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Thread: 1.9 Million Fine for Illegal Downloads of Songs

  1. #1

    Default 1.9 Million Fine for Illegal Downloads of Songs

    http://www.cnn.com/2009/CRIME/06/18/...ine/index.html

    "(CNN) -- A federal jury Thursday found a 32-year-old Minnesota woman guilty of illegally downloading music from the Internet and fined her $80,000 each -- a total of $1.9 million -- for 24 songs. /snip "

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    Default Re: 1.9 Million Fine for Illegal Downloads of Songs

    From what I read, she did have the opportunity to cave for less money, and she went for the whole enchilada. I bet she didn't think she would lose so badly.

    Sounds like she cannot pay. What is that saying...oh, yeah. "You can't get blood from a turnip."

  3. #3

    Default Re: 1.9 Million Fine for Illegal Downloads of Songs

    Quote Originally Posted by cyleet99 View Post
    From what I read, she did have the opportunity to cave for less money, and she went for the whole enchilada. "
    The article reports, "The fines jumped considerably from the first trial, which granted just $220,000 to the recording companies". I can see why she carried it a step further trying to reduce the punishment. OUCH!
    Now run along and play, but donít get into trouble.

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    Default Re: 1.9 Million Fine for Illegal Downloads of Songs

    Dang!

    And keep in mind the RIAA stopped suing individual "pirates" back in Dec/Jan. I guess they wanted to make a statement with a parting shot? So much for showing some retroactive love.
    "If it's brown, it's cooked. If it's black, it's f***ed" - G. Ramsey

  5. #5

    Default Re: 1.9 Million Fine for Illegal Downloads of Songs

    Quote Originally Posted by Amati View Post
    The article reports, "The fines jumped considerably from the first trial, which granted just $220,000 to the recording companies". I can see why she carried it a step further trying to reduce the punishment. OUCH!
    Actually, like all the other Kazaa users targeted by the RIAA for copyright violations, Thomas-Rasset was first given the option to settle out-of-court for several thousand dollars. She made the decision to reject the settlement offer, which compelled the RIAA to take her to court.

    Quote Originally Posted by MixedPlateBroker View Post
    And keep in mind the RIAA stopped suing individual "pirates" back in Dec/Jan. I guess they wanted to make a statement with a parting shot? So much for showing some retroactive love.
    As for showing "retroactive love," it's not that simple. Thomas-Rasset's case is the first time that a music file-sharing lawsuit was taken to a jury trial. So a legal precedent is being set here. Despite the RIAA making the announcement last December that it would no longer target individual file-sharers en masse, the organization still wanted to reserve its rights to sue heavy file-sharers. Hence, its decision to sue Thomas-Rassett for whatever damages they could get, which turned out to be $80,000 per song.

    Even after the latest trial outcome, an RIAA spokesperson said the recording companies were still open to negotiating a settlement that will lead to a "reasonable outcome," although she didn't give a specific dollar amount.The point here is that the music industry wanted to make clear that what this woman did was illegal and that damages would have to be paid for the violations she committed. To let her off the hook without paying a red cent would set up a bad precedent for future cases, so the RIAA wants her to fall in line with the other violators who settled out-of-court.

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    Default Re: 1.9 Million Fine for Illegal Downloads of Songs

    Quote Originally Posted by Frankie's Market View Post
    Despite the RIAA making the announcement last December that it would no longer target individual file-sharers en masse, the organization still wanted to reserve its rights to sue heavy file-sharers. Hence, its decision to sue Thomas-Rassett for whatever damages they could get, which turned out to be $80,000 per song.
    Considering the hordes of attorneys retained by the RIAA, I'm sure they're aware they don't need to make any reservations as far as their rights to sue file sharers. Their decision to stop pursuing individuals was of their own accord -- though perhaps PR-influenced -- and not legally binding.

