Jammie Thomas-Rasset's penalty cut from $2m to $54k

By on January 22, 2010, 6:35 PM
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.

User Comments: 7

Got something to say? Post a comment
compdata compdata, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I am totally against downloading songs illegally, but i do think that the punishment should fit the crime, and for a song that was not redistributed i think even $2000/song seems extremely high. I would like to see clearer bounds and reasonable and specific penalties defined that are actually in-forced.

Puiu Puiu said:

Good thing someone who wasn't a total lunatic did a more correct judgment. Although i still consider it to be very harsh, 2 million dollars was insane... no... i consider it to be extremely insane and stupid.

ET3D, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I agree. The ultra high penalties are IMO also a less effective deterrent. When you see them you can do nothing but get flabbergasted. Something in the thousands or tens of thousands makes you feel more like "okay, maybe I'd rather not try that", because it's at least comprehensible.

Guest said:

I think it's more than a little amusing that these fines are far more harsh than those in comparison that are much more life threatening due to rule breaking.

yangly18 yangly18 said:

Personally, I think all they should charge for illegal downloads is the actual price of the product. I'm not sure what the actual "LAWS" are on downloading content from the internet, but it's its not exactly like going to a store and stealing the hard copy. We are sharing digital data, not a CD. And 24 songs for 2M??? these guys are insane, I'm glad they dropped the charge, but 54K is still alot to pay.

Deathstar17 said:

Its unbelievable that we have people getting 3rd and 4th DUI charges and still getting off easy, and this woman can get fined 54k for 24 songs. Absolute insanity.

dosguy said:

It's absolutely ludicrous to impose such a harsh penalty on someone for downloading music while people who endanger others' lives by texting or talking on a cellphone while driving go unpunished, or face a mere $50 fine where it's illegal. This country has it's priorities so screwed up, it's pathetic.

Load all comments...

Add New Comment

TechSpot Members
Login or sign up for free,
it takes about 30 seconds.
You may also...
Get complete access to the TechSpot community. Join thousands of technology enthusiasts that contribute and share knowledge in our forum. Get a private inbox, upload your own photo gallery and more.