first_imgYou might have heard that earlier in the week, accused file sharer Jammie Thomas-Rasset was billed $1.5 million for downloading and distributing songs over Kazaa. The end bill? An astonishing $62,500 fine for each shared song. That bill’s been dropping a lot of jaws even from people who don’t closely follow file sharing cases, but is it — despite appearances — a true estimate of the damages caused by file sharing? Not according to a court in Germany, who has a dramatically more reasonable take on the matter. First, some history: back in October, the Hamburg Regional Court ruled on a case of a young man who shared a couple of songs on peer-to-peer networks back in 2006. Germany’s music publishers sued him, and he was found guilty.So far, everything’s the same between the two cases. However, in America, the jury ultimately decided to fine Thomas-Rassett for all the damages that could ever be racked up by sharing songs. On the other hand, the German court took a far more sensible approach to billing their guilty file-sharer: they decided to award damages that were identical to what it would have cost the file-sharer to license those songs to begin with, for the duration of the time they were shared.So what’s the end fine? A million? A few thousand? Nope: the end fine is just thirty euros, or about $42. It’s a fine so low it’s almost anticlimactic: the German teenager has been fighting this case for four years. It’s probably too low. Still, unlike the American cases against file sharers, at least the math is understandable to everyone. How great it would be if the American Courts would start awarding damages based on calculable, real-world figures instead of imaginary losses and the need to “send a clear message.”Read more at Torrent Freaklast_img read more