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"Time to face the music: A $222,000 fine"

Original story was found in the Star Tribune on Friday, October, 5, 2007. Written by Larry Oakes.

A woman from Brainard was the first ever to take a case to trial where she was accused of illegally downloading music. Jammie Thomas claimed in her court case that she never never downloaded music. But the 12 person jury ruled otherwise. She was fined a total of $222,000 for the distrubution of 24 song to the public.

This case will hopefully send a message to the thousands of others who illegally download pirated music. The music industry has lost billions thanks to people like Thomas who download and distribute the music for free.

Thomas may attempt to repeal the verdict, but has not fully decided. Also, it is unclear as to whether or not the money can even be collected from her. But, the message that this verdict is sending will hopefully discourage many who would steal the music.

Thomson had plead innocent in the case, but the evidence that was found against her was enough to convinct her of the crime. In reality she should be thankful that the fine was not more. Music companies can charge up to $150,000 per song, and Thomson actually had downloaded and distributed over 1,700 songs. But Sony BMG decided to only convict her of 24 songs for simplicities sake.