Illegal Downloads? $9,250 Each

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A music piracy lawsuit that's been ongoing since 2007 may be over, with a judgment that one woman owes the industry 222 grand.

Jammie Thomas-Rasset now owes major record labels $222,000, according to CNET.

I say “now owes” because the case has been bouncing between courts since 2007, with each judge or jury coming to different conclusions. She’s owed anywhere from $2,250 to $80,000 per illegally downloaded song – and the number of songs has changed too…

In 2007, the RIAA accused Thomas-Rasset of copyright infringement for sharing 1,700 copyrighted songs – the equivalent of 150 CDs. But the RIAA whittled down the number to 24. A jury heard the proof against her and rendered a $222,000 verdict against her.

That judgment was just reinstated, so it’s now $9,250 per song. But this case probably isn’t over yet.

“Her attorneys have promised to appeal all the way to the Supreme Court if need be,” says CNET. “In the past, they have argued that the damages award laid down by Congress for copyright infringement was meant to punish organized criminal groups and not individual online file sharers. They argue that the awards amount is cruel and unusual punishment and therefore unconstitutional.”

Stacy Johnson

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