File-sharer found guilty: $1.92m damages awarded

Jun 19, 2009
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Drinks are on the RIAA this weekend, as the jury in Jammie Thomas-Rasset's file-sharing retrial have awarded record labels a huge $1.92 million in damages.  Thomas-Rasset was found to be guilty of "willfully" sharing 24 songs via Kazaa, and charged $80,000 per song; that's more than eight-times the amount awarded in the first trial.

Thomas-Rasset reportedly "gasped and her eyes widened" when the verdict was read out, unsurprisingly, and her lead attorney Kiwi Camara later expressed anger at the scale of the damages.  His legal team had expected figures closer to $750 per song, still a sizable $18,000 overall, but speculates that the jury believed Thomas-Rasset to be lying and were "angry about it".

Their defense was not enough to cast enough doubt onto the matching MAC address of both Thomas-Rasset's cable modem and computer ethernet port, nor the fact that she had swapped hard-drives without informing investigators.  She herself commented that the recording industry were unlikely to actually see any of the damages, however: "Good luck trying to get it from me... it's like squeezing blood from a turnip."

Meanwhile the RIAA have reiterated that they remain open to a settlement, with spokesperson Cara Duckworth telling reporters that "since day one we have been willing to settle this case... and we remain willing to do so."  Meanwhile Thomas-Rasset and her legal team are now in a position to consider an appeal, together with motions questioning the constitutionality of such a sizable damages award.


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