RIAA Lawsuit Comes With Expensive Verdict: $222.000
The RIAA lawyer left the Duluth, Minnesota courthouse with a big smile upon his face. The organization won the case against Jammie Thomas and was awarded $222.000 in damages.
October 5, 2007
The lawsuit lasted for two days and the it took the jurors only five hours to reach the verdict. Thomas was found guilty and now she has to pay $9,250 for each of 24 shared songs mentioned in the lawsuit. Or, better said, she's most likely to lose everything she has.
"This is what can happen if you don't settle," RIAA attorney Richard Gabriel told reporters outside the courthouse. "I think we have sent a message we are willing to go to trial."
In the mean time, neither Thomas nor her lawyer wished to make any statements. Chances are that she will continue the legal battle, as several copyright lawyers have already approached her.
It's worth noting that while no evidence of file sharing was found on her new hard drive (and the old one was not admitted as evidence), U.S. District Judge Michael Davis stated that one could be guilty of copyright infringement by the act of making copyrighted songs available for download. As it follows, the RIAA had no need to prove that someone actually downloaded the shared songs, nor that she was at the computer at the time it was accessed by investigators.
Needless to say, this victory is most-likely to make RIAA even bolder is its anti-piracy fight. Still, it's hard to believe that the verdict will affect illegal downloads in any way.