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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: You People Just Don't Get It
By XZerg on 11/4/2010 2:37:50 PM , Rating: -1
Agree with you on this - Many of the RIAA haters don't seem to realize that this is bread and butter for artists and have spent quite a bit of time and given up many things in life to earn money, regardless of what the price is they sell their stuff at. Wait till you come spend endless hours to make something and find out you will not gain anything out of it. Then you will be first in line to partner up with the likes of RIAA.

Although I agree with others about the exorbitant amount is ridiculous. They are trying to impose the fine to make up for lost revenue money due to other downloading out of her system. Just because you stole something, used it and then put it out in public and then someone else steals and uses it, does not mean that you should get punished for the other thieves as well. Yes one should have the ability to send a message about negative effects of stealing and what not but has no rights to expect cumulative punishment to be given due to other thieves.


RE: You People Just Don't Get It
By isayisay on 11/4/2010 6:06:17 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, it is people like YOU who don't get it. But then again... neither do the music industries, so guess you are in good company. Why don't you go join them threatening the life of some random housewife.

The music industry will continue to act like smucks of the worst kind because there is so much profit in it for them.

While downloading music for free is theft, don't think the music industry is free from crime (which they aren't being held to task on)...price fixing. Individual songs for $1 and CDs that have been priced $10 to $15 for 20 years. Given all the vast technological production and distribution improvements over the years, their fixed costs have dropped through the floor. Natural competition should have seen the price of music come down or value of what is being provided increase. Neither has happened.

But... my prediction is all of this hate from the RIAA is going to just be bypassed... as more and more people get smart phones and internet connected home/TV devices, people will shift to an on demand approach and will simply stop buying music... they'll listen to stream music via their phone, laptop, home PC, blu ray, etc.... buy a $5 to $10 service (rhapsody) and then be done with the RIAA boneheads.


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