Turns out, yesterday the single mother of four was found guilty again, only this time she was ordered to pay a mind-boggling $80,000 per song; or $1.9 million in total. Outside the courtroom, Thomas called the penalty “kind of ridiculous,” as she has no means of paying such a large fine. It’s unclear whether or not she plans to appeal the decision, as a spokesperson for the RIAA said record companies are willing to settle out of court for a much smaller amount, and that they’ve been prepared to do so “since day one.”
While Thomas’ case is the first of its kind to make it to trial, there have been more than 35,000 similar cases where the RIAA persuaded people to hand over the cash without recourse to law. Regardless of any possible out of court settlement, many believe that the massive $1.9 million fine might actually end up hurting the RIAA’s anti-piracy campaign more than anything else, as it offers a clear example of how unreasonable and absurd their damages theory for copyright infringement really is.