A Minnesota woman owes record companies $222,000 after being accused of sharing songs online, reports The Associated Press. A federal appeals court made the decision on Tuesday, after reversing a lower court's ruling in a long-running lawsuit over music downloading.
A three-judge appeals panel ruled that Chief U.S. District Judge Michael Davis made a mistake when he cut the award against Jammie Thomas-Rasset to $54,000, and the figure now stands at a hefty $222,000. "We are pleased with the appellate court's decision and look forward to putting this case behind us," the Recording Industry Association of America said in a statement. Cases like this rarely make it to court; in fact, this case was one of only two lawsuits to go to trial out of more than 30,000 filed by the recording industry. In a drive to stop the unauthorized free downloading of copyrighted music, which the industry says has cut deeply into its revenues, people involved in the illegal sharing of music are facing a crackdown, however the vast majority of these cases settle for about $3,500 apiece. The industry had previously proposed to settle for $25,000 and donate the money to a musician's charity.
Elsewhere in copyright news, the U.S. Supreme Court in May declined to hear an appeal by former Boston University student Joel Tenenbaum of a $675,000 award, but he has vowed to keep fighting his charge.
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