A Federal Appeals Court has upheld the ruling that a Chicago woman who downloaded songs for free from the Kazaa file-sharing network must pay a $22,500 fine to the record labels. The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday rejected Cecilia Gonzalez' arguments that she was merely "sampling" downloaded music. The court likened Gonzalez' downloading of the music to shoplifting.

Gonzalez, who rejected a settlement of between $3,000 and $4,000 that the RIAA had offered earlier, downloaded at least 1,370 copyrighted songs and kept them on her computer until she was caught. The bulk of those came from CDs she had purchased, she claimed.
The Appeals Court upheld the notion that, as illegal P2P swapping of music has exploded, so have sales of recorded music dropped.

"Perhaps other economic factors contributed, but the events likely are related."