Good news for the world's most famous music pirate, as single mother Jammie Thomas-Rasset now "only" has to pay $54,000 for downloading 24 songs illegally, thanks to a new court ruling.
U.S. District Court Judge Michael Davis has lowered the $62,500 penalty per song to just $2,250 per song. At its highest, the punitive damages awarded per song was as high as $80,000, making the total damages amount $1.92m.
Thomas-Rasset was originally accused of illegally downloading 24 songs back in 2006, and this is the 4th set of damages being rewarded, after the judge overruled previous rewards as being excessive, a decision which was subsequently appealed by both sides.
The $2,250 per song reward is the lowest yet, much lower than the $9,250 per song penalty original rewarded to the RIAA - a decision which was subsequent appeal by Thomas-Rasset, and backfired, when it lead to the higher, and still record damages amount of $1.92m.
The Judge's new ruling overrules previous jury decided penalty amounts, citing that while the court "is loath to interfere with the jury's damages decision ... the Constitution and justice compel the Court to act". The judge felt the that jury rewarded amount of $1.5m cannot be justified, even if the jury's decision to reward substantial punitive damages does have merit, due to Thomas-Rasset's "willful" infringement.
The RIAA has expressed their disappointment in the decision, but has not yet indicated whether they will appeal the verdict, even taking the matter to the Supreme Court if needed.
Do you think this latest verdict, damages of $54,000, is an appropriate amount, too low to deter pirates, or too high for 24 song downloads? Post your opinion in this news article's comments section, or in this forum thread: