Saturday, July 23, 2011

Judge Reduces Penalty in Downloading Case

A federal judge in Minnesota has reduced the penalty imposed on a Brainerd woman for illegally sharing 24 songs online from $1.5 million to $54,000.  U.S. District Judge Michael J. Davis says in a ruling on Friday that the penalty of $62,500 per song imposed by a jury last year was appalling and unreasonable.  He reduced the penalty to $2,250 per song.

Attorneys for Jammie Thomas-Rasset had argued the $1.5 million judgement violated the due process clause of the U.S. Constitution because the penalty had no reasonable relationship to the damage caused.

The recording industry sued Thomas-Rasset in 2006 for illegally sharing music on the file-sharing site Kazaa.  Three juries have ruled against her, but the case has seen multiple appeals.

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