US woman loses music downloading appeal

2012-09-12 14:36
A US woman accused of sharing songs online owes record companies $222 000 for wilful copyright violations, a federal appeals court has said. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

A US woman accused of sharing songs online owes record companies $222 000 for wilful copyright violations, a federal appeals court has said. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Minneapolis - A US woman accused of sharing songs online owes record companies $222 000 for wilful copyright violations, a federal appeals court said on Tuesday, reversing a lower court's ruling in a long-running lawsuit over music downloading.

A three-judge appeals panel ruled that Chief US District Judge Michael Davis erred when he cut the award against Jammie Thomas-Rasset to $54 000.

The Brainerd woman's case was one of only two lawsuits to go to trial out of more than 30 000 filed by the recording industry in a drive to stop the unauthorised free downloading of copyrighted music, which the industry says has cut deeply into its revenues. The vast majority settled for about $3 500 apiece.

The US Supreme Court in May refused to hear an appeal by former Boston University student Joel Tenenbaum of a $675 000 award in the other case, but he has vowed to keep fighting.

Juries ruled against Thomas-Rasset in three separate trials since the industry sued her in 2006. Davis said the last award, of $1.5m, was "severe and oppressive".

Appeal

But the appeals court found the high award was not unreasonable. It sent the case back to Davis for an order that she pay $222 000 - the award from her original trial - and for an injunction barring her from making the plaintiffs' recordings available to the public via online media distribution systems in the future.

"We are pleased with the appellate court's decision and look forward to putting this case behind us," the Recording Industry Association of America said in a statement.

But Thomas-Rasset said she plans to appeal again as long as her attorneys remain with her for the long haul, and they've assured her they are. She has said she can't afford to pay anyway.

Her attorney, Kiwi Camara, confirmed they'll ask the Supreme Court to hear the case, saying the $222 000 award is punitive.

The industry has previously offered to settle for $25 000 and donate the money to a musician's charity. Camara said they wouldn't accept such an offer even if were made again.

The industry presented evidence that Thomas-Rasset made available over 1 700 songs to other computer users via the file sharing service Kazaa, though the lawsuit targeted only 24 songs.

For tactical reasons, the appeals court noted, the industry didn't seek reinstatement of the third jury's award and was content with the original $222 000 - $2 250 per song - from her 2007 trial.

Thomas-Rasset got a second trial in 2009 after Davis concluded he made a legal error in her first. After Davis cut the second jury's $1.92m award to $54 000, the industry won a third trial that resulted in a $1.5m award, which Davis again cut to $54 000.
- AP
Read more on:    internet  |  music
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24

 
/News

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Save up to 40% on outdoor accessories!

Tents, sleeping, day packs and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Month End Madness Sale!

Save up to 60% on across a wide range of goods from books to electronics, DVDs and many more. Sale end 31 January 2015. Shop now!

Valentine’s Day gifts – 14 Feb!

Gifts to spoil him and her. While stocks last. Shop now!

30% off fragrances

Get 30% off fragrances for him and her. While stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off All Textbooks

Save up to 30% off an extensive range of prescribed textbooks for all major universities and FET colleges. Shop Now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

It is easy to get bogged down by things today. The Taurus Moon highlights the comforts and pleasures of life. You may have the...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.