In elementary school and Sunday school, we were repeatedly instructed that it was good – maybe even a religious obligation – to share what we had. Unfortunately for Jammie Thomas-Rasset, the federal court in Minnesota takes a decidedly different view. Capitol Records Inc. et al. v. Thomas.
Ms. Thomas was sued by several of the music (I use that term advisedly) recording companies for using shareware, namely Kazaa, to download 24 songs (again, I use that term advisedly). Found guilty of copyright infringement, Ms. Thomas was hit with a whopping $1.92 million in damages. Yes indeed, folks, almost TWO MILLION DOLLARS. For the mathematically challenged, that comes to $80,000 per song and we are not talking Mozart here. Needless to say, Ms. Thomas considers the damages award excessive and is appealing on that basis.
THE LESSON TO BE LEARNED: As succinctly stated by Eric Hoffer, “There’s no such thing as a free lunch.”