Jammie Thomas-Rasset is known as the first U.S. resident to have file sharing lawsuits go to trial and verdict. Although she lied in her testimony and refused to accept responsibility for her actions, federal judge Michael Davis decided that the $1.5 million award fined against her was unconstitutional. The new amount is cut down to $54,000, or $2,250 per song that she was caught sharing on KaZaA.
There is no doubt that a multimillion dollar penalty is overkill to deter a private individual from obtaining free songs online? Although Thomas-Rasset played a role in the web of online piracy, she played a minuscule role? It cannot be that she must pay the damages caused by millions of individuals because she was one of two users caught, sued, and subjected to a jury trial? [Joel Tenenbaum in Massachusetts was the other.] This award constitutes the maximum amount a jury could award, consistent with the due process clause.
An RIAA spokesperson said that they disagree with the decision and is considering make other steps. Jammie Thomas’ lawyer Kiwi Camara said that he is sure that the recording industry will appeal, but they will file a cross-appeal too.