Originally published: January 25, 2010
Last updated: January 25, 2010 - 4:05pm
Ruling that damage awards in a file-sharing case must have some relationship to the actual loss suffered by the record labels, a federal judge has reduced the amount that file-sharer Jammie Thomas-Rasset must pay from $2 million to $54,000.
"The need for deterrence cannot justify a $2 million verdict for stealing and illegally distributing 24 songs for the sole purpose of obtaining free music," U.S. District Court Judge Michael Davis in Minnesota wrote Friday. Davis cut the damage award to $2,250 per track, which is triple the statutory minimum of $750 per track. He described even the reduced $54,000 award as "significant and harsh," but said that figure would mark "the maximum amount that is no longer monstrous and shocking."
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