NewYorkCountryLawyer writes: The $1.92 million dollar RIAA verdict in Capitol Records v. Thomas-Rasset has been reduced from $1,920,000 to $54,000. The judge indicated that he found even the reduced amount to be 'harsh' and that, were he — rather than the jury — determining the proper damages, he might well have awarded even less. In his 38-page decision (PDF), Judge Michael J. Davis concluded that $2250 per infringed work was the maximum amount a jury could reasonably award without the result being a 'shock to the conscience', and indicated that he was relying solely on standard principles of 'remittitur', without reaching the constitutional due process arguments advanced by Ms. Thomas-Rasset's counsel. Judge Davis also indicated that he was relying in part upon the defendant's having lied under oath during the trial. The judge stated that 'statutory damages must still bear some relation to actual damages'.
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