RIAA trial ends in $2m fine

A Minnesota mother of two has been fined $1.92m for “willful copyright infringement” in the illegal sharing of 22 songs.

Jammie Thomas-Rasset (pronounced “Jamie”- can they tack on a fine for that?) was found to be responsible for the illegal downloads and ordered to pay $80,000 per track for her crimes.

Thomas-Rasset’s lawyers contend that it’s impossible to prove that she was the individual who illegally downloaded and shared the files, positing that her children and ex-boyfriend both had free access to her Kazaa account. They also made a point of her willingness to stand up to the RIAA and indicated that if precedent was set, many more people could stand to be tried on flimsy evidence.

This was Thomas-Rasset’s second trial, with a decidedly less favorable outcome for the single mother- however, the idea that most Americans could cough up that kind of cash is pretty silly. Originally, she was fined a total of $222,000 for the downloading spree, but the judge in the first case called a mistrial after acknowledging he may have erred in instructing the jury. Thomas-Rasset chose not to settle as most defendants had, resulting in the astronomical fine.

Via Wired, the two-million dollar playlist:

  • Guns N Roses “Welcome to the Jungle”; “November Rain”
  • Vanessa Williams “Save the Best for Last”
  • Janet Jackson “Let’s What Awhile”
  • Gloria Estefan “Here We Are”; “Coming Out of the Heart”; “Rhythm is Gonna Get You”
  • Goo Goo Dolls “Iris”
  • Journey “Faithfully”; “Don’t Stop Believing”
  • Sara McLachlan “Possession”; “Building a Mystery”
  • Aerosmith “Cryin’”
  • Linkin Park “One Step Closer”
  • Def Leppard “Pour Some Sugar on Me”
  • Reba McEntire “One Honest Heart”
  • Bryan Adams “Somebody”
  • No Doubt “Bathwater”; “Hella Good”; “Different People”
  • Sheryl Crow “Run Baby Run”
  • Richard Marx “Now and Forever”
  • Destiny’s Child “Bills, Bills, Bills”
  • Green Day “Basket Case”