Obviously, copyright law has little in common with natural justice, but the ruling this week that the RIAA can get paid twice for the same infringement seems to take the idea to a whole new level.
As part of a massive litigation campaign began in 2003, the RIAA sued tens of thousands of individual downloaders who used Limewire and other services. Those include relatively small settlements of several thousand dollars each for 104 songs that were downloaded by individuals from Limewire, and are also in the RIAA’s big list of tracks it wants the service to pay damages for. Defense lawyers for Limewire argued that such “double dipping” shouldn’t be allowed. Even though copyright law allows statutory damages of up to $150,000 per work, those can only be collected for each work once, the file-sharing service said. But the judge rejected that argument and RIAA lawyers will be able to get statutory damages for all infringed tracks, even ones it has already collected for from individuals.The RIAA really do see Limewire as the gift that keeps on giving. Isn't getting repeated payments off the back of a transgression closer to what a blackmailer does, rather than a justice system?