Defendant in RIAA case challenges high damages

The RIAA’s habit of suing users who pirate music for $750+ per downloaded song may become a thing of the past, if the events of a recent lawsuit in Brooklyn, New York are any indication. In the case of Universal Music Group vs. Marie Lindor, the judge overseeing the case has granted Lindor’s motion to challenge the constitutionality of the RIAA’s sought damages.

The judge’s ruling says the court can prohibit “grossly excessive punitive jury awards” that are “grossly in excess of the actual damages suffered.” Lindor is asserting that damages suffered by Universal are actually around 70 cents per song, which is the amount of money the company makes from 99 cent song purchases on online music services. Universal now has to provide “all relevant documents” as well as a deposition to Lindor’s attorney regarding the wholesale sales price of music downloads. Thanks to The Inquirer for the tip.

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