The jury in the third copyright trial of the Brainerd, Minnesota woman has just returned a verdict of $1.5 million in statutory damages, or $62,500 for each of the 24 songs that she downloaded and "shared" over the KaZaA peer-to-peer network.
The award is significantly higher than the $222,000 award in her first trial (which was thrown out when the judge determined the jury instructions to be flawed), and a bit lower than the $1.92 million award in the second, which was reduced by the judge to $54,000 under the common-law doctrine of remittitur. After the second trial, Thomas-Rasset -- who denied downloading any music over peer-to-peer networks -- rejected a settlement offer of $25,000 from the record label plaintiffs, who said they would donate the amount to a music-related charity.
The RIAA said in a statement after the verdict:
We are again thankful to the jury for its service in this matter and that they recognized the severity of the defendant's misconduct. Now with three jury decisions behind us along with a clear affirmation of Ms. Thomas-Rasset’s willful liability, it is our hope that she finally accepts responsibility for her actions.This is far from the end of the road in this case. Thomas-Rasset is expected to challenge the size of the award again, and the judge has already determined that $54,000 is the maximum acceptable size for an award given the evidence in the case.
I'll update as more information becomes available.
Jammie Thomas-Rasset Verdict