Whacked $1.9M for downloads

July 7, 2009
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Unbelievable as it sounds, a federal jury in Minnesota ordered a woman to pay $1.92 million for violating copyrights on 24 songs she illegally shared. Thatâ??s $80,000 per song.

Jammie Thomas-Rasset today asked a judge to knock the penalty down to a total of $18,000 or to offer her a new trial.

She could have avoided the ordeal by paying about $24 to do download the songs legally.

Still, whatâ??s a reasonable fine?
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  • Here's another case where not only are some judges out of control, but juries as well. Where in the world did common sense go?

    It would not be surprising to learn that this woman will end up paying more in legal fees than she does in fines. So, once again, it's all about the litigation and how much the attorneys can make. That takes priority. Justice be damned.
  • Correct me if I'm wrong, but nobody has been pursued or fined for downloading music, have they? This lady wasn't fined for downloading those songs; she was fined for making those copyrighted works available for illegal use/acquisition (file sharing). I can't think of a single instance where the RIAA has gone after a downloader. Can you?
  • Like many stories in the electronic media, this article leaves out important details on WHY there is a $1.92M judgement. As a reader we are left thinking the jury was out of control. Though this may be the case, I would guess there may be other issues involved that lead to this hefty fine. Did the plaintiff atty ask for such a large fine? What reasons did the plaintiff atty list for requesting such a large fine? The article states the defendant asked for the fine to be lowered to $18,000. I think most people would think that amount is excessive for downloading 24 songs. I would suggest there is more to the story but the author elected not to share.
  • If you click the link, you see more of the details on this case. Most others settled for $3500. She's been fighting it (backed by someone perhaps?)

    This case was the only one of more than 30,000 similar lawsuits to make it all the way to trial. The vast majority of people targeted by the music industry had settled for about $3,500 each. The recording industry has said it stopped filing such lawsuits last August and is instead working with Internet service providers to fight the worst offenders.
  • be advised
  • A fine is a statutory penalty for wrongdoing imposed by a judge. This wasn't a fine - it was a judgment issued by a jury after hearing all of the evidence. It was intended to compensate the owners of the property for harm they suffered as a result of this woman ignoring the law and effectively stealing their property.

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