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  • irishtimes.com - Posted: June 19, 2009 @ 7:42 pm

    This is getting ridiculous.

    Ciara O'Brien

    Seriously. A $1.9 million fine for sharing 24 songs? Are these people for real?

    Jammie Thomas-Rasset had her fine increased from $222,000 on a retrial, after the judge in the original case said he had erred in instructing the jury. And now the second trial has awarded this staggeringly ridiculous sum to the RIAA.

    Thomas-Rasset had more than 1,700 songs in her shared folder, but the court case, apparently, picked a sample of 24. In among the offending tracks were the Goo Goo Dolls and Richard Marx. I’m not sure what’s worse – getting charged tens of thousands of dollars for a Richard Marx track or even having it in the first place.

    Good luck getting the cash out of a 32-year-old with a few mouths to feed. Just what the RIAA needed too – more fantastic PR.

    But the RIAA isn’t stopping there, and there are similar cases due in court in the US.

    Every time I read about the record industry banging on about how downloading music is killing their industry, I could willingly poke my eyes out.

    Simple fact #1: just because someone downloads a song for free, it doesn’t mean they’d buy it.

    Simple fact #2: just because the music industry is losing sales, it doesn’t mean it’s down to file-sharing. Perhaps people are just fed up with a lot of the crap that’s masquerading as music these days. Or maybe, just maybe, they’re spending their money on something else. Just a thought.

    Ben Goldacre does a pretty good job of ripping the industry’s figures apart here.

    • Natasha says:

      I’m sorry to say but I like Richard Marx “Hazard” and “Right here waiting” :(

    • Ciara says:

      I wonder if he knows his song is worth $80,000 for a single download?

    • Phil says:

      Your blog title says it all – this is just unbelieveably ridiculous!
      I don’t have a problem with paying the artist for their hard work – and some artists do work extremely hard – but like most people, I find the high prices of CDs a pain in the a***. Frankly, I think the music industry needs to wake up and realise that people will just keep downloading because 1) the prices are too high and 2) it’s illegal, therefore it’s fun.
      Criminalising human nature is just a waste of time…