Saturday, June 20, 2009

A playlist for the ages

For those of you who are curious after reading my last post, here are the 24 songs for which Ms. Thomas-Rasset was ordered to pay 1.92 million dollars. This is, without a doubt, the most expensive play list ever created. Yet, you can purchase all of these songs from iTunes for around $23.76. In other words, the judgment was a little more than 80,000 times the actual damages (the lost revenue of the record labels).
  1. Cryin by Aerosmith
  2. Somebody by Bryan Adams
  3. Pour Some Sugar on Me by Def Leppard
  4. Bills, Bills, Bills by Destiny’s Child
  5. Here We Are by Gloria Estefan
  6. Coming Out of the Dark by Gloria Estefan
  7. Rhythm Is Gonna Get You by Gloria Estefan
  8. Iris by the Goo Goo Dolls
  9. Basket Case by Green Day
  10. Welcome to the Jungle by Guns N' Roses
  11. November Rain by Guns N' Roses
  12. Let's Wait Awhile by Janet Jackson
  13. Faithfully by Journey
  14. Don't Stop Believing by Journey
  15. One Step Closer by Linkin Park
  16. Bathwater by No Doubt
  17. Hella Good by No Doubt
  18. Different People by No Doubt
  19. One Honest Heart by Reba McEntire
  20. Now and Forever by Richard Marx
  21. Possession by Sarah McLachlan
  22. Building a Mystery by Sarah McLachlan
  23. Run Baby Run by Sheryl Crow
  24. Save the Best for Last by Vanessa Williams


  1. Disclaimers: a) I think the "industry's" position on file-sharing is short-sighted and protectionist to a major fault; b) I think the order to pay $1.92MM completely out of touch with the "crime."

    That being noted, the question of damages in this case was related to her making the files available to other people for uploading. That's how the RIAA could make a case for more than $1/song (or so) damages.

    It is still unfortunate that the amount was so large and, in some ways, unfortunate that the record industry won this case at all. I read an article a while back (haven't been able to find it since) about the turn of the 20th century when carriage makers (of the horse-drawn sort) were petitioning government to introduce a tariff on automobiles because the automobile would ruin the carriage industry. This, to me, is a very similar situation. The record/film industry simply isn't willing to acknowledge that the world has changed and, with it, their business model needs to change or they'll eventually be out of business.

  2. Thank you for your post.

    Regardless of whether Ms. Thomas-Rasset made the files available to others or whether others actually downloaded any of the songs, this case dealt with statutory damages. Under the statutory damages section of the Copyright Act a plaintiff may elect between actual damages and statutory damages. Statutory damages for willful infringement are up to $150,000 per work infringed.

    Therefore, once the jury found that she willfully infringed, Ms. Thomas-Rasset could have been liable for 24 x $150,000 = 3.6 Million Dollars. She was ordered to pay 81% of the maximum award allowed under the statutory damages statute. What do you think of such a law?

    I enjoyed reading your comments. Thanks!