    Putting the screws on Thomas-Rassett:

    1. Set a precedent. Definitely.
    2. Created chilling effect in the community of illegal downloaders. Sure.
    3. Bumped up billable hours for RIAA attorneys. Yep.
    4. Made a reservation. Not so much.
    "If it's brown, it's cooked. If it's black, it's f***ed" - G. Ramsey

  7. #7

    Default Re: 1.9 Million Fine for Illegal Downloads of Songs

    Quote Originally Posted by MixedPlateBroker View Post
    Considering the hordes of attorneys retained by the RIAA, I'm sure they're aware they don't need to make any reservations as far as their rights to sue file sharers.
    You've squarely missed the signficance of this groundbreaking lawsuit.

    That the RIAA pursued the case of Capitol v. Thomas to the bitter end has nothing to do with trying to squeeze $1.9 million from a single mom of limited means. The plaintiffs know they are not going to get all that money from her. She simply doesn't have it. All the plaintiffs will ultimately get from Jammie Thomas is a settlement of a few thousand dollars, if even that.

    This lawsuit is significant because Jammie Thomas' rejection of an out-of-court settlement set up this test case that sets precedents regarding the burden of proof required for a plaintiff to win a judgment in a file-sharing/copyright infringement suit and the type of evidence that is admissable in such a trial.

    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/tech...ict-kazaa.html

    The RIAA's anti-piracy contractor, MediaSentry, presented evidence that Thomas-Rasset actually distributed 11 copyrighted songs through Kazaa (to MediaSentry's investigators), and cited metadata from tracks in her shared folder strongly suggesting that the files had themselves been downloaded, not purchased or ripped from her CD collection. RIAA witnesses also linked the Kazaa uploads to a unique identifier on Thomas-Rasset's modem and computer and showed that the unusual username on the Kazaa account matched one that Thomas-Rasset acknowledged using on several other websites. In other words, the RIAA's case was built entirely on circumstantial evidence, but there was a lot of it.

    Quote Originally Posted by MixedPlateBroker View Post
    Their decision to stop pursuing individuals was of their own accord -- though perhaps PR-influenced -- and not legally binding.
    Well there you go! If you understand the PR black-eye that the RIAA was getting from pursuing lawsuits/settlements against individual file-sharers, then why do you think the RIAA would pursue this lawsuit against a 32 year old single mom of 4 kids? Purely out of spite? Because of some irrational urge to ruin the lives of this young family in Minnesota?

    When you consider the legal expenses that the recording industry has invested in this case, then none of those answers makes sense. When you strip away the names, faces, and personalities of the parties involved and you concentrate on the legal principles that are being argued, you will have taken the first step in beginning to comprehend the bigger picture of this landmark case.

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    Default Re: 1.9 Million Fine for Illegal Downloads of Songs

    Quote Originally Posted by Frankie's Market View Post
    You've squarely missed the signficance of this groundbreaking lawsuit ...

    ... If you understand the PR black-eye that the RIAA was getting from pursuing lawsuits/settlements against individual file-sharers, then why do you think the RIAA would pursue this lawsuit against a 32 year old single mom of 4 kids? Purely out of spite? Because of some irrational urge to ruin the lives of this young family in Minnesota?
    I never once said that the RIAA was pursuing the lawsuit out of spite or potential monetary gain. In fact, I agreed with you in my first bulleted point:
    Putting the screws on Thomas-Rassett:

    1. Set a precedent. Definitely.
    Since we are in concordance on that point, are you pooh-poohing yourself for misunderstanding the significance of this case, or do you only look at the first sentence of others' posts then make judgments based on your poor reading?

    Quote Originally Posted by Frankie's Market View Post
    This lawsuit is significant because Jammie Thomas' rejection of an out-of-court settlement set up this test case that sets precedents regarding the burden of proof required for a plaintiff to win a judgment in a file-sharing/copyright infringement suit and the type of evidence that is admissable in such a trial.
    The RIAA didn't need this so-called "landmark decision" because previous case law was already on their side. Why else would 99.9% of defendants have automatically capitulated? The outcome of the case was no surprise -- just the award amount.

    Quote Originally Posted by Frankie's Market View Post
    When you consider the legal expenses that the recording industry has invested in this case, then none of those answers makes sense. When you strip away the names, faces, and personalities of the parties involved and you concentrate on the legal principles that are being argued, you will have taken the first step in beginning to comprehend the bigger picture of this landmark case.
    Thanks, Gramps, but I don't need you to tell me what's to be comprehended here. The reality is, setting a legal precedent, in and of itself: expensive monetarily and from a PR-perspective. Literally creating a chilling effect among file sharers with this large award (though we know this particular defendant won't actually have to pay the full amount) so the RIAA doesn't have to bother with prosecuting them in the first place: priceless.

