By now, everyone has heard about the Jamie Thomas-Rasset case, in which the jury awarded the RIAA nearly $2 million for the illegal download of 24 songs.
I was quick to say that the decision was outrageous - and in many ways, it was. Were the 24 songs she was charged with illegally downloading really worth $80,000 each? Of course not.
So why the verdict? I think the jury didn't like her. Not one little bit. Three facts in this case particularly struck me when I read the full story.
First, she supposedly downloaded about 1,700 songs, though she was only charged with downloading 24 of them.
Second, she apparently deliberately gave the RIAA the wrong hard drive during discovery in an attempt to hide her actions. Yup, seen that before. Pisses me off no end when they do that.
Third, it took her three years to suddenly hone in on her ex-husband as the possible infringer.
The jury no doubt saw a guilty weasel running for cover. Thomas-Rasset was probably her own worst enemy. No matter how silly the ultimate verdict, this defendant proves something all litigators know - if the the jury doesn't like or trust the defendant, your case is in trouble.
And from my foxhole, one thing juries hate most is any attempt to conceal evidence. They tend to skewer anyone they believe guilty of playing "hide and seek." Beware, those who are prone to hiding or spoliating evidence - you may do so at your own peril.
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