UNDERNEWS

Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review has been on the web since 1995. See main page for full contents

June 19, 2009

JURY AWARDS OUTRAGEOUS FINE IN MUSIC DOWNLOADING CASE

Question: Might it not be time for a boycott of RIAA member recordings?

CNET - Jammie Thomas-Rasset was found guilty of willful copyright infringement in a Minneapolis federal court and must pay the recording industry $1.92 million. In a surprise decision, the jury imposed damages against Thomas-Rasset, who was originally accused to sharing more than 1,700 songs, at a whopping $80,000 for each of the 24 songs she was ultimately found guilty of illegally sharing. In 2007, the Recording Industry Association of America claimed in a lawsuit that Thomas-Rasset pilfered 1,700 songs. The RIAA eventually culled that number down to a representative sample of 24.

Thomas-Rasset lost a previous trial in October 2007 when a jury rendered a $222,000 verdict against the Minnesota native. U.S. District Judge Michael David threw out the decision after acknowledging he erred when giving his jury instructions.

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