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Single mother fined $220,000 for music file sharing

Jammie Thomas, an Objibwe Native American and single mother from Brainerd was fined $220,000 for music piracy Thursday, according to London's The Times.

"The 30-year-old made legal history after refusing to pay an out-of-court settlement, as all others challenged over their behavior before her had done, but her failure to carry the case is likely to further embolden the music industry in its attempts to protect copyright," The Times said.

The Times said that Thomas has been ordered to pay a total of $9,250 for 24 songs that the case focused on, which is equal to almost five times the amount of her annual income. The record companies claim that she shared 1,702 songs in total through a Kazaa account.

Though she denied having a Kazaa account, the jury proved that the internet address "tereastarr" belonged to Thomas.

The Times' article brings up the argument that it cannot be proven that Jammie Thomas actually got on her computer and shared the files.

The RIAA has as advantage in winning trials because "it sets two precedents: It does not have to prove that a defendant’s computer had a file-sharing program installed when the infringement was detected; and that the defendant was at the keyboard when the infringements took place," The Times reported.

The news source is under the assumption that the fine will not be collected and is expected to leave Thomas bankrupt.

The Star Tribune's report of the story starts out specifically stating Jammie Thomas' annual income of $36,000.

The Star Tribune said that Thomas is not looking to receive financial help in order to pay off her $220,000 fine, but if she is offered it she will not necessarily decline either.

The only additional information the Star Tribune added to what The Times already contributed is that Thomas is the first person to fight a music piracy violation all the way to a trial.