Online file-sharing is considered illegal and an infringement of intellectual copyrights of the content that is being shared, if it is not available publicly and for free. However, very few cases related to online file sharing have surfaced in the U.S. so far. Among them is the case of Jammie Thomas, the first case that involved unauthorized file-sharing.
The case has been around since 2007 and has since lingered on between multiple courts and hearings. Initially, Jammie Thomas was asked to pay $222,000 for sharing 54 unauthorized copies of songs on Kazaa. In later trials, the damages that were to be paid were bumped to $1.92 million and then subsequently reduced to $1.5 million.
Now, an Appeals Court has ruled that she must pay $222,000. According to the ruling of the court, “We conclude that when the district court entered judgment after the verdict in the third trial, the court should have enjoined Thomas-Rasset from making copyrighted works available to the public, whether or not that conduct by itself violates rights under the Copyright Act.”
One of the district courts had earlier ruled that she be made to pay $54,000. To this, the Appeals Court’s decision says, ‘the district court erred in holding that the Due Process Clause allowed statutory damages of only $54,000. We therefore will vacate the district court’s judgment and remand with directions to enter a judgment that includes those remedies.”