Decisions in Brief

Recent Developments in IP Law

John C. Gatz

©2013. Published in Landslide, Vol. 5, No. 3, January/February 2013, by the American Bar Association. Reproduced with permission. All rights reserved. This information or any portion thereof may not be copied or disseminated in any form or by any means or stored in an electronic database or retrieval system without the express written consent of the American Bar Association or the copyright holder.


$9k Per-Song Penalty Is Just

Capitol Records Inc. v. Thomas-Rasset, 692 F.3d 899, 104 U.S.P.Q.2d 1063 (8th Cir. 2012). Capitol Records and other record companies sued Thomas-Rasset for copyright infringement connected to her unauthorized uploading of songs to an Internet file-sharing service. The record companies prevailed in their infringement claims, and a number of different monetary awards were given. The ultimate award leading to this appeal was $2,250 per song uploaded, which was reduced from a jury award of more than $60,000 per song. On appeal, the record companies argued that an earlier award of $9,250 per song should be reinstated. Thomas-Rasset argued for a nonmonetary award. The Eighth Circuit decided that an award of $9,250 is appropriate and not barred by the Due Process Clause of the Constitution.

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