The first of 26 000 people being sued by the music industry for downloading music off the Internet – a single mother from Minnesota – will have to pay $220 000.00 (about R1,4-million) for the 24 songs she shared.
The court ordered Jammie Thomas to pay $9 250.00 for each of the 24 songs whose copyright it found she had infringed.
Thomas was initially offered the choice of a few dollars' fine, but declared whe was innocent and took the case to court – racking up a further $60 000.00 to do so.
She and her lawyer argued that she had beeb trageted by SafeNet, the company that patrols the Internet on behalf of the recording industry, and there was no way to prove who has uploaded files in to the Kazaa file sharing network.
Had the court fined her to the extent of its mandate, it could have ordered her to pay R150 000.00 each for the 1 702 files the music industry says were in the file sharing folder.