While only two highly pricey RIAA file-sharing suits against individuals concluded in court this year (Capitol V Thomas-Rasset and later Sony V Tenenbaum), four other trials were established, with the defendants failing to appear in court. The same judge who oversaw the Tenenbaum trial issued default judgments this week, to the insane tune of…minimum penalties.
The four defendants who failed to appear (and thus suffering an automatic loss) will have to pay damages of $750 per song, an average total of $7,500 each. Now while that would crush most twenty-somethings, it’s certainly not the terrifying price tag of $675,000 and $1.92 million issued to Tenenbaum and Rasset, respectively. Not to mention how much they spent on lawyer fees for their multi-year trials.
There you have it. Get called to court, don’t answer. It’s working great for Roman Polanski.
Just in case any of our readers are dumb enough to take my writing as serious legal advice, some of Ars Technica’s readers make a good point.
I was interested more in what happens within the federal court system for this article, but several commenters rightly point out that “not showing up” isn’t the cheapest way out of such situations. Settling with the RIAA usually leads to payments of between $3,000 and $5,000, lower than the default judgments issued here by Judge Gertner. Convincing a jury that you’re innocent could be cheaper still (if you find a pro bono lawyer), though it comes with certain obvious risks.
[Via Ars Technica]