Copyright Liability and Music ‘Piracy’: Capitol Records v Thomas-Rasset

In: Enrico Bonadio and Aislinn O’Connell (eds.), Intellectual Property Excesses (Hart Publishing, 2022, p. 33-50.

14 Pages Posted: 22 Mar 2021 Last revised: 3 Jul 2022

See all articles by Péter Mezei

Péter Mezei

University of Szeged, Institute of Comparative Law and Legal Theory

Date Written: February 26, 2021

Abstract

Illegal downloading of copyright materials by end-users had its heyday in the early 2000s, with music, television, and film studios desperately searching for a way to curb the tide of sharing. This chapter uses the example of Capitol Records v Jammie Thomas-Rasset, the first file-sharing case to be tried before a civil jury in the United States, to demonstrate the disproportionate penalties associated with P2P file-sharing. The matter concerned an individual’s sharing of 24 songs, and the damages varied between $222.000 and $1.92 million. Building on this copyright infringement case, the chapter ponders the appropriateness of copyright infringement damages in a world where many infringers see no profit from their copyright breaches. To reach this goal, the chapter discusses the content of the Thomas-Rasset case and the externalities of this judgement as well as copyright enforcement against P2P file-sharers in the US.

Keywords: copyright law, music piracy, P2P file-sharing, Capitol Records v Thomas-Rasset, statutory damages, making available to the public, distribution

JEL Classification: L00, K10, K11, K19, K12, K33, K42, K39, O30, O33, O34

Suggested Citation

Mezei, Péter, Copyright Liability and Music ‘Piracy’: Capitol Records v Thomas-Rasset (February 26, 2021). In: Enrico Bonadio and Aislinn O’Connell (eds.), Intellectual Property Excesses (Hart Publishing, 2022, p. 33-50. , Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3793417 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3793417

Péter Mezei (Contact Author)

University of Szeged, Institute of Comparative Law and Legal Theory ( email )

Bocskai u. 10-12.
Szeged, H-6721
Hungary
+36-62-546-735 (Phone)

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
96
Abstract Views
466
rank
377,250
PlumX Metrics