The RIAA’s Never-Ending Battle Over File Sharing

29 01 2010

On Friday, January 22, Judge Michael Davis reduced the jury award by ninety-seven percent in a case brought by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) against Minnesota mother Jammie Thomas-Rasset for copyright infringement of twenty-four songs obtained through illegal file sharing, calling the original fine “monstrous and shocking.” This case was the first file sharing case to make it past the settlement stages and into court, and has now been tried to a jury twice. The jury verdict of $222,000 in the first trial was thrown out when the case was declared a mistrial. In a second trial, the jury convicted Thomas-Rasset and assigned a $1.92 million verdict in favor of the RIAA, a fine of $80,000 per song. Last week this verdict was reduced to $54,000, amounting to $2,250 per song. The RIAA plaintiffs were given seven days to respond, either to accept the lower verdict or seek a new trial.

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