    The questions you raise about what you think I said obviously have no relation to anything I've actually said. Instead of looking for an argument where there is none, your time might be better spent first carefully reading posts before hitting REPLY.
    "If it's brown, it's cooked. If it's black, it's f***ed" - G. Ramsey

  9. #9

    Default Re: 1.9 Million Fine for Illegal Downloads of Songs

    Quote Originally Posted by MixedPlateBroker View Post


    I never once said that the RIAA was pursuing the lawsuit out of spite or potential monetary gain. In fact, I agreed with you in my first bulleted point:
    Putting the screws on Thomas-Rassett:

    1. Set a precedent. Definitely.
    Since we are in concordance on that point, are you pooh-poohing yourself for misunderstanding the significance of this case, or do you only look at the first sentence of others' posts then make judgments based on your poor reading?
    On the contrary, I think I have a very good grasp on the larger implications of Capitol v. Thomas. That you are still thinking of the motivation for the suit as "putting the screws on Thomas-Rassett" indicates to me that you still can't see the forest for the trees. Oh well.

    Quote Originally Posted by MixedPlateBroker View Post



    The RIAA didn't need this so-called "landmark decision" because previous case law was already on their side. Why else would 99.9% of defendants have automatically capitulated?
    That is factually incorrect. There was no "previous case law" as Jammie Thomas is the the first person to be taken to court by the RIAA for illegal P2P file sharing by an individual. That virtually everyone else targeted by the RIAA for the same violation settled out of court did not establish any legal precedents for the prosecution of this type of copyright infringement.

    Quote Originally Posted by MixedPlateBroker View Post
    The outcome of the case was no surprise -- just the award amount.
    The award amount was surprising. (Not that the plaintiffs expect Thomas to ever pay that much!) But while you're focused on the judgement award, I think it is more important to look at the arguments that the plaintiff put forward in order for the court to arrive at that judgement.

    One needs to be mindful that the first trial in this case (where Thomas was ordered to pay $222,000) was thrown out. The difference between how the plaintiff's case was argued between the first and the second trial is what will shape future litigation in online music piracy.

    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/tech...ict-kazaa.html

    Thomas-Rasset's was the first trial in the campaign against individual file-sharers that the RIAA began in 2003 and ended late last year. As such, it was one of the few tests of the legal underpinnings of that campaign, including the argument that making tracks available to others online (by keeping them in a folder that was open for sharing) was a form of infringement. U.S. District Judge Michael J. Davis instructed the jury in Thomas-Rasset's first trial that making songs available was an infringement, a low threshold that would enable the labels to prove piracy just by collecting lists of the songs in people's shared folders. But Davis second-guessed himself after the verdict and ordered a new trial, mirroring the views of several other judges who had rejected the RIAA's interpretation of the law.

    The result of the second trial suggests that the higher threshold isn't enough to derail the labels in an infringement lawsuit.


    And to find out what kind of evidence was used in the second trial against Thomas-Rassett, look at the quote I provided in my previous post.

    Quote Originally Posted by MixedPlateBroker View Post
    Thanks, Gramps, but I don't need you to tell me what's to be comprehended here.
    And with that act of name-calling, you have ended the civilized tone of this discussion. I now take my leave.

  10. #10

    Default Re: 1.9 Million Fine for Illegal Downloads of Songs

    Quote Originally Posted by Frankie's Market View Post
    And with that act of name-calling, you have ended the civilized tone of this discussion.
    I thought the same thing. And, tossing in some name-calling is a sure way to weaken your position.
    Now run along and play, but donít get into trouble.

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    Default Re: 1.9 Million Fine for Illegal Downloads of Songs

    Quote Originally Posted by Frankie's Market View Post
    On the contrary, I think I have a very good grasp on the larger implications of Capitol v. Thomas. That you are still thinking of the motivation for the suit as "putting the screws on Thomas-Rassett" indicates to me that you still can't see the forest for the trees. Oh well.
    I guess you're still having trouble following my posts. It's painfully obvious that "putting the scews on" is the consequence of the RIAA's actions, not their motivation. This indicates to me that you can't see past your nose.

