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How much would you say an MP3 is worth? If you asked the Obama administration’s Department of Justice, they’d tell you $80,000 sounds about right.
Yes, $80,000 per song. That’s what a Minnesota woman, Jammie Thomas-Rasset, was ordered in June to pay for sharing 24 music tracks on the P2P music sharing site, Kazaa. Total tab for swapping MP3′s online: $1.92 million.
Thomas-Rasset’s lawyers had argued to have the payment reduced, saying it was “excessive, shocking and monstrous.” But they’ll get no help from the president’s top lawyers, who told a federal judge Friday last week that the jury verdict to award the sum was “constitutionally sound.”
Thomas-Rasset, 32, was the nation’s only file-sharing defendant to go before a jury out of the 30,000-plus cases brought by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) in the past five years. Most defendants settled out of court for a few thousand dollars.
But not Thomas-Rasset, who told ARS Technica that the recording industry would never collect the money. “Good luck trying to get it from me … it’s like squeezing blood from a turnip.”
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