‘Monstrous’ $2m Download Fine Slashed

Condemning a $US2 million fine meted out to a Minnesota woman for illegally downloading music over the internet as monstrous and shocking, a judge has slashed the penalty to $US54,000 ($59,800). US District Court Michael Davis said the fine imposed by a jury on Jammie Thomas-Rasset, a single mother of four from the town of Brainerd, veered into the realm of gross injustice. In a high-profile music piracy case, Thomas-Rasset was found liable in June of violating music copyrights for using the Kazaa peer-to-peer file-sharing network to download 24 songs. A jury ordered her to pay $US1.92 million or $US80,000 per song to six record companies: Capitol Records, Sony BMG Music, Arista Records, Interscope Records, Warner Bros Records and UMG Recordings. The judge slashed the fine to $US54,000, or $US2250 per recording, and complained in his ruling on Friday, a copy of which was obtained by AFP on Monday, that he was constrained from reducing it even further

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