    Quote Originally Posted by Frankie's Market View Post
    That is factually incorrect. There was no "previous case law" as Jammie Thomas is the the first person to be taken to court by the RIAA for illegal P2P file sharing by an individual. That virtually everyone else targeted by the RIAA for the same violation settled out of court did not establish any legal precedents for the prosecution of this type of copyright infringement.
    There was established general case law in the areas of copyright and intellectual property that already supports the RIAA's position. That is a fact. Again, if you could see past your nose ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Frankie's Market View Post
    The award amount was surprising. (Not that the plaintiffs expect Thomas to ever pay that much!) But while you're focused on the judgement award, I think it is more important to look at the arguments that the plaintiff put forward in order for the court to arrive at that judgement.
    Many considering to file share will watch news reports of the award amount (on CBS morning show today) and will be deterred from engaging in the practice. Court arguments become moot at that point.

    Quote Originally Posted by Frankie's Market View Post
    One needs to be mindful that the first trial in this case (where Thomas was ordered to pay $222,000) was thrown out. The difference between how the plaintiff's case was argued between the first and the second trial is what will shape future litigation in online music piracy.
    It's almost sad that I have to point out that this case was the first and almost certainly the last of its kind to go to trial. Even if the judgment on this case were to be thrown out on appeal because of a technicality, 99.99% of file sharers would continue to settle out of court if sued by the RIAA. So who really cares about any shaping of litigation that almost never goes to trial?
    Quote Originally Posted by Frankie's Market View Post
    The result of the second trial suggests that the higher threshold isn't enough to derail the labels in an infringement lawsuit.
    That's because a guilty verdict was a foregone conclusion based on pre-existing case law.

    Quote Originally Posted by Frankie's Market View Post
    And with that act of name-calling, you have ended the civilized tone of this discussion. I now take my leave.
    Based on your comments in the Waikamilo McDonalds thread, you are, in fact, old enough to be my grandfather. In addition, by mistakenly concluding that I had not yet begun to comprehend the significance of the case, you purposely cast yourself as a doddering, know-it-all octogenarian. I simply handed you the shoe you made yourself fit.

    Quote Originally Posted by Amati View Post
    ... tossing in some name-calling is a sure way to weaken your position.
    Basing your argument on a misreading is no position at all.

    P.S. Guess what? Even Thomas-Rassett herself agrees with me:

    "They're using me as pretty much to show the rest of them don't fight back or this is what's going to happen to you."
    "If it's brown, it's cooked. If it's black, it's f***ed" - G. Ramsey

  12. #12

    Default Re: 1.9 Million Fine for Illegal Downloads of Songs

    Quote Originally Posted by MixedPlateBroker View Post
    Based on your comments in the Waikamilo McDonalds thread, you are, in fact, old enough to be my grandfather. In addition, by mistakenly concluding that I had not yet begun to comprehend the significance of the case, you purposely cast yourself as a doddering, know-it-all octogenarian.
    So, is that how you talk to your Grandfather when you have a discussion with him? If he does not agree with you, do you call him "doddering" and a "know-it-all octogenarian". What a disrespectful attitude to have towards kupuna.
    Now run along and play, but donít get into trouble.

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    Default Re: 1.9 Million Fine for Illegal Downloads of Songs

    Quote Originally Posted by Amati View Post
    So, is that how you talk to your Grandfather when you have a discussion with him? If he does not agree with you, do you call him "doddering" and a "know-it-all octogenarian". What a disrespectful attitude to have towards kupuna.
    Actually, both my grandfathers have passed away. And both would have agreed with my assessment of FM, as neither of them suffered dismissive know-it-alls with a penchant for misrepresentation of any age. This apple does not fall far from either family tree.

