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RIAA Wins $1.92 Million Verdict In Music File-Sharing Case

A jury awarded the RIAA a $1.92 million verdict in the case of Jammie Thomas-Basset in the first music file-sharing case to make it to trial.

The massive verdict in the nation's only filing-sharing case to go to trial, found Jammie Thomas-Rasset, 32, "committed willful violation" of the copyrights. The verdict was to the tune of $80,000 for each of the 24 songs Thomas-Rasset downloaded from the Kazaa file-sharing network. Among the downloaded songs were tunes by popular acts like Gloria Estefan, Sheryl Crow and Green Day.

Under the Copyright Act, juries can award up to $150,000 per illegally downloaded track, though roughly $3,500 was the average payment in the majority of RIAA cases that were settled out of court.

Along with downloading 24 songs that were copyright protected, the record companies also accused Thomas-Rasset of uploading 1,700 songs to Kazaa before it became a legal service, according to reports by the BBC.

The trial was actually a second go-around for the woman, who was also found in 2007 to have illegally shared music. A retrial was ordered after a judge in the case decided he had erred in jury instructions and a mistrial was declared. The second trial, however, had a worse outcome for Thomas-Rasset, which saw the jury award the RIAA $1.92 million as opposed to the $220,000 from the first trial, or $9,250 per song.

Outside the courtroom, Thomas-Rasset called the penalty "kind of ridiculous," several news sources reported.

"I have no means of paying the fine," she told new crews outside the courtroom, the Associated Press reported. "There's no way they're ever going to get tat. I'm a mom, limited means, so I'm not going to worry about it now."

Later, Thomas-Rasset added that "The only thing I can say is good luck trying to get it, because you can't get blood out of a turnip."

The RIAA has said that it will work with Thomas-Rasset to make amends, suggesting that it is prepared to settle out of court for a smaller amount, a settlement it's been willing to make "since day one."

While Thomas-Rasset's case is the first of its kind to make it to trial, there have been more than 35,000 similar cases that have been settled outside of court.

It was unclear whether Thomas-Rasset, who described herself as a "huge music fan," planned to appeal the verdict.

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