The news you're not supposed to know...

Austrian Economics: Understand Economics, Understand the World
The Century of the Self: The Untold History of Controlling the Masses Through the Manipulation of Unconscious Desires
The Disappearing Male: From Virility to Sterility

The Obama Deception: The Mask Comes Off
Operation Gladio: The Hidden History of U.S. Sponsored False Flag Terrorism in EuropeThe New American Century: The Untold History of The Project for the New American Century
Article posted Feb 13 2013, 2:00 PM Category: Big Brother/Orwellian Source: Techdirt Print

Obama Administration, Once Again, Says $222,000 For Sharing 24 Songs Is Perfectly Reasonable

by Mike Masnick

This shouldn't be seen as much of a surprise at all, given that the Obama administration previously supported the $1.5 million verdict against Jammie Thomas-Rasset for sharing a mere 24 songs. However, now that an appeals court has reverted back to the original $220,000 ruling (procedural reasons...), and Thomas-Rasset has filed to ask the Supreme Court to hear the case, the Obama administration is back again, saying that there is nothing wrong with $220,000 for 24 songs. The argument is basically what you'd expect. In short: Congress set the statutory rates, the record labels asked for statutory damages, and thus nothing in that range should be considered too high.

The administration does have a point that there is not a real controversy between different circuit courts on the issue at play here, and thus there may not be a need for the Supreme Court to get involved. After the appeals court ruling, we predicted that the Supreme Court would refuse to hear this case, and that still seems likely. That doesn't mean that there aren't problems with the government's analysis. Its focus on using a Supreme Court ruling from a century ago ("Williams") which covered an obscure issue not directly relevant, still seems problematic to me -- but not so problematic that the Supreme Court is likely to weigh in.

Statutory damages are a massive problem with copyright law today. They are way out of proportion with any actual harm, and thus do raise considerable questions, that might amount to interesting Constitutional challenges. That doesn't mean that this case was the right case (in fact, it has many problems). Even so, it's a bit disappointing to see the Obama administration weigh in at all on the issue, giving a de facto thumbs up to massive and ridiculous statutory damages. The basic conclusion of "Congress decides, and that's good enough" is a real problem:
That public interest cannot be realized if the inherent difficulty of proving actual damages leaves the copyright holder without an effective remedy for infringement or precludes an effective means of deterring further copyright violations. The statute reflects a legislative determination of the range of assessments necessary to vindicate those public interests, see 17 U.S.C. 504(c), and Congressís judgment as to the appropriate amounts is entitled to deference.
If the administration was interested in true leadership in fixing the problems of the copyright system, it would not condone such clearly ridiculous awards. Doing so merely confirms that it remains focused on helping out its friends in legacy industries, rather than reflecting what is actually best for the public.

12 715 Thomas Rasset Opp2 (PDF)

Latest Big Brother/Orwellian
- Undercover Agents Fathered Children With Women After Infiltrating Activist Groups
- WeAreChange Blocked in France Because of New Censorship Law
- Pew Research Poll: 40% of Millennials Want to Restrict Free Speech
- France Responds to Paris Attacks by Rushing Through Internet Censorship Law
- After Endless Demonization of Encryption, Police Find Paris Attackers Coordinated Via Unencrypted SMS
- VIDEO: 'Safe Space' Students Silence Asian Woman For Saying 'Black People Can Be Racist'
- Fourth Grader Threatened With Sexual Harassment Charges For Writing Love Letter
- DEA Running Massive Wiretap Program Almost Entirely Through a Single California County Courthouse

No Comments Posted Add Comment

Add Comment


Verification *
Please Enter the Verification Code Seen Below

Please see our About Page, our Disclaimer, and our Comments Policy.

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which in some cases has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Such material is made available for the purposes of news reporting, education, research, comment, and criticism, which constitutes a 'fair use' of such copyrighted material in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. It is our policy to respond to notices of alleged infringement that comply with the DMCA and other applicable intellectual property laws. It is our policy to remove material from public view that we believe in good faith to be copyrighted material that has been illegally copied and distributed by any of our members or users.

About Us - Disclaimer - Privacy Policy

Advanced Search


Remember Me
Forgot Password?

Donald Sutherland Reveals The Real Meaning Of The Hunger Games - 11/27Drone Pilots Have Bank Accounts and Credit Cards Frozen by Feds For Exposing US Murder - 11/27Georgia Sheriff Puts Up Sign Warning People Who Disagree With Him About God to Leave - 11/27World's Most 'Adorable' Drug Kingpin Is Actually The Daughter of Texas DEA Head Honcho - 11/26Pot Breathalyzers: Coming Soon to A Drug War Near You - 11/27City Settles After Police Chief Arrested Man For Calling Public Official A 'Liar' - 11/27Heroic Cops Protect Community by Raiding a Group of 90-Yo Women Playing Mahjong - 11/26Bezos Beats Musk - 11/27

Man Follows Speeding Cop, Finds Out He Was Speeding To Buy PeanutsMission Creeps: Homeland Security Agents Confiscate Women's Panties For 'Copyright Infringement'Cop Shoots Couple's Dog, Threatens Jail For Trying To Save Dog's LifeSWAT Team Shoots Teen Girl & Her Dog During Pot Raid On Wrong HomeDurham, NC Cop Testifies Faking 911 Calls To Enter Homes Is "Official Policy"Indiana Sheriff Says US A "War Zone" To Justify New MRAP Military VehicleTampa Cops Surveil Pot Dealer, Catch Him Selling Pot, Raid His Home & Kill Him"You Just Shot An Unarmed Man!": Witness Says Police Shot His Friend With His Hands Up