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US woman ordered to pay 1.3m for downloading 24 songs 20/04/2009

Jammie Thomas-Rasset was ordered to pay 1.3million in damages for illegally downloading 24 songs over the internet. The US found the 32 year old liable of violating music copyrights for using the Kaaza peer-to-peer file-sharing network to download the songs. Ms Thomas-Rasset was ordered to pay 57,000 per song to six different record companies including Sony BMG Music and Warner Bros. Records. Despite claiming that her former husband or her children may have downloaded the music, the jury found her guilty of making copyrighted music available to millions on the internet. In October 2007, Ms Thomas-Rasset was ordered to pay 157,000 in damages but the presiding judge threw out the verdict on grounds that it was disproportionate and oppressive.

Currently numerous recording companies all over the globe are seeking legal action against illegal file sharers. The Recording Industry Association of America, which has brought the suit against Ms Thomas-Rasset, has brought suit against thousands of people for illegally downloading and sharing music, with most of those sued agreeing to settlements. In fact Ms Thomas-Rasset was the first among those being sued to refuse a settlement and took the case to court, and her case is the only one out of the thousands filed to have gone to trial.

The case of Ms Thomas-Rasset is certainly not a novel case in the recent global anti-piracy fight and one expects similar cases and trials in the near future. All over the globe, website operators to illegal file sharers are being convicted to pay enormous amounts of money in damages with the aim of setting precedents. In some cases, such as in the recent high-profile Pirate Bay case, jail terms are also being handed down. Such strict judgments go in line with current legislative reforms both in Europe and else where which is seeing the introduction of stricter copyright and anti-file sharing laws.


US woman ordered to pay 1.3m for downloading 24 songs

Chetcuti Cauchi Advocates engaged by Malta Enterprise to compile and co-ordinate the Malta Pharmaceutical (Medicinal Products) Patents Directory [7th July 2009]

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