    If you feel FM is worth it, by all means, you can kowtow to him. I learned from my familial elders to set my standards higher.
    "If it's brown, it's cooked. If it's black, it's f***ed" - G. Ramsey

  14. #14

    Default Re: 1.9 Million Fine for Illegal Downloads of Songs

    Quote Originally Posted by MixedPlateBroker View Post
    If you feel FM is worth it, by all means, you can kowtow to him. I learned from my familial elders to set my standards higher.
    My comments were directly related to YOUR disrespect of elders. You should reassess your "higher standards".
    Now run along and play, but donít get into trouble.

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    Red face Re: 1.9 Million Fine for Illegal Downloads of Songs

    Quote Originally Posted by Amati View Post
    My comments were directly related to YOUR disrespect of elders. You should reassess your "higher standards".
    It's amusing that you, who complained that I supposedly weakened my position on the RIAA decision by name calling are now resorting to making inane and hysterically shrill demands. "Gramps" is an honorific; it's no one's fault but his own that FM read it poorly and took offense while acting like a doddering, diapered curmudgeon.

    If you truly wanted to set things right, you'd demand FM cease his insidiously disdainful, faux-civil postings and elevate his discourse by consistently using a genuinely mannerly tone. Honest and plain-speaking gramps everywhere (like my own elders and this man) would rejoice! Then they'd remind you not to download music illegally because you are likely to be bludgeoned with a million-dollar fine.

    Hey, at least I'm back on topic.
    "If it's brown, it's cooked. If it's black, it's f***ed" - G. Ramsey

  16. #16

    Default Re: 1.9 Million Fine for Illegal Downloads of Songs

    Quote Originally Posted by MixedPlateBroker View Post
    ; and took offense while acting like a doddering, diapered curmudgeon.
    I am so impressed to know that you've increased your respect of kupuna.
    Now run along and play, but donít get into trouble.

  17. #17

    Default Re: 1.9 Million Fine for Illegal Downloads of Songs

    Do we have a point here any longer (or at least one related to the thread's title)? Or may I stop checking updates to a thread that once held interest for me?

  18. #18

    Default Re: 1.9 Million Fine for Illegal Downloads of Songs

    Quote Originally Posted by Leo Lakio View Post
    Do we have a point here any longer (or at least one related to the thread's title)? Or may I stop checking updates to a thread that once held interest for me?
    Sorry to drive you away, but I believe in pointing out glaring inconsiderations about kupuna, regardless of the tread topic. Although, I have tried to keep it to the point and to few sentences each time.
    Now run along and play, but donít get into trouble.

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    Default Re: 1.9 Million Fine for Illegal Downloads of Songs

    “The trouble ain't that there is too many fools, but that the lightning ain't distributed right.” ~~~ Twain
    In elementary school we had food fights....
    So, is this what we can call a 'fool fight?'
    Be Yourself. Everyone Else Is Taken!
    ~ ~
    Kaʻonohiʻulaʻokahōkūmiomioʻehiku
    Spreading the virus of ALOHA.
    Oh Chu. If only you could have seen what I've seen, with your eyes.

  20. #20

    Default Re: 1.9 Million Fine for Illegal Downloads of Songs

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaonohi View Post
    So, is this what we can call a 'fool fight?'
    And the fools can't have a fight all by themselves - it takes another fool to make it one.

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    Default Re: 1.9 Million Fine for Illegal Downloads of Songs

    Quote Originally Posted by Amati View Post
    ....I believe in pointing out glaring inconsiderations about kupuna, regardless of the tread topic....
    that's wholly honorable, amati. and your application of the word "kupuna" (which, to eric and me, not only connotes age but wisdom) is extravagantly more generous than we would deign to use.
    superbia (pride), avaritia (greed), luxuria (lust), invidia (envy), gula (gluttony), ira (wrath) & acedia (sloth)--the seven deadly sins.

    "when you wake up in the morning, tell yourself: the people i deal with today will be meddling, ungrateful, arrogant, dishonest, jealous, and surly..."--meditations, marcus aurelius (make sure you read the rest of the passage, ya lazy wankers!)

    nothing humiliates like the truth.--me, in conversation w/mixedplatebroker re 3rd party, 2009-11-11, 1213

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    Exclamation Re: 1.9 Million Fine for Illegal Downloads of Songs

    Quote Originally Posted by MixedPlateBroker View Post
    "Gramps" is an honorific; it's no one's fault but his own that FM read it poorly and took offense while acting like a doddering, diapered curmudgeon.
    I don't know if FMs response indicated he read it poorly and took offense; I won't touch that.
    But remember, taking offense is just as bad as giving offense.

