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Thomas fined $1.5M by jury  (Source: AP)
It's like Deja Vu all over again

The battle between Jammie Thomas and the Recording Industry Artists Association (RIAA) has reached epic proportions. The battle revolves around allegations that Thomas illegally shared music and downloaded pirated music using the peer-to-peer sharing platform Kazaa. 

Thomas was back in a courtroom fighting the jury award that would have seen her pay $1.92 million for illegally downloading 24 songs working out to $84,000 per song. The judge in the case reduced that fine to $54,000 in an appeal stating, "The need for deterrence cannot justify a $2 million verdict for stealing and illegally distributing 24 songs for the sole purpose of obtaining free music."

The RIAA later offered to settle with Thomas for $25,000 to be paid to a music charity. Thomas and her attorney refused the offer, and the RIAA then rejected the judges reduced fine of $54,000. After the reduction was rejected, the case went back to court. The jury deliberated for two hours according to the 
Star Tribune and came back with bad news for Thomas. The jury awarded the RIAA a record fine of $1.5 million, which is about $400,000 less than the original judgment against Thomas.

A RIAA representative named Cara Duckworth said, "We are again thankful to the jury for its service in this matter and that they recognize the severity of the defendant's misconduct. Now, with three jury decisions behind us, along with a clear affirmation of Ms. Thomas-Rasset's willful liability, it is our hope that she finally accepts responsibility for her actions."

Neither Thomas nor her attorney was available for comment on the decision. Looking at the history of the case, it would be unsurprising for another appeal to follow along with another plea from the Thomas camp to reduce the fine.  Thomas' attorney Kiwi Camera said in closing arguments, "She may have engaged in the conduct. That doesn't mean they can take her head and stick it up on a pole."

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RE: lol.
By Reclaimer77 on 11/4/2010 12:05:44 PM , Rating: 5
Nice to see a rational reply finally. This woman stole something.

Nice to see people are still confused about this issue. Nobody has been tried of or accused of theft with file sharing. She didn't steal. It's called IP Infringement.

Why do so many people think that illegally downloading copyrighted information is no big deal?

Define big deal? Dude someone could rape your kid and get less of a punishment for it. Come on, be rational.

RE: lol.
By cosme on 11/5/2010 10:06:14 AM , Rating: 2
Define big deal? Dude someone could rape your kid and get less of a punishment for it. Come on, be rational.

Well, that's just sad, isn't it?

This woman had a chance to get off with a slap on the wrist for breaking the law. She chose not to take it. That's not rational, why should the RIAA then have to be rational with her?

IP infringement, illegal downloading of copyrighted content, whatever semantics you want to argue - it is a very big deal with more and more people working in industries that mainly produce intellectual property in digital format. We're setting up a precedent that if it's on the internet, anyone can take it, legal or not. We are reducing the incentive for skilled professionals to create quality content. That just isn't rational.

If you like something enough to want to use it, you should pay the person who created it. It's not rational to expect an economy to work otherwise.

RE: lol.
By Reclaimer77 on 11/5/10, Rating: 0
RE: lol.
By Firebat5 on 11/6/2010 11:11:32 AM , Rating: 2
I'm sorry I just can't resist this one.

"It's called IP Infringement."

Yes you are correct. "intellectual PROPERTY infringement." Now, if its "property," then someone owns it by definition. If someone takes what you own without permission (in this case she didn't obtain permission), it is stealing. Plain and simple. If you don't like this, change the legal definition of intellectual property to exclude whatever you think it is that should not be considered someone's property. But right now in this country, this woman did steal something, and then distribute it.

"Mac OS X is like living in a farmhouse in the country with no locks, and Windows is living in a house with bars on the windows in the bad part of town." -- Charlie Miller

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