Court Orders Jammie Thomas To Pay The Music Industry Lot Of Money

Jammie Thomas-Rasset, the Minnesota resident whose legal tussle with the RIAA has resulted in some hyperbolic news outlets throwing around Joan Of Arc comparisons (oy), has been found guilty of pirating music by a Federal jury and ordered to pay the Recording Industry Association of America $1.92 million–$80,000 for each one of the 24 not-very-good songs that the music-industry lobbying group wanted to nail her for stealing via KaZAA. (Fun fact: That amount of money could buy about 101,000 full-price CDs, before taxes.) In a cruel irony, the money she’ll have to pay is eight times the amount she would have had to shell out had she not decided to appeal the guilty verdict brought against her in October 2007. Since her original trial, Thomas-Rasset has had a baby and gotten married, and some forums have sprung up in her honor (although they’ve been suspiciously quiet in the wake of her verdict being handed down). Ars Technica has a very thorough (and surprisingly evenhanded!) recap of the trial, and it points out that the “making available” argument preferred by the RIAA stood in this trial, in contrast to Thomas-Rasset’s earlier courtroom appearance. It also raises the possibility that even though the account on KaZAA had the username that Thomas-Rasset used on pretty much every site on the Internet, she might not have been the guilty party–it might have been an ex-boyfriend who knew his way around his lady’s passwords! Sheesh. Another entertainment lawyer in attendance at the trial has said that the music industry is willing to settle, although it would be yet another cruel irony if the settlement amount was somewhere around $220,000.Court orders Jammie Thomas to pay RIAA $1.92 million [CNet]