Single Mom Fined $220k for Music DownloadsIn the first RIAA case to actually go to trial, a single mom in Minnesota was convicted of downloading music and fined $220,000 for 24 songs, despite the complete absence of proof that she downloaded them. She plans to appeal and vows she "will not be bullied."
The Minnesota woman ordered to pay $220,000 after being found guilty of illegally downloading copyrighted music is loudly voicing her own opinion about the case, including plans to appeal the decision.
Jammie Thomas’ attorney announced Monday that he would appeal the decision, which has been viewed as a victory for the Recording Industry Association of America. The single mother’s attorney made the announcement during a CNN interview, just days after a jury found her guilty in the first RIAA case to go to trial.
Thomas wrote about the announcement on her MySpace blog.
“He explained how we’re going to take the RIAA’s theory of making [files] available and appeal it,” she wrote. “He also explained how if we win, this would stop the RIAA dead in their tracks!!! Every single suit they have brought has been based on this making available theory, and if we can win this appeal, they would actually have to prove a file was shared and by someone other than their own licensed agent.”
Last week, a jury ordered Thomas of Duluth, Minn., to pay restitution to six record companies — Sony BMG, Arista Records, Interscope Records, UMG Recordings, Capitol Records, and Warner Bros. Records. The amount covers 24 copyrighted songs illegally downloaded on her computer. Thomas’ lawyer argued that someone else could have downloaded the songs either in person or remotely, but the Minnesota jury sided with the recording industry.
The verdict has given critics of the RIAA a rallying point and helped them organize efforts to stop legal actions enacted by Thomas’ support group.
Thomas said she earns $36,000 a year. Her supporters have donated money to help her fight back. Over the weekend, she reported raising nearly $1,000.
“I will be a thorn in the sides of the record companies for the rest of my life if that is what it takes,” Thomas wrote on another Web site to help draw support. “I will make this situation the worst thing the recording companies could have ever done to anyone. I will also do everything I can to help others who are in the same situation. I will not be bullied!!!” Information Week