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October 5, 2007
Cartel Gets Big Money to Fill In Big Hole
The RIAA has been handed a huge victory in its first-ever jury trial. Jammie Thomas is now on the hook for USD 220,000 at the going rate of 9,250 for each of 24 songs. The jury, according to Sandoval's CNET piece, didn't seem to care that she hadn't actually been proven to have shared the files.
This money and other monies extorted from customers is "reinvested" in the jihad. As Eric Bangeman reported for Ars earlier this week, that campaign is a big money pit. I'm totally unsurprised by this, having guessed as much many months ago. Bangeman thinks it's a 'bombshell" that the Cartel isn't making any money off of this and really has no idea how much money it's losing (if any) to file sharing. I think it's totally unshocking and the fact that they'd admit it in open court is just a measure of how confident they are.
So what we're left with is a potential appeal or possibly the Cartel offering to settle for a few pennies on the dollar. They're not getting a quarter-million from a single mom and they know it. But they never really expected to - what they want to do is punish, inspire fear, and intimidate. I'd say they won on all those counts.
Meanwhile, file sharing continues unabated. You don't change peoples' attitudes and behavior through punishment, fear, and intimidation on anything less than a governmental level, and maybe not even then.
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