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Sep 11 2012 – Appeals court sides with RIAA, Jammie Thomas owes $222,000

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Posted by admin on December 8, 2012 at 6:34 pm

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit vacates a lower court’s decision and rules that Thomas-Rasset, found by a judge to have lied about illegally uploading music, must pay the top four labels $222,000.

September 11, 2012 9:25 AM PDT

The top four record labels have won a significant decision in their long-running suit against Jammie Thomas-Rasset, the Minnesota woman found by a court to have “lied” about illegally uploading music to the Web. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit found unanimously in favor of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), the trade group for Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Music Group and EMI Music:
We conclude that the recording companies are entitled to the remedies that they seek on appeal. The judgment of the district court is vacated, and the case is remanded with directions to enter a judgment for damages in the amount of $222,000, and to include an injunction that precludes Thomas-Rasset from making any of the plaintiffs’ recordings available for distribution to the public through an online media distribution system.

Attorneys for Thomas-Rasset were not immediately available for comment. We’ll update the story as soon as we hear from them. The RIAA issued a brief statement: “We are pleased with the appellate court’s decision and look forward to putting this case behind us.” In 2007, the RIAA accused Thomas-Rasset of copyright infringement for sharing 1,700 copyrighted songs — the equivalent of 150 CDs. But the RIAA whittled down the number to 24. A jury heard the proof against her and rendered a $222,000 verdict against her. That decision was thrown out by U.S. District Court Judge Michael Davis in Minnesota after he acknowledged erring in his jury instructions. In 2009, Thomas-Rasset’s case was retried and again 12 jurors decide against her. This time, however, the jury awarded damages of $80,000 for each of the 24 songs she was accused of sharing for a total of $1.92 million. That award was again thrown out along with the verdict.

Read the full article here.


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