We have continued to follow the outrageous expansion of copyright and trademark litigation (here and here and here), particularly the recording industry which is seeking crippling penalties for downloading song. Now, the industry has succeeded in nailing Whitney Harper who was between 14-16 years old when she downloaded 37 songs. The Court of Appeals increased the penalties against her — amounting to as much as $40,000.
While the parties agreed that she would be liable for $200 a song (under the “innocent” downloading figure), the industry said it would seek $750 if she challenged them on appeal.
Harper is now about to graduate from Texas Tech with a degree in business communications and the ruling may cause her to declare bankruptcy.
After intense lobbying from the industry, Congress has refused to do anything about these draconian penalties.
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