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At the same time Lady Gaga takes over the Social Media
spotlight from the President, Prince announces that the Internet is nowhere and his next album will only
be a CD. No surprise what Lady Gaga is doing since "Gaga's Facebook fans
organized "National Lady Gaga Day." The accompanying Event had more than
100,000 attendees." So I guess Prince has missed this big picture altogether
since Prince proclaimed "all these computers and digital gadgets are no good.
They just fill your head with numbers and that can't be good for you."
Hard to imagine that the formerly known music star can be so far off base.
Given all the negative impact from the proposed Presidential "Internet Kill Switch" it seems to me that the
economy of the world would suffer by shutting down the Internet. Culture today
depends on a vibrant Internet, and I guess it makes more sense to follow Lady
Gaga rather than Prince....not too hard to figure out!
Music Infringement Verdicts Reduced
At the same time Lady Gaga sets the
gold standard and Prince doesn't get it, Judges are reducing jury verdicts for
music Copyright infringements significantly. After a second Recording
Industry Association of American (RIAA) trial against Jammie Thomas-Rasset's for Copyright
infringement, a jury ruled that the damages were $1.92 million for distributing
24 songs. US District Judge Michael Davis reduced the verdict to $54,000 ($2,250 per song)
in January, 2010. Earlier this month US District Judge Nancy Gertner reduced the jury verdict against Joel Tennebaum
by 90% ruling that $22,500 per song infringement that there "is no question
that this reduced award is still severe, even harsh." In the trial against
Tennebaum, a Ph.D. student at Boston University, the RIAA proved that he
downloaded 30 online songs. Judge Gertner wrote:
not only adequately compensates the plaintiffs for the relatively minor harm
that [Joel] Tenenbaum caused them; it sends a strong message that those who
exploit peer-to-peer networks to unlawfully download and distribute copyrighted
works run the risk of incurring substantial damages awards.
My experience in copyright
infringement litigation is that proving damages is not simple. Each case is
unique, so the jury must make a determination how willful the infringement is,
and then can penalize an infringer up to $150,000 per infringement. Courts will
continue to grapple with Copyright infringement constitutional size of damages.
The Tennebaum and Thomas-Rasset cases are important to help understand
how juries and judges value online music. Perhaps Prince should spend more time
with Social Media so he can get with it, because otherwise he may disappear
At the same time Lady Gaga takes over the Social Media spotlight from the President, Prince announces