RIAA Gets $222,000 For 24 Songs

This is big. The RIAA has won a crucial victory in its tirade against music piracy. Jammie Thomas, a Minnesota native and single mother of two, was found guilty of breaching copyright infringement laws, in the first ever file-sharing case to go before a jury. The jurors awarded a sum of $222,000 to the RIAA as damages. That works out to be $9,250 for one song.

The RIAA did not have to prove that she had a file sharing program installed in her computer, nor that she was even physically present during the search of her computer by RIAA investigators. After the verdict was announced, RIAA attorney Richard Gabriel gloated to reporters that "this is what can happen if you don’t settle."

Snip from the article:

Thomas, 30, maintained that she was not the Kazaa user "Tereastarr," whose files were detected by RIAA’s investigators. Her attorney speculated to jurors that she could have been the victim of a spoof, cracker, zombie, drone and other attacks.

The jury found her liable after receiving evidence her internet protocol address and cable modem identifier were used to share some 1,700 files. The hard drive linked to Kazaa on Feb. 21, 2005 — the evening in question — did not become evidence in the case.

According to testimony, Thomas replaced her hard drive weeks after RIAA investigators accessed her share file and discovered 1,702 files. The industry sued on just 24 of those files.

The RIAA is sending a strong message, albeit a stupid one. Suing a single mother of two is not a good move. Just imagine, if the RIAA had sued her for all 1,702 files. I hope they sleep well at night. What would music be, without the people ?