    You can call me "Gramps" any time. I earned it. I'm not a doddering, diapered curmudgeon yet, (maybe just a curmudgeon w/o diapers).

    I resent this overwhelming "shoulding" however. Which one of us thinks they are qualified to tell the rest of us what we "should" do may probably be better off turning that microscope inward, and leave us normal folk alone.

    Never let people 'should' on you!
    Be Yourself. Everyone Else Is Taken!
    ~ ~
    Kaʻonohiʻulaʻokahōkūmiomioʻehiku
    Spreading the virus of ALOHA.
    Oh Chu. If only you could have seen what I've seen, with your eyes.

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    Default Re: 1.9 Million Fine for Illegal Downloads of Songs

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaonohi View Post
    I don't know if FMs response indicated he read it poorly and took offense; I won't touch that.
    But remember, taking offense is just as bad as giving offense.

    You can call me "Gramps" any time. I earned it. I'm not a doddering, diapered curmudgeon yet, (maybe just a curmudgeon w/o diapers).

    I resent this overwhelming "shoulding" however. Which one of us thinks they are qualified to tell the rest of us what we "should" do may probably be better off turning that microscope inward, and leave us normal folk alone.

    Never let people 'should' on you!

    well, FM did refer to eric's calling him "gramps" as name-calling then did the discussion board version of stomping off petulantly. in my opinion. i'm sure FM would say he sauntered off jauntily or something like that. *shrug*
    superbia (pride), avaritia (greed), luxuria (lust), invidia (envy), gula (gluttony), ira (wrath) & acedia (sloth)--the seven deadly sins.

    "when you wake up in the morning, tell yourself: the people i deal with today will be meddling, ungrateful, arrogant, dishonest, jealous, and surly..."--meditations, marcus aurelius (make sure you read the rest of the passage, ya lazy wankers!)

    nothing humiliates like the truth.--me, in conversation w/mixedplatebroker re 3rd party, 2009-11-11, 1213

  24. #24

    Default Re: 1.9 Million Fine for Illegal Downloads of Songs

    I cannot quite figure out who is trying to say what between the lines. So, I'll leave my straight forward message at this, and then drop the subject:
    "Please show respect for your elders."
    Kudos for those who do.
    Shame on those who don't.
    This has nothing to do with supporting or not supporting other's opinions on other topics, it is focused strictly on respect for kupuna.
    Peace to all.
    Now run along and play, but donít get into trouble.

  25. #25

    Default Re: 1.9 Million Fine for Illegal Downloads of Songs

    LOL! Wow. Two days and 15 posts after my last entry, my previous post is the last one that is both on-topic and free of any name-calling and personal attacks.

    *sigh!* I guess it will be up to me to get this thread back on track. (Although I will not be replying or responding to anyone who is incapable of keeping personal attacks or agendas out of their posts.)

    I had to suppress a giggle when I read this quote from Jammie Thomas.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/...n5103122.shtml

    She said, "They're using me as pretty much to show the rest of them don't fight back or this is what's going to happen to you."

    Ooooohhh! And as she was saying that, she could also hear the sound of black helicopters.........coming for her.

    Some people may find her to be a sympathetic figure. But I don't, and here's why. (And if anyone disagrees with me and has their own opinion, fine. This is just MY PERSONAL OPINION that I'm stating here. Nothing more and nothing less.)

    1) Jammie Thomas broke the law.

    2) She made the choice not to accept an out-of-court settlement that the RIAA offered, which led to the music industry's first ever trial of an individual accused of illegal file sharing.

    3) Having successfully litigated this test case, a spokeswoman from the RIAA said her organization was once again willing to negotiate a settlement, which is likely to be a few thousand dollars.

    One way that Thomas could get out of paying the RIAA one red cent is to declare bankruptcy. But of course, this would have consequences on her personal finances and credit rating. If the RIAA is willing to offer a settlement of, say, $3000 and they were willing to let her pay it in installments, that's hardly an unreasonable proposition.

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