A court in the United States has ordered a woman to pay $220,000 yesterday. She is fined for illegally sharing a total of 1,702 songs.
Jammie Thomas, a Native American from Minnesota, is one of 26,000 people whom the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) has sued over the past four years for alleged use of music “file-sharing” software.
The 30-year-old made legal history after refusing to pay an out-of-court settlement, as all others challenged over their behaviour before her had done, but her failure to carry the case is likely further to embolden the music industry in its attempts to protect copyright.
Most defendants of the lawsuits have opted to settle privately by paying damages amounting to a few thousand dollars. Jamie contested the charge and has now lost almost a quarter of a million dollars. The record companies have made no decision yet what they would do, if anything, to pursue collecting the money from Jamie who is living from pay cheque to pay cheque. The record companies believe that they have sent a strong message against illegal file-sharing of copyright materials.