Recording industry tries to ban woman from downloading music

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The Independent Tech

Just weeks after a federal jury ruled that a woman must pay $1.92 million for illegally sharing copyright-protected music, the US recording industry wants to make sure she doesn't do it again.

Attorneys for the recording industry want a federal judge to bar Jammie Thomas-Rasset, 32, from downloading music, sharing music files and distributing songs to the public.



The attorneys also want US District Judge Michael Davis to order that Thomas-Rasset destroy all copies of recordings she has downloaded without authorisation.



Last month, a federal jury ruled that Thomas-Rasset wilfully violated the copyrights on 24 songs, and that she must pay $80,000 per song.



This case was the only one of more than 30,000 similar lawsuits to make it all the way to trial. The vast majority of people targeted by the music industry had settled for about $3,500 each.



The recording industry has said it stopped filing such lawsuits last August and is instead working with internet service providers to fight the worst offenders.

In his request, recording industry attorney Timothy Reynolds wrote that Thomas-Rasset actually distributed more than 1,700 songs to millions of others through the file-sharing system Kazaa.



Those users, in turn, are likely to distribute the recordings even further, Reynolds wrote.



"The extent of the viral, or exponential, infringement set in motion by Defendant is literally incalculable," Reynolds wrote.



"Absent an injunction, there is nothing to stop Defendant from downloading and distributing more of Plaintiffs' copyrighted sound recordings through an online media distribution system."



Messages left for Thomas-Rasset and for her attorney were not immediately returned Monday.



The companies that sued Thomas-Rasset are subsidiaries of all four major recording companies, Warner Music Group, Vivendi SA's Universal Music Group, EMI Group and Sony Music Entertainment.



The plaintiffs had requested a similar injunction in their original complaint, and Monday's court filing follows through on that request. Such requests are common in copyright-infringement cases.



The huge judgement came after Thomas-Rasset's second trial in the case. When a different federal jury heard her case in 2007, it hit Thomas-Rasset with a $222,000 judgement. The new trial was ordered after Davis decided he had erred in giving jury instructions.



At the time of the verdict, Thomas-Rasset called the $1.92 million figure "kind of ridiculous." The mother of four said she's of limited means and couldn't pay that much.



Kiwi Camara, one of Thomas-Rasset's attorneys, has said an appeal was planned.



The Recording Industry Association of America had previously offered to settle the case, and Thomas-Rasset had been given the chance to settle for $3,000 to $5,000.



RIAA spokeswoman Cara Duckworth said that the industry is still willing to settle, and would have preferred that option from the beginning.

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