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1.92 Million Reasons Not to Download Music

Stunned. That is my reaction to the news that a Minnesota jury has ordered a 32-year-old woman to pay $1.92 million to the music industry for downloading music. That is $80,000 per song for each of the 24 songs she is said to have downloaded.

The woman's reaction: "Good luck trying to get it from me. ... It's like squeezing blood from a turnip."

This was the second trial for the woman, Jammie Thomas-Rasset, in the first downloading case to go to trial. Two years ago, a jury ordered Thomas-Rasset to pay $222,000 for downloading the songs -- $9,250 per song. The judge declared a mistrial and Thomas-Rasset opted for a second go-around.

The woman's lawyer, Kiwi Camara, told reporters that when he first heard the verdict, he was "angry about it." He had felt confident that any liability finding would be for the statutory minimum amount of $750 per song.

There remains the possibility that the parties will still reach a settlement. A spokesperson for the music industry said after the verdict, "Since day one we have been willing to settle this case ... and we remain willing to do so." The music industry has made its point with this verdict and has nothing further to gain by chasing after money it will never recover. As for Thomas-Rasset, she should be looking for a way to put this nightmare behind her. Let's hope both sides find a reasonable way to bring this case to an end.

Posted by Robert J. Ambrogi on June 19, 2009 at 03:08 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)


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