Lawsuits aimed at digital copyright infringements are mostly a result of an exaggerated sense of entitlement. That seems precisely the case with a musician seeking $5.2 billion in damages from Apple, Amazon and CDBaby.
One can almost say that organizations like RIAA have popularized the notions of adding in a lot of zeroes to every copyright infringement lawsuit. But then, at least RIAA lawyers try to use valid legal jargon to make their cases and force individuals to pay up hefty sums.
This is certainly not the case with Roland Chambers. Chambers is apparently of the view that he sent over five compact discs containing his music to Amazon, Apple as well as CDBaby. The legal filing of his lawsuit reads:
“On or about July of 2001, Plaintiff provided Defendant #3 (CD Baby) with five (5) compact disc including 12 original pieces of copyrighted sound recordings and two (pieces of artwork for the album cover.
In consideration for the compact disc, Defendant #3 executed a consignment only contract, which included distribution of the five disc sent only, no reproduction clause, warehouse storage fees if not sold, and no ownership transfer of copyright.“
The key grievance of the plaintiff, Mr. Chambers, is directed towards CDBaby. The lawsuit further reads,
“CD Baby was to distribute disc and not authorized to create any reproductions; however, more than five disc exist today, and CD Baby is only definitely aware of the whereabouts of one (1) disc. A representative states one (1) disc was sold and (3) were likely recycled/destroyed. This leaves one more disc unaccounted for prior to counterfeit units being placed on the market.“
He then goes on to calculate the amount of his damages by considering statutory damages of $30,000 per day, as well as $30,000 as the ‘cost of statutory damages’ and numerous other costs and numbers that the plaintiff was able to come up with.
Ultimately, he tacks up his bill to a whopping $5.2 billion. The case is as absurd as it looks like a poor imitation of the methods of RIAA and MPAA. It remains to be seen how the courts handle this case and whether or not Chambers gets anything out of this.