DoJ sides with RIAA in Thomas appeal

Written by Tim Smalley

December 6, 2007 // 12:18 p.m.

Tags: #case #copyright #court #department #doj #fine #guilty #infringement #jammie #justice #kazaa #of #order #riaa #ruling #thomas

The RIAA’s case against Jammie Thomas has come to a close with the US Department of Justice choosing not to side with the single mother from Minnesota, US during her appeal.

Thomas, who was found guilty of illegally sharing 24 songs using the KaZaA filesharing network, was ordered to pay over £4,500 for each of the 24 copyright infringements, making the total fine awarded to the RIAA a whopping £110,000.

During the appeal, she called the RIAA’s case unconstitutional and claimed that the companies involved in the lawsuit didn’t incur £110,000 worth of damages.

Unfortunately for Thomas, the Department of Justice decided to reject the appeal, noting that the damages awarded fell under the guidelines in the Copyright Act. The DoJ’s ruling also said that Thomas’ fine was designed to act as both compensation and a deterrent.

“Given the findings of copyright infringement in this case, the damages awarded under the Copyright Act’s statutory damages provision did not violate the Due Process Clause,” claimed the report.

As we noted back in October, this is the first case of its kind as, although many other lawsuits filed by the RIAA against online music pirates, they have all been settled out of court. This is the first to go all the way, and the outcome was in favour of the record companies, setting a precedent for future lawsuits.

Do you think that Thomas has got what she deserved, or do you believe that the fines were a little harsh? Let us know your thoughts in the forums.

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