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According to the report on Ars Technica, Ms. Thomas was found guilty of willfully violating the copyrights of the record companies, and was fined $9.250 per song out of the possible $150,000 per separate song. Her grand total comes to $222.000, and there is no word on an appeal as she was rushed from the courthouse by her counsel.
There is no denying what Ms. Thomas did was piracy, I’m not going to argue that, but the fine is absurd. Let’s say a CD sells for $20.00 and has 12 tracks, that gives every track an average value of $1.66 at full retail. That means they feel each track was distributed 5,572 times? Er… right.
I want to make one thing crystal clear in my railing against the RIAA: I am NOT endorsing piracy, but instead I am decrying the tactics of the RIAA in battling the piracy. They are bullies, pure and simple. They strong arm individuals, universities, ISPs and more, all in an effort to milk silly amounts of money out of people. The record companies they represent are no better (as demonstrated by Sony’s stance that listening to a song from your legally purchased CD on your iPod is theft…) and the music industry as a whole is corrupt and greedy.
My brand new CD buying days are over. If I can’t find the CD used via any number of legal methods, where the companies and RIAA receive no monies, than I really don’t need it. I’ve said this before, and I still stand by it. If this organization, and the companies had their way, there would be money handed over to them for even looking at a CD, and I simply won’t support that anymore.