We have been following the progress of the music copyright infringement cases over the years, often finding our firm defending those who receive the lawsuits or demand letters. The first case to go to trial resulted in a verdict of $222,000. All of the consumer rights groups jumped on the result, criticizing everything about the trial and taking the lawyer for the defendant to task for alleged incompetence. With new, supposedly expert, lawyers provided by, or supported by, the consumer rights groups and other free speech related coalitions, the Judge in the original trial agreed to a re-trial. Dozier Internet Law is battling these extremist groups all the time, and while we try to protect the intellectual property of businesses, these groups seem to always be supporting the right of others to take this property. Kind of a Robin Hood philosophy better suited for socialism than capitalism.
So, it would come as no surprise to Dozier Internet Law, frankly, that the retrial with these consumer rights minded copyright lawyers (at least that is how they are characterized online) would result in a jury verdict for the defendant. But that is not the way it has turned out. Looks like the case was not as weak as the consumer rights and anti-business forces believed.
The new jury verdict returned is almost ten times greater than the initial verdict, leaving the Defendant destitute for sure. The original verdict was for $9,250 per song. The new verdict is for $80,000 each song. The verdict has increased from $222,000 to $1.92 Million. And these groups, headed up by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, are again attacking the jury verdict.
So, do they appeal and fight the case? It's hard to attack their own hand picked lawyer this time. And how much more will the next jury verdict be? Well done, consumer rights groups. Nice message to send out. The consumer rights in-house lawyers, (not the private firm representing the defendant), constantly spread the mantra that they will fight for you. But do you really want them? The last I looked, the leading consumer rights groups like EFF and Public Citizen didn't appear to have a single lawyer that has ever tried a case to a jury. If there is one on staff, I'll leave the comments open so you can list them.
At Dozier Internet Law, we love going against the in-house lawyers for the ACLU, Public Citizen and EFF and other consumer rights type groups. They can sound great in press releases, and public commentary, and legal briefs. But you should see them in discovery, litigation and before a jury. And that's why they have no experience with jury trials. They are scared to try a case. They just settle cases in the quiet of the night. Because they are scared to lose and know that if they try the case, that is the likely result. And having a client get slammed for a $2 Million Judgment, and thereby ruining her financial situation for life, is hardly worth the principle in their minds.
That's the notable part of this case. The case got tried to a jury. They were forced into trial given the circumstances. Ouch. Nice result.