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One of the many incredibly outrageous things that RIAA tries to do is to recoup “statutory damages” from file sharers that massively outweigh the actual financial damages incurred.
Now, at least a few judges are beginning to see the light. TechDirt points to a recent NY court ruling:
“In a recent case in the Southern District of New York, Yurman Studio, Inc. v. Castaneda, 07 Civ. 1241 (SAS)(S.D.N.Y. November 19, 2008), District Judge Shira A. Scheindlin reminds us of the well settled principle that “At the end of the day, ‘statutory damages should bear some relation to actual damages suffered’ [citing RSO Records v. Peri, 596 F.Supp. 849,862 (SDNY 1984); New Line Cinema Corp. v. Russ Berrie & Co., 161 F.Supp.2d 293,303 (SDNY 2001); 4 Nimmer Sec. 14.04[E] at 14-90(2005)] and ‘cannot be divorced entirely from economic reality‘” (via)
More people are waking up to the reality that the current manner in which copyright law is being applied to digital content is just plain crazy. It is an extremely complex problem but it will not be solved unless more individuals stand up to these powerful organizations.