Record labels, internet

In her third trial on copyright infringement charges for sharing 24 songs online, a US jury has ordered Jammie Thomas-Rassett pay $1.5 million in damages, or $62,500 per song. In the previous trial, the judge reduced a jury award from $1.92 million to $54,000. Both sides appealed that amount, which eventually led to a third trial solely on the matter of damages. Thomas was one of the thousands of people sued by the Recording Industry Association of America for file-sharing but unlike many who settled, she chose to fight her case in court, but lost twice but the question pf the quantum of damages remains.  US copyright law allows infringement damages of  between $750 and $150,000 per infringement. In the first trial Thomas was ordered to pay $9,250 per song, or $222,000 in total. After the trial judge held that he may have erred in law, a second jury awarded the record industry $1.92 million in damages. But Judge Michael Davis said that level of damages was totally inappropriate for the sharing of 24 songs on the internet and he cut the payment to a total of $54,000. The RIAA, while rejecting Davis’s damages ruling, offered Thomas a $25,000 out of court settlement. Thomas refused and let the RIAA go ahead with its appeal against Davis’s January ruling. This has now resulted in the award of $1.5 million in damages. The RIAA welcomed the latest damages ruling. Thomas seems likely to appeal.