One of the news reports that's creating a lot of buzz around the world today is about a lawsuit against 30-year old Jammie Thomas from Minnesota. RIAA accused her of illegal sharing of more than 1,700 songs over the Kazaa p2p network.
Mostly these kinds of file sharing cases are settled for $3,000 to $5,000 but unlike the thousands of other accused pirates Thomas didn't buy into RIAA's blackmail and decided to take the case to court.
The jury ruled Thomas wilfully shared songs and ordered her to pay $9,250 for each of the 24 songs that RIAA concentrated on, resulting in a $220,000 fine. RIAA's attorney Richard Gabriels said "This is what can happen if you don't settle". RIAA claims it has already settled more than 10,000 of these cases since 2003 by cutting the pirates a deal in which they usually end up paying a couple of thousand dollars.
Under the username “Tereastarr,” Thomas was found sharing just over 1,700 files via the Kazaa network on February 21, 2005. Of those 1,700 tracks, 24 were named – including music from popular artists such as AFI, Green Day, and Aerosmith – and for each one she was held liable for $9,250 worth of damages, coming to a grand total of $222,000.
Brian Toder, Thomas’ defense attorney, maintained that there existed no proof that Thomas was the person behind the keyboard, noting that Thomas or her computer may have been the victim of zombie botnet, spoofing attacks, or malicious crackers. “All we know is that Jammie Thomas didn’t do it,” said Toder, adding that Thomas was “not the person marauding as Tereastarr.”
This defense did not appear to hold up as it was found that Thomas used “Tereastarr” all around the internet, including online shopping, chat services, e-mail, and even dating services. The offending songs were linked to her cable modem’s MAC address, as well as her home IP address.