Industry wants to ban Minn. woman from downloading

July 6th, 2009 By AMY FORLITI , Associated Press Writer in Technology / Internet

(AP) -- Just weeks after a federal jury ruled that a Minnesota woman must pay $1.92 million for illegally sharing copyright-protected music, the recording industry wants to make sure she doesn't do it again.

Attorneys for the want a federal judge to bar Jammie Thomas-Rasset, 32, from downloading , sharing music files and distributing songs to the public. The attorneys also want U.S. District Judge Michael Davis to order that Thomas-Rasset destroy all copies of recordings she has downloaded without authorization.

Last month, a federal jury ruled that Thomas-Rasset willfully violated the copyrights on 24 songs, and that she must pay $80,000 per song.

This case was the only one of more than 30,000 similar lawsuits to make it all the way to trial. The vast majority of people targeted by the music industry had settled for about $3,500 each. The recording industry has said it stopped filing such lawsuits last August and is instead working with Internet service providers to fight the worst offenders.

In his request Monday, recording industry attorney Timothy Reynolds wrote that Thomas-Rasset actually distributed more than 1,700 songs to millions of others through the file-sharing system Kazaa. Those users, in turn, are likely to distribute the recordings even further, Reynolds wrote.

"The extent of the viral, or exponential, infringement set in motion by Defendant is literally incalculable," Reynolds wrote. "Absent an injunction, there is nothing to stop Defendant from downloading and distributing more of Plaintiffs' copyrighted sound recordings through an online media distribution system."

Messages left for Thomas-Rasset and for her attorney were not immediately returned Monday.

The companies that sued Thomas-Rasset are subsidiaries of all four major recording companies, Warner Music Group Corp., Vivendi SA's Universal Music Group, PLC and Corp.'s Sony Music Entertainment.

The plaintiffs had requested a similar injunction in their original complaint, and Monday's court filing follows through on that request. Such requests are common in copyright-infringement cases.

The huge judgment came after Thomas-Rasset's second trial in the case. When a different heard her case in 2007, it hit Thomas-Rasset with a $222,000 judgment. The new trial was ordered after Davis decided he had erred in giving jury instructions.

At the time of the verdict, Thomas-Rasset called the $1.92 million figure "kind of ridiculous." The mother of four said she's of limited means and couldn't pay that much.

Kiwi Camara, one of Thomas-Rasset's attorneys, has said an appeal was planned.

The Recording Industry Association of America had previously offered to settle the case, and Thomas-Rasset had been given the chance to settle for $3,000 to $5,000.

RIAA spokeswoman Cara Duckworth said Monday the industry is still willing to settle, and would have preferred that option from the beginning.

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"Industry wants to ban Minn. woman from downloading." July 6th, 2009. http://phys.org/news166115446.html