Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Woman illegally downloads 24 songs, fined to tune of $1.9 million

As reported by Elianne Friend on June 19, 2009 –
(CNN) -- A federal jury Thursday found a 32-year-old Minnesota woman guilty of illegally downloading music from the Internet and fined her $80,000 each -- a total of $1.9 million -- for 24 songs. Jammie Thomas-Rasset's case was the first such copyright infringement case to go to trial in the United States, her attorney said. Attorney Joe Sibley said that his client was shocked at fine, noting that the price tag on the songs she downloaded was 99 cents.
Thomas-Rasset downloaded work by artists such as No Doubt, Linkin Park, Gloria Estefan and Sheryl Crow. This was the second trial for Thomas-Rasset. The judge ordered a retrial in 2007 after there was an error in the wording of jury instructions. Thomas-Rasset is married with four children and works for an Indian tribe in Minnesota.

Editor Rozek’s Notes: I’d pay $80,000 a song for some of my favorites. I’m not sure Gloria Estefan has any I’d put that price tag on though…well…wait…that’s not true! I think that “Conga” was well worth it…but “come on! shake your body baby do the conga! I know I can’t control myself any longa!” You can get hours of enjoyment from that. I wonder what the error in the jury instructions that would end up needing a retrial was? “Ladies and Gentlemen of the Jury. It is now my duty to instruct you on the law that applies to this case. It is your duty to determine the effect and value of the evidence and to decide all questions of fact. Please remember that every one of you have downloaded a song or two or have listened to music illegally online and danced in front of the mirror in your bedroom.”

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