Friday, June 19, 2009

Friday Diversion: What's the deal with Jammie Thomas?

I am embarrassed to say that I live in the state where a jury decided that Jammie Thomas should pay the RIAA $1.9 million for sharing 24 songs on the Internet.

Putting that in perspective, the jury has awarded $80,000 in damages per song.

According to wikipedia, there were 5 billion songs shared on the Internet in 2006. If we accept that the jury's verdict is fair, that means that the record companies lost out on $400 trillion dollars. $400,000,000,000,000.00. The current Gross Domestic product of the United States is about $14 trillion dollars. The gross domestic product of the world is about $60 trillion dollars.

The median household income in the United States in 2007 was about $50,000. If Jammie Thomas earnes that she would have to give all of her earnings (pre-tax) to the RIAA for the next 37.8 years. This is assuming there is no interest applied to the unpaid balance. At 3% interest, her salary will never cover the interest earned in a year.

If a typical CD costs $12 then you can purchase 158,333 CDs with this award.

Based on a sample size calculator, we can be 95% certain that at least 93.37% of the residents in Hennepin County are absolutely ridiculous.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

As much as I disagree with the ruling I think people should try to get the facts some way accurate.
According to Billboard, Jammie Thomas shared a total of 1,702 tracks online. The RIAA however focused on only 24 of these. In addition, the RIAA first warned Thomas with a cease-and-desist letter.Thomas refused and the case went to court.

I know this is from wikipedia but I’m going to assume it’s true.
Kind regards