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
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."
quote: Define big deal? Dude someone could rape your kid and get less of a punishment for it. Come on, be rational.
quote: We are reducing the incentive for skilled professionals to create quality content. That just isn't rational.