19 March 2013, 17:55

Court issues $222,000 fine for illegally downloaded music

судейский молоток суд правосудие

The U.S. Supreme Court dismissed an appeal from a Minnesota woman who has been ordered to pay record companies $222,000 for the unauthorized downloading of 24 songs. It means that each song will cost her $9,250.

The Recording Industry Association of America filed a lawsuit against Jammie Thomas-Rasset for downloading 24 songs and sharing them with other internet users via the file-sharing service Kazaa in 2006. Since then, her case has gone through three trials and several appeals. Each time she refused to pay, as the ordered payment for each song “was excessive”. Once the court ruled out that she had to pay $1.92 million, or $80,000 per song. But later the decision was cancelled.

The Recording Industry Association of America issued a statement saying that it appreciates the Supreme Court’s decision, bringing an end to a case that began in 2005 when a consultant spotted 1,700 copyrighted recordings on a file-sharing service called Kazaa that were later linked to Thomas-Rasset. “We’ve been willing to settle this case since day one and remain willing to do so,” the spokesperson of the association said.

Thomas-Rasset claimed that she can't afford to pay and will simply file for bankruptcy if necessary. “If they try and come after me for it I’m not going to have any choice,” she said. “If I have to file bankruptcy that would probably ruin my credit for 7 to 10 years, but my credit’s not really that good anyways.”

The music industry filed thousands of lawsuits in the early to mid-2000s against people it accused of downloading music without permission and without paying for it. Almost all the cases settled for about $3,500 apiece. Thomas-Rasset is one of only two defendants whose case went to trial. The other is former Boston University student Joel Tenenbaum, who also lost and was ordered to pay $675,000.

Voice of Russia, the Huffington Post, the Star Tribune

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