Alberto G writes: As Jammie Thomas appeals the $222,000 copyright infringement verdict against her, the Department of Justice has weighed in on a central facet of her appeal: whether the $9,250-per-song damages were unconstitutionally excessive and violated the Due Process Clause of the Constitution. The DoJ says that there's nothing wrong with the figure the jury arrived at: '[G]iven the findings of copyright infringement in this case, the damages awarded under the Copyright Act's statutory damages provision did not violate the Due Process Clause; they were not "so severe and oppressive as to be wholly disproportioned to the offense or obviously unreasonable."' The DoJ also appears to be impressed with the RIAA's argument that making a file available on a P2P network constitutes copyright infringement. 'It's also impossible for the true damages to be calculated, according to the brief, because it's unknown how many other users accessed the files in the KaZaA share in question and committed further acts of copyright infringement.'
"The fundamental principle of science, the definition almost, is this: the
sole test of the validity of any idea is experiment."
-- Richard P. Feynman