Judge Cuts $2M Penalty In Song-Sharing Case

MINNEAPOLIS -- A federal judge has drastically reduced a nearly $2 million verdict against a Minnesota woman found guilty last year of sharing 24 songs over the Internet.

U.S. District Judge Michael Davis called the penalty "monstrous and shocking" and reduced the $1.92 million penalty a jury imposed against Jammie Thomas-Rasset to $2,250 per song, or about $54,000.

Davis wrote, "The need for deterrence cannot justify a $2 million verdict for stealing and illegally distributing 24 songs for the sole purpose of obtaining free music."

Davis also denied Thomas-Rasset's request for a new trial.

He gave the Recording Industry Association of America seven days to either accept the smaller penalty or to ask for another trial to set new damages.

This case was the only one of more than 30,000 similar lawsuits to make it all the way to trial.

The vast majority of people targeted by the music industry had settled for about $3,500 each.


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