The Department of Justice Backs The Jammie Thomas Verdict
"It's OK to slap a huge fine on the little people", that's what the Department of Justice said basically. The $222,000 verdict against Jammie Thomas was tagged as "not unconstitutionally excessive" by the US Government.
December 5, 2007
The DoJ's main reason for such a curious choice was that such a verdict is meant to deter others from joining the piracy movement, not only to punish the guilty party. In addition, the DoJ also reminds everyone that it fully agrees with RIIA that statutory damages have nothing in common with actual damages. In conclusion:
“Statutory damages compensate those wronged in areas in which actual damages are hard to quantify in addition to providing deterrence to those inclined to commit a public wrong.
Given the findings of copyright infringement in this case, the damages awarded under the Copyright Act's statutory damages provision did not violate the Due Process Clause; they were not 'so severe and oppressive as to be wholly disproportioned to the offense or obviously unreasonable.”
The DoJ statement comes in response to Jammie Thomas intentions to have the $222,000 sum ruled unconstitutional. The claim makes some sense, given that the cost of the actual song has been narrowed to about 70 cents, and the court awarded RIAA a prize of $9000 for each of the 24 songs that Thomas shared over Kazaa.
All in all, the US government definitely favors the big business, giving an interesting new twist to Abe Lincoln's speech: “government of the people, by the people, for the people...and against the people”