Avast, and so forth: Jury says woman owes $1.5 million for pirating 24 songs
A Minneapolis jury has decided that a woman owes Capitol Records $1.5 million in damages for 24 songs she illegally downloaded using Kazaa over four years ago. Jammie Thomas-Rasset has been battling the RIAA since 2006, beginning with a 2007 trial and subsequent guilty verdict that said she owed $222,000. However, the judge in that case later called for a retrial on grounds that he had improperly instructed the jury; a jury in a second trial held last year found that Thomas-Rasset owed $1.92 million—a number that yet another judge found earlier this year to be “monstrous and shocking,” reducing it to $54,000. The RIAA then told Thomas-Rassett that it would accept a mere $25,000 if she would allow that judge’s “monstrous and shocking” decision to be stricken from the record. She rejected that offer immediately and pushed for this new trial, which ended with a verdict that was nearly identical to last year’s decision.
Representatives for the RIAA issued a statement this afternoon saying that with three guilty verdicts proving Thomas-Rasset’s liability, they “hope that she finally accepts responsibility for her actions.” (Her lawyers, meanwhile, plan to file another appeal, saying, “The fight continues.”) As it stands now, Thomas-Rasset owes essentially $62,500 for each song she downloaded. Hope they were at least extended dance remixes.