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Judge orders RIAA to justify its piracy charges

$750 for a 75 cent song is taking the Wii
Fri Nov 10 2006, 15:31
A US COURT is forcing the Recording Industry of America to explain why it charges people it catches pirating $750 a single rather than the 70 cents they flog them to retailers for.

In the case UMG v. Lindor, Judge Trager has allowed Ms Lindor, who the RIAA claim is a pirate, to challenge the $750 a track it wants in damages.

The RIAA fought to prevent the amendment to Ms Lindor's case, claiming it was not up to her to decide damages. They said that her complaint about the level of damages was without merit and if the amendment went ahead it would prejudice them.

Of course it would. If the RIAA was forced to claim back the real market value of the music that was nicked by pirates it probably would not be worth the effort. It also looks better on a press release if they can claim that a pirate stole $7,000 worth of music when they actually only stole $7.

Judge Trager was not buying it either he said that the RIAA lawyers could not cite any case law to justify its position whereas Lindor could.

Lindor could also prove that the RIAA was only out of pocket by 70 cents a single and not $750.

Now it was up to the RIAA to show m'learned friend how it came up with its $750 figure. If it can't manage the task then it is pretty likely that the robed but not wigged one will rule that the amount of damages the RIAA is seeking is unconstitutional.

More here. µ


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