Friday, June 19, 2009

Video and Music Piracy - Companies are starting to sue individuals

A US jury has ordered a 32-year-old woman to pay $US1.92 million ($A2.4 million) in damages for illegally downloading 24 songs in a high-profile digital piracy case. Jammie Thomas-Rasset, a single mother of four from the US state of Minnesota, was found liable for using the Kazaa peer-to-peer file-sharing network to download the songs over the internet.

The jury took just under five hours to reach its verdict.

It ordered Thomas-Rasset to pay $US1.92 million dollars -- or $US80,000 ($A100,000) per song -- to six record companies: Capitol Records, Sony BMG Music, Arista Records, Interscope Records, Warner Bros. Records and UMG Recordings.

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and major music labels have brought suit against thousands of people for illegally downloading and sharing music, with most agreeing to settlements of between $3000 - $5000.

Thomas-Rasset was the first among those being sued to refuse a settlement and instead took the case to court.

The music industry group, has filed lawsuits against some 35,000 people for online music piracy since 2003.