Jamie Thomas-Rasset file-sharing damages back up to $1.5 million

December 2010

COPYRIGHT
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.http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/technology/2010/11/three-strikes-for-jammie-thomas-rasset.html

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