the states.

Dear editors, (2)

jxander (2605655) | about a year and a half ago | (#43209315)

Just a suggestion to help parse better, the phrase "7 year old Jammie Thomas case" should instead be "7 year old Jammie Thomas case"

Except with the actual link, and not just bold font... I'm lazy

This way, it's easier to recognize the CASE is seven years old, not Jammie Thomas.

Re:Dear editors, (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43209423)

If it was a 7-year-old named Jammie Thomas who had a case, it would be "7 year old Jammie Thomas' case"

The absence of the possessive is sufficient to permit proper parsing.

This is not law, this is COMMERCE. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43209345)

And make no mistake, the swine who are members of the US Supreme Court know
who will line their pockets and they are the willing servants of those who will line
their pockets.

If you think that the courts system in the US is even remotely about "justice" you are a stupid
naive chump. The court system in the US is about money and power.

Re:This is not law, this is COMMERCE. (1)

v1 (525388) | about a year and a half ago | (#43209925)

And make no mistake, the swine who are members of the US Supreme Court know
who will line their pockets and they are the willing servants of those who will line
their pockets.

And just how are they getting their pockets lined? These aren't elected officials, there are no campaign contributions. They sit till they retire, and then a new one gets appointed.

Jammie Thomas at Sundance (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43209413)

[in deep movie-trailer announcer voice]

2014 [TWENTY- FOURTEEN!]

From Independent studios...

The lecherous record executive had no where to go.

They were out of bullets and the enemy was closing in.

All...Hope... was ... lost...

until!

A single mom on a paupers salary could be the break big-music was looking for...

Forgiven debt/judgement is taxable in the US (2)

LordWoody (187919) | about a year and a half ago | (#43209561)

Let's not forget that any forgiven debt is a taxable event in the US. It is seen as a gift and counts as "income". But I suppose it's still better than paying the full bill.

lesson learned (2)

shentino (1139071) | about a year and a half ago | (#43209577)

Do not piss off the corporate elite or you will regret it.

Fuck Yea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43209679)

It is about time these free loaders learn to respect the rights owners of the world. She probably does not even have enough cash to pay her lawfullly awarded fine. I say we bring back the debtors prisons so that these companies can finnallly be given the justice and retribution they deserve from wretches like Jammie Thomas.

You have no right to land, water, shelter, or now certain copyrighted / patented thoghts, as they are all owned by someone else, and you must pay rent to use them.

I love our legal system( it is the best system in the world, just ask a lawyer). It allows the strong to legally oppress the poor and indigent. Before the oppressors were considered despots. Now they usurp the rights of man with the full faith and conrfidence of the U.S. legal system.

    "Contrary to popular opinion, corporations do not want competition. They want monopoly and controll. Why fight when you can cooperate, and thereby provide half the product at twice the profit. "
- Warren Buffet

finbs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43209699)

"Look for them to ask her for far less than the $222,000" because why? they have a conscience or something.

Anyone else feel this way? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43209901)

I was once a law and copywright-abiding citizen, but all the RIAA's crusade has done is piss me off the the point that I will no longer pay for content, instead I now search for increasingly inventive ways to avoid giving these assholes my hard-earned money.

Those guys in Sweden have it right: The sharing of information is a natural right and a legitimate religion.

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