Umm...Did Kazzaa change recently, then? As far as I can see, it's a subscription-based licensed music download site now...with one less 'z.'
To the point, though. I know and understand that people will hate me for this, but I'm going to have to say that the $1,900,000 fine is at least partially fair, too. I don't share Wiley Miller's view that it is simply holding a person accountable for theft; Rather, I see it as holding this one person accountable for everything she has done during the events of this case. I base my stance on the following points:
- The woman uploaded twenty-four songs to Kazzaa. Twenty-four songs would only be worth two CDs, but that would be two CD sales lost per download, not upload. If all twenty-four songs were downloaded only a thousand times (it would probably be far greater), then, even at just $10 an album, the music industry's losses would be around twenty thousand dollars. It's a far cry from the $1.9 million penalty, but this is also considerably more than common shoplifting.
- The woman had the option to settle with the RIAA. RIAA settlements averaged out at three thousand dollars (less than the damage than she had actually caused, if the above is true), but rather than even considering the option, the woman took it straight to court, falsely knowing that the court would find her innocent. From where I stand, If she was honestly innocent, she would have tried to settle first, taking it to court only if the RIAA was being unreasonable. Rather, though, the woman went straight to court in hopes that charge and penalty would be expunged, and she wouldn't have to deal with the consequences of her actions. This woman is both irresponsible and greedy.
- The verdict was actually passed once earlier, and for only $222,000, which is probably the closest it had been to the damages the woman should have paid for losses and law infringement. Still, she kept pressing to have the charges removed or reduced. This is more proof of her greed and irresponsibility.
- Based on the previous points, This woman knew what she was doing was wrong. Yet, one of the defenses mounted was that the offender was not the woman, but one (or more) of her children. Despite further proving her irresponsibility, the act of accusing her own children of a serious crime to cover herself also shines very poorly on this woman's character. The RIAA may be terrible for pressing a $1.9 million charge, but the woman was not above contemptible acts herself.
So, as far as I can see, the outlandish punishment of nearly two million dollars is not just for the damages caused by the woman smuggling music, but also punishing the woman for her actions and behavior. One thing I, and seemingly the jury of this case, understand is that the only way to convince people to stop committing such horrible acts is to issue punishments that are even more horrible. It is as if it was the jury stood up to say "You are mean, subversive, greedy, and reprehensible, and we will not have you doing this anymore!" Is this punishment gravely terrible? Yes. Yes, it is, but it also may be fair.
...Okay, that's my two cents worth. Please don't string me up.