Record companies win music sharing trial
( AP ) - The recording industry won a key fight Thursday against illegal music downloading when a federal jury found a Minnesota woman shared copyrighted music online and levied $220,000 in damages against her.
Record companies have filed some 26,000 lawsuits since 2003 over file-sharing, which has hurt sales because it allows people to get music for free instead of paying for recordings in stores.
This was the first such case to go to trial. Many other defendants have settled by paying the companies a few thousand dollars.
The jury ordered Jammie Thomas, 30, to pay the six record companies that sued her $9,250 for each of 24 songs they focused on in the case. They had alleged she shared 1,702 songs in all.
The companies accused Thomas, 30, of Brainerd, of offering the songs online through a Kazaa file-sharing account. She denied wrongdoing and testified that she didn't have a Kazaa account.
During the three-day trial, the record companies presented evidence they said showed the copyrighted songs were offered by a Kazaa user under the name "tereastarr."
Their witnesses, including officials from an Internet provider and a security firm, testified that the Internet address used by "tereastarr" belonged to Thomas.