Court Orders File-Sharer to Pay $80,000 Per Song to RIAA

A delusional Minnesota court has