Saturday, October 06, 2007

A Great Day for the American Music Industry

This is totally disgusting. The American Music Industry just sued a single mother with kids for $US220,000 for sharing 24 songs using the KAZAA file sharing program.

The crazy thing is that if she had shoplifted the albums from the store- she would have probably got off less.

There's something perverse about this. Each time I hear a musician half-stoned on crack, cocaine, hashish, bitch about downloaded music, I go - "Yeah right, u need all the help you can get for your alternate lifestyle living."
Jammie Thomas, right, leaves the federal courthouse with her attorney, Brian Toder, after the verdict.
Photo: Julia Cheng
October 5, 2007 - 10:27AM

In the first US trial to challenge the illegal downloading of music on the internet, a single mother from Minnesota was ordered to pay $US220,000 ($247,549) 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 thousand dollars in fines and instead took the case to court.

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

Her lawyer said earlier this week that she had racked up some $US60,000 ($67,520) 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 five hours to decide that evidence provided by the music labels showed otherwise and found Thomas guilty of copyright infringement, court records showed.

Thomas, an employee of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe, an Indian tribe, was ordered to pay a $US9250 ($10,400) fine for each of 24 shared songs cited in the case, including Godsmack's Spiral, Destiny's Child's Bills, Bills, Bills and Sara McLachlan's Building a Mystery.

It could have been a lot worse.

The fine could have reached $US150,000 ($168,700) a song if the jury had found "willful" copyright infringement.

Had the record companies sued her for all 1702 songs found in the online folder the fine could have run in the millions.


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