Jammie Thomas-Rasset Illegal File Sharing Fine Reduced To $54K
July 22, 2011 at 2:16 PM (PT)
After declaring that convicted illegal fire-sharing defendant JAMMIE THOMAS-RASSET "lied in her trial testimony," and that her "past refusal to accept responsibility for her actions raises the need for strong deterrence," Federal judge MICHAEL DAVIS reduced the fine for her actions down from $1.5 million to $54,000. The judge had previously knocked down judgements of $222,000 and $1.92 million against THOMAS-RASSET in earlier trials, all of which ended in convictions.
ARS TECHNICA provided a partial segment of his verdict.
The Court concludes that an award of $1.5 million for stealing and distributing 24 songs for personal use is appalling. Such an award is so severe and oppressive as to be wholly disproportioned to the offense and obviously unreasonable. In this particular case, involving a first-time willful, consumer infringer of limited means who committed illegal song file-sharing for her own personal use, an award of $2,250 per song, for a total award of $54,000, is the maximum award consistent with due process.
This reduced award is punitive and substantial. It acts as a potent deterrent. It is a higher award than the Court might have chosen to impose in its sole discretion, but the decision was not for this Court to make. The Court has merely reduced the jury’s award to the maximum amount permitted under our Constitution.