District Judge sets aside previous $222,000 award in favour of the RIAA against single parent Jammie Thomas as disproportionate and orders a new trial.
Extracts from the judgement:
“The Court would be remiss if it did not take this opportunity to implore Congress to amend the Copyright Act to address liability and damages in peer to peer network cases such as the one currently before this Court … The defendant is an individual, a consumer. She is not a business. She sought no profit from her acts.
The statutory damages awarded against Thomas are not a deterrent against those who pirate music in order to profit. Thomas’s conduct was motivated by her desire to obtain the copyrighted music for her own use. The Court does not condone Thomas’s actions, but it would be a farce to say that a single mother’s acts of using Kazaa are the equivalent, for example, to the acts of global financial firms illegally infringing on copyrights in order to profit in the securities market.
Unfortunately, by using Kazaa, Thomas acted like countless other Internet users. Her alleged acts were illegal, but common. Her status as a consumer who was not seeking to harm her competitors or make a profit does not excuse her behavior. But it does make the award of hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages unprecedented and oppressive.”
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