Woman cops $2.4 million fine for file sharing

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Appeal likely over "grossly excessive" damages.

The Recording Industry Association of America has been awarded a US$1.92 million (AU$2.4 million) decision against a woman accused of sharing music online.

A jury ruled that Jammie Thomas-Rasset violated record label copyrights by downloading 24 songs from file-sharing service Kazaa.

The jury awarded the labels statutory damages of US$80,000 per song, totalling some $1.92 million.

The case was first made news in 2007 when a jury had originally ordered Thomas-Rasset to pay a fine of US$224,000.

The decision was later thrown out due to the judges mis-direction of the jury and a re-trial was ordered.

The case has been held up as a landmark battle between the RIAA and those accused of downloading music. Most of the accused have settled out of court and few cases have actually gone to trial.

However, the case is likely far from being officially decided according to experts.

Electronic Frontier Foundation senior attorney Fred von Lohmann noted that the case would likely be appealed.

"Given the size of the statutory damages award, Ms. Thomas-Rasset's legal team will likely be seriously considering a constitutional challenge to the verdict," wrote von Lohmann.

Von Lohmann noted previous cases in which similarly large damages were overturned by higher courts as 'grossly excessive' along with Supreme Court rulings which question the authority of juries to award damages in similar cases.

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