Jammie Thomas-Rasset, the Minnesota woman who has been fighting the recording industry over 24 songs she illegally downloaded and shared online four years ago, has lost another round in court.
A jury in Minneapolis decided today that she was liable for $1.5 million in copyright infringement damages to Capitol Records, or $62,500 for each song she illegally shared in April 2006.
The Recording Industry Association of America--the trade group that represents the four major music labels--applauded the verdict.
"We are again thankful to the jury for its service in this matter and that they recognized the severity of the defendant's misconduct," the RIAA said in a statement. "Now with three jury decisions behind us along with a clear affirmation of Ms. Thomas-Rasset's willful liability, it is our hope that she finally accepts responsibility for her actions."
Thomas-Rasset is expected to appeal today's judgment before Michael Davis, the chief judge for the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota, who had previously slashed the damage award in an earlier judgment against Thomas-Rasset.
"We intend to raise our constitutional challenge again before Judge Davis," Kiwi Camara, an attorney representing Thomas-Rasset, said in a statement to CNET. "The fight continues."
The trial is the third for Thomas-Rasset, who was originally accused of sharing 1,700 songs--enough to fill about 150 CDs. After one jury found her liable for copyright infringement in 2007 and ordered her to pay $222,000, the judge in the case later ruled that he erred in instructing the jury and called for a retrial. In the second trial, which took place in 2009, a jury found Thomas-Rasset liable for $1.92 million.
Thomas-Rasset subsequently asked the federal court for a new trial or a reduction in the amount of damages in July 2009.
But earlier this year, the judge found that amount to be "monstrous and shocking" and reduced the amount to $54,000. Following that, the RIAA informed Thomas-Rasset that it would accept $25,000--less than half of the court-reduced award--if she agreed to ask the judge to "vacate" his decision, which means removing his decision from the record. Thomas-Rasset rejected that offer almost immediately.
Updated at 8:20 p.m. PT with comment from Thomas-Rasset attorney, and at 9:10 p.m. to emphasize the illegal sharing aspect of the copyright complaint.