Minnesota judge Michael Davis has drastically reduced Jammie Thomas-Rasset's $1.92 million penalty to $54,000. A jury ordered Thomas-Rasset to pay nearly $2 million after finding her guilty of illegally downloading and sharing 24 songs in an RIAA case.
Davis called the fine "monstrous and shocking," and feels his reduced award is still "significant and harsh." The judge said he would have shrunk it further if he could have, and the award is higher than the court might have imposed in its sole discretion.
The new punishment of $54,000 amounts to $2,250 per song, compared to $80,000 for each before Davis shrunk the fee. The absolute minimum penalty is $750 per infringement in copyright cases, while the maximum is $150,000.
Thomas-Rasset has seven days to decide whether she will pony up or request a new trial. Meanwhile, Ph.D. student Joel Tenenbaum, another accused music sharer, is looking for a retrial or a reduction of the $675,000 he was ordered to pay.