Downloaders Beware: The RIAA's Still Watching, Fining Heavily

Downloaders Beware: The RIAA's Still Watching, Fining Heavily

Anthony Nguyen
Jun 23, 2009

Watch out readers, using Kazaa is like living in the wild west. If you need a music fix, you're probably better off streaming off Pandora or manually ripping vinyls into uncompressed audio like we've taught you to (though I'm sure there are some out there that will argue that's still illegal as it goes). Otherwise, you might end up like this poor mother from Minnesota who's been slapped with a whoppin' $1.92 million fine for illegally downloading 24 copyrighted songs off the downright dated still popular as ever file-sharing application.

According to a recent article by Electronic House, each song amounted up to a hefty $80,000 each. Yeah, that new Lady Gaga single? Damages done by that song amount up to about four of those 103-inch plasma screens we were looking at the other day. Or about the combined annual income of the average married couple in the U.S.

The mother of four quoted: "There's no way they're ever going to get that. … I'm a mom, limited means, so I'm not going to worry about it now." We're not too sure how we'd react to a such a ridiculous amount ourselves, but we're pretty sure it'd be more or less along the same lines; sheer disbelief.

We all understand the RIAA means to embed the message that downloading hurts the artists (and we wholeheartedly agree), but suing the crap out of single mothers in an attempt to add more poster children to their anti-piracy campaign simply cannot continue for much longer given the ubiquitous and expansive nature of the Internet. We think the Electronic Frontiers Foundation (EFF) attorney Corryne McSherry said it best, "This case could end up being the tail end of a frankly shameful and certainly failed campaign to go after users."

Did this mother deserve such a large fine? Is there any grounds for charging so much for sharing a song? Let us know what you think in the comments.

(Image: Cavutto)

(Via: Electronic House)

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