US Government Doesn't See Anything Wrong with $1.92 Million File Sharing Verdict

Paul Lilly

Jammie Thomas is running out of options. Found guilty in 2007 of copyright infringement and ordered to pay $220,000 for willfully making available 24 songs via peer-to-peer, she now owes a whopping $1.92 million following a retrial earlier this year. Surely the Department of Justice would step in and find the nearly $2 million fine unconstitutional, right?

Wrong. According to ArsTechnica, the huge of amount of damages (Thomas ended up owing $80,000 per song) were not intended just to apply to big corporations, but also to "deter the millions of users of new media from infringing copyrights." The only time the DOJ would have a problem with a fine is if it become "so severe and oppressive as to be wholly disproportional to the offense and obviously unreasonable," something for which a $1.92 million fine for sharing 24 songs doesn't qualify.

"We are pleased the Administration has filed a brief supporting our position," an RIAA spokesperson told ArsTechnica . "Its views are consistent with the views of every previous Administration that has weighed in on this issue."

So where does Thomas go from here? Probably bankruptcy court .

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