Posted by: Sam Carson | 6 October, 2007

Never buy music again: single mother of two sued $222k by Music industry for downloading.

“Rest assured that I will now download one song for every dollar she has to pay before the year is out. I will be burning them to CDs and handing them out where ever I go. Fuck the RIAA.” says Love to Download in the comments of Wired online.

That’s $9250USD per track of 24 that single mother of two Jammie Thomas has to pay to the RIAA who sued her for downloading and distributing music on the KaZaa network, a grand total of $222,000. The complete story is in this feed on Wired’s Threat Level.

The verdict, coming after two days of testimony and about five hours of deliberations, was a mixed victory for the RIAA, which has brought more than 20,000 lawsuits in the last four years as part of its zero-tolerance policy against pirating. The outcome is likely to embolden the RIAA, which began targeting individuals in lawsuits after concluding the legal system could not keep pace with the ever growing number of file-sharing sites and services.

“This is what can happen if you don’t settle,” RIAA attorney Richard Gabriel told reporters outside the courthouse. “I think we have sent a message we are willing to go to trial.”

According to BigChampagne, an online measuring service, the number of peer-to-peer users unlawfully trading goods has nearly tripled since 2003, when the RIAA began legal onslaught targeting individuals.

At the time, BigChampagne says, there were about 3.8 million file sharers trading over the internet at a given moment. Now, the group has measured a record 9 million users trading at the same time. Roughly 70 percent of trading involves digital music, according to BigChampagne.

The case, however, did set legal precedents favoring the industry.

In proving liability, the industry did not have to demonstrate that the defendant’s computer had a file-sharing program installed at the time that they inspected her hard drive. And the RIAA did not have to show that the defendant was at the keyboard when RIAA investigators accessed Thomas’ share folder.

Also, the judge in the case ruled that jurors may find copyright infringement liability against somebody solely for sharing files on the internet. The RIAA did not have to prove that others downloaded the files. That was a big bone of contention that U.S. District Judge Michael Davis settled in favor of the industry.

Thomas, 30, maintained that she was not the Kazaa user “Tereastarr,” whose files were detected by RIAA’s investigators. Her attorney speculated to jurors that she could have been the victim of a spoof, cracker, zombie, drone and other attacks.

The jury found her liable after receiving evidence her internet protocol address and cable modem identifier were used to share some 1,700 files. The hard drive linked to Kazaa on Feb. 21, 2005 — the evening in question — did not become evidence in the case.

The RIAA are a consortium of recording corporations whose overpriced music in the 1990s lead to the development of the MP3 and file sharing as a competitive measure. Now they blame their consumers for their inability to adapt to new market forces whose was accelerated by their own greed. They include the following: Virgin Records, Capitol Records, Sony BMG, Arista Records, Interscope Records, Warner Bros. Records and UMG Recordings.

Don’t buy music from them anymore, as this is shameful behaviour.


  1. […] You can read the rest of this blog post by going to the original source, here […]

  2. I am glad the record companies won. People who would never steal a pack of sodas from a convenience store think stealing music is not stealing. It is. If it takes a lot of lawsuits to get it through peoples head that those who produce music own it and should have their property rights respected, let there be a lot of lawsuits. If that mother of two wants to take care of her children she should set a good example and not practice theft!

  3. Well, the evidence is hardly conclusive to me. She was essentially sued on the basis of her IP address. Neither the songs, nor the file sharing program were found in her hard drive. It is of course, possible that she did it, but equally possible she didn’t. But, it the jury found her guilty, so be it.

    • What ! Perhaps we should all just give 100,000 per person in the world to the music companies, I mean , if thats ok with them, and then they can f**k off and leave people alone. what an effective way to destroy themselves, Ill NEVER buy commercial music again. Its funny how humans look down on overweight people because it’s unhealthy to be that greedy, but money, thats a different story !

  4. Just for that, and other than Van Halen, i’m never EVER buying a CD again. The record companies have ripped off billions for years and they’re still making record profits yet they got to scrape 222K off a woman. If the record companies ever tried that with me i’d kill all of them. Easily.

  5. For every one hit wonder thats every been, and all the millions they’ve sold lets have a look shall we at how the people have been deceived.

    Milli Vanilli 6x Platinum for “Girl You Know Its True” album, where the guys didn’t even sing. Totally deceiving everyone. 6 Million albums in the UNITED STATES ALONE, times that by 13 dollars.

    Ashlee Simpson gets more than once chance unlike a lot of people (how much sex did she have for her 3rd album, we’ll never know) 3 x platinum.

    The real shoplifters are the record companies, anyone who thinks otherwise should be charged along with the record companies for their bullshit. I don’t even know why i care, i live in Canada, but still i think its absolute crap.

    I’m NEVER buying a CD again.

  6. […] This email should have sent out on paper, years ago.  Now it’s hard to imagine how any big music label is going to survive, and they shouldn’t.  How many other media industries have the same product and profit model as 15 years ago?  How many other media industries insult their consumer base like the RIAA recently did with their 222k lawsuit against a single mother? […]

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