Universal Music Argues That High Copyright Fines Are Unconstitutional

Universal Music hopes the law isn’t universally appliedIts kind of the opposite of, “do unto others”.

When Universal Music lost an infringement case to Bridgeport Music, it did an unexpected thing. It apparently made a successful case that punitive damages tacked on to statutory damages are unconstitutional.

As a plaintiff, Universal has argued in other cases for very high fines. It is, in fact, currently in just such a case, where its arguing against substantially the same constitutional argument and in favor of even larger fines than those they claimed to be unconstitutional.

Mike Mesnick in Tech Dirt points out:

In that case, Universal Music is asking for fines that are more than 1,000x the actual damages. Pretty high, right? So what were the damages that Universal Music (and the court) found so unconstitutionally high in this case from Bridgeport? Turns out they were about 10x the actual damages. Funny how that works.

I imagine that anyone defending against a Universal copyright lawsuit will want to use their own pleadings as a starting point.

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