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RIAA Thinks LimeWire Owes $75 Trillion in Damages

by Coryphaeus / March 26, 2011 6:32 AM PDT
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And how much would that be per song.
by Steven Haninger / March 26, 2011 9:32 AM PDT

With most of today's music (IMO) not worth the plastic and aluminum it comes on, they should be willing to settle for about 50 bucks.

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(NT) It's worth a lot to the people that own it.
by Mike_Hanks / March 26, 2011 10:05 AM PDT
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I don't deny that. But there's a problem with our legal
by Steven Haninger / March 26, 2011 10:20 AM PDT

system that has forgotten the real meaning of displaying how a justice system should work. It's gamesmanship....pure and simple...and about winning rather than serving up justice. The suggested award figure is a ploy and nothing more. It's an insult to proper law practice...IMO, anyway.

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(NT) It's not worth more than the world GDP
by Roger NC / March 26, 2011 10:21 AM PDT
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I take issue with punitive damage awards.
by Steven Haninger / March 27, 2011 11:20 PM PDT

Nothing above the amount of real loss should be paid to the party that was harmed. Any punitive damages should go elsewhere such as to offset the costs incurred by the legal system. Lawyers should be paid a reasonable fee for their work. The fee should be known up front and should be paid by the losing party. If the defendant is made to serve time in prison, punitive damages could be awarded but only to pay the costs of their incarceration.

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If I ever understood punitive damages
by Roger NC / March 28, 2011 7:56 AM PDT

they were also intended to at one time to compensate for future damages not yet incurred, like in a defamation suit where someone's name was smeared enough so that even after the trial they might have problems with getting work in their field. Or getting the salary they may have commanded if the notoriety had never occurred.

But it often appears now to be literally punitive, supposedly punishment for the act, not related to anything realistic.

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Punitive damages were to punish for knowingly bad behavior
by Diana Forum moderator / March 30, 2011 7:05 AM PDT

For example, if a company knew a product was harming some people and didn't say anything, they should have punitive damages.

For example, a car's brakes would fail sometimes. The car company figured it would be cheaper to pay damages for the few people it would hurt than do a recall.


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Agreed, but
by Roger NC / March 30, 2011 7:29 AM PDT

searching on punitive damages and doing a little reading also turns up statements like

Advocates of punitive damage
awards also contend that these awards serve a compensation function. Although a plaintiff may receive actual damages for the injuries suffered, many of the plaintiff's actual losses, including those involving intangible harm, are not compensable under the rules of compensatory damage liability. Punitive damages help the plaintiff to be made whole again.

But yes, the primary cause seems to be punishment, more like a criminal sentence than a civil one perhaps.

Ok, if compensatory are for cost or damages already occurred, what is the term for payment for future damages if it doesn't fall under punitive though? I know I read of one case that the court ruled where damages so far incurred were minimal, the damage to the individual's future economic gain was substantial. Sorry, my memory is failing me on details, but as I recall, the court ruled the damage to the plaintiffs name and image hurt his future economic gain. I think it was a writer or journalist or something similar.

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Future problems are very real
by Diana Forum moderator / March 30, 2011 11:19 PM PDT
In reply to: Agreed, but

If someone who is healthy is suddenly a quadriplegic, their lifetime expenses could be off the charts.


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True, but I was thinking of
by Roger NC / March 31, 2011 8:31 AM PDT

reputation or acceptance of qualifications in the future rather than health problems with that angle.

Don't most lawsuits over medical injury include future medical costs?

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by Diana Forum moderator / March 31, 2011 8:55 AM PDT

I always loved the pain and suffering. We had marital problems so you should pay for those.


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I would think that punative damages
by Steven Haninger / March 31, 2011 9:12 AM PDT
In reply to: Agreed, but

would be separate from loss reimbursement. Of course in long term or permanent injury cases the monetary loss wouldn't be known at the time of the trial. Punishment, IMO, shouldn't mean reward to the plaintiff. Jail time is a punishment and that doesn't put money in a victims pocket. I just happen to believe it's a wrong message to send by replacing some things with cash. Any punitive damage awards should be distributed in some other manner than they are now. And the lawyers should not be compensated based on the amount of that reward. It gives them no incentive to properly serve justice, IMO.

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RE the lawyers % of award
by Roger NC / April 1, 2011 7:25 AM PDT

I see your point, but I'll point out that many less affluent people with real complaints can't afford a lawyer's fee up front.

You take away the gamble of a higher payout, the lawyer is going to demand up front payment.

Sad statement of legal redress condition, but like most things in our society, it works best if you're wealthy.

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Shouldn't make a difference
by Steven Haninger / April 1, 2011 7:58 AM PDT

Legal fees can be unbundled and still be based on winning or losing. A good lawyer should know almost instinctively if the case is winnable and tack on his fee contingent upon success. It would be separate from other awards. The problem I could see, however, is that a lawyer might not pursue the case as aggressively if the fee was fixed. But to me, that would be a shame and show the lawyers lack of respect for the client's best interest and for proper justice. We don't need that type of lawyer anyway, IMO.

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Lots of things shouldn't but are and do.
by Roger NC / April 1, 2011 10:16 AM PDT

I wish I didn't think so, but I think much less than 50% of the law firms out there that would pursue a difficult, risky case with less financial incentive to do it.

But just the risk of not getting paid and standard fees would lower interest in less certain or difficult and long cases. Sad, but true. The bigger the payout, the more risk will be taken I think.

Sometimes the small lawyer takes on a corporation and wins, but often a large corporation can make it so expensive and time consuming to even try a case that the small law firm, especially a one man firm, can't afford to spend all the time and expenses necessary to win. It is nice when the small guy wins though.

However, given the ridiculous size awards (including the lawyers's fees sometimes tacked on) for small injuries in recent years, you have to wonder if the courts or juries are more willing to take the underdogs side if it finally gets to a hearing.

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Typical of the RIAA. First it was casette player
by Ziks511 / March 26, 2011 1:32 PM PDT

and a fee on every blank casette sold (they got that), then it was VCRs but they lost that case. Now it's P2P filesharing. Now I acknowledge that what goes on now is far more damaging to the recording industry than ever occurred with casettes or VCRs. P2P seems to be the source of choice for the younger generation, so the RIAA is just going to have to modernize its way of doing business, a thing it has been fighting since the recording ban of the war years over royalties over airplay. The RIAA's predecessor didn't want to pay musicians royalties when their records were played on the radio and the whole thing was shut down for ?3 years. No recordings by anybody at a time when some of the best music was being made.

That's also why you have to get recordings of that period from France or Japan.

A good deal of the music in Ken Burns Jazz was taken from a company in France which specialized in releasing a chronological collection of a musicians work regardless of the band he was with. I only have a couple of showcase CDs from that series, and I believe the RIAA forced them to close down, instead of taking the money they would have made in royalties and residuals. A lot of the musicians were already dead, and their share would have devolved on the RIAA because a lot of the recording companies no longer exist. But the RIAA isn't a rational organization as indicated by wanting a settlement greater than all the money of all the economies in the world. Thank you Jack Valenti, long time head of the RIAA who is also dead now, I think.


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And people in Hell want ice water!
by Paul C / March 27, 2011 2:06 AM PDT
With your arms around the future
And your back up against the past

- The Moody Blues, The Voice (1981)

Those words amply describe my feelings towards the RIAA, and for that matter, the Motion Picture Association of America.

RIAA and MPAA had to know that technology was irreversibly altering the way that music and movies would be accessed by consumers - but they held fast to the old paradigm of record stores and theaters, refusing to accept that we had entered the 21st Century.

Illegal file sharing is wrong, but asking that ridiculous amounts of cash be paid to those who are fighting the last war is even more so.

As far as music and movies are concerned, we'll all be better off when the dinosaurs of the RIAA and the MPAA die off and are replaced with groups that protect the artists' rights AND improve our access to the product, should we wish to access it.
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by MarkFlax Forum moderator / March 27, 2011 9:30 PM PDT

"replaced with groups that protect the artists' rights AND improve our access to the product"

How would they do that? It's a question that has not been satisfactorily answered since internet piracy began.


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Illegal file sharing is wrong,
by jonah jones / March 27, 2011 9:41 PM PDT

quite right, but, people being people, that's the way of things...

i watched Black Swan a few weeks ago (about 2 days after it hit
cinemas in the US) every 10 minutes a "blurb" appeared....
"this film is intended for private viewing by Academy Members only"

takes two to tango...


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