Single mother ordered to pay $222,000 in Internet copyright infringement damages

A Minnesota federal jury found Jammie Thomas guilty of copyright infringement.  She now owes a total of $222,000.00 in damages to the RIAA.  The copyright damages are based on the jury’s valuation of $9,250 for each infringed recording.  Under copyright laws, RIAA might have recovered up to $150,000 per song infringed.

This judgment can potentially shake up the way the P2P copyright infringement litigation game is played.  The defense had some questionable moves, or lack thereof.  Of note is that the defense relied almost exclusively on the theory that some hacker might have used Ms. Thomas’ usual user
name and her computer without her knowledge. Was it lack of knowledge of the technology involved, lack of knowledge of how to properly defend an Internet copyright infringement case, overconfidence, etc?

The lesson learned is that if you are accused of online copyright infringement or involved in any other Internet law related litigation, you are best served to seek the assistance of competent counsel.  Competent counsel will not only claim to practice Internet Law, but will also have a proven successful litigation record as well as a technical resume that demonstrates in-depth knowledge of the complicated technological aspects of these matters. 

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