05 October 2007

Single mother from Minnesota ordered to pay $220,000 for sharing 24 songs online

In the first U.S. trial to challenge the illegal downloading of music on the net, a single mother from Minnesota was ordered Thursday to pay $220,000 for sharing 24 songs online!

Jammie Thomas, 30, was the first among more than 26,000 people sued by the world's most powerful recording companies to refuse a settlement after being slapped with a lawsuit by the Recording Industry of America and six major music labels.

She turned down an offer to pay a few thousands dollars in fines and instead took the case to court, and lost.

Unlike some who insist on the right to share files over the net, Thomas says she was wrongfully targeted by SafeNet, a contractor employed by the recording industry to patrol the internet for copyrighted material. Rats!

Her lawyer said earlier this week that she had racked up some $60,000 in legal fees because she refused to be bullied.

And while Thomas insisted on the courthouse steps that she had never downloaded or uploaded music, her lawyer tried to convince jurors there was no way to prove who had uploaded songs on the Kazaa file sharing network.

A jury took just 5 hours to decide that evidence provided by the music labels showed otherwise and found Thomas guilty of copyright infringement!

Thomas, an employee of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe, an Indian tribe, was ordered to pay a $9,250-fine for each of 24 shared songs cited in the case.

Some of the songs she shared were Godsmack's "Spiral," Destiny's Child's "Bills, Bills, Bills" and Sara McLachlan's "Building a Mystery." I think she should walk free for the file sharing but be fined $4M for distributing such shit music.

The fine could have reached $150,000 PER SONG if the jury had found "willful" copyright infringement. Had the record companies sued her for all 1,702 songs found in the online folder the fine could have run in the millions.

Fuck this shit. CD's are dead. Record companies are dead. Someday music stores & music sections in electronic stores will be dusty catacombs. It's done. It's SO done; they're just trying to make some cash wherever they can now. If they can't sell records, they'll just sue everyone with a computer.

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