37 Downloads = $27,750 Fine Says Texas Court
March 4, 2010 at 4:31 AM (PT)
A federal appeals court that covers TEXAS has ruled 22-year-old WHITNEY HARPER of SAN ANTONIO must pay a total of $27,750 to five music companies for 37 copyrighted songs she accessed through KAZAA and similar sites when she was a teenager, reports MYSANANTONIO.COM. Last week, a three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a lower ruling that awarded the five recording companies $200 for each of the songs. The appeals court said HARPER instead must pay $750 for each song.
A lawyer for HARPER, DONALD SCOTT MACKENZIE of DALLAS, claimed the total owed could exceed $40,000 and force HARPER to file for bankruptcy. He added HARPER is set to graduate from TEXAS TECH with a degree in business communications, and "She's already been denied jobs because of this federal case. This has already impacted her."
"The record industry taught her a lesson," MACKENZIE said to MYSANANTONIO.COM. "They made an example of her. Her family and her are adamant that this is a ridiculous outrage."
[Is $750 per song fair? What do you think is an appropriate fine -- if any -- for people who illegally download copywrited music? Let us know in comments below.]