$1.92 million Jammie Thomas-Rasset verdict.
As a longtime professional songwriter, I have always objected to the practice of illegal downloading of music. I have also always, however, been sympathetic to the average music fan, who has been consistently financially abused by the greedy actions of major labels. These labels, until recently, were responsible for the distribution of the majority of recorded music, and instead of nurturing the industry and doing their best to provide the highest quality of music to the fans, they predominantly chose to ream the consumer and fill their pockets.
So now we have a "judgment" in a case of illegal downloading, and it seems to me, especially in these extremely volatile economic times, that holding Ms. Thomas-Rasset accountable for the continuing daily actions of hundreds of thousands of people is, at best, misguided and at worst, farcical. Her accountability itself is not in question, but this show of force posing as judicial come-uppance is clearly abusive. Ms. Thomas-Rasset, I think you got a raw deal, and I'm ashamed to have my name associated with this issue.
Richard Marx's opinion carries no legal weight, of course, though it's notable that his song "Now and Forever" was one of the 24 tracks for which Thomas-Rasset was ordered to pay. The track was actually played in court to verify that it was the same one retrieved from the tereastarr@KaZaA share folder—and one of the trial's few moments of levity came when the judge asked why the playback of such a terrific song had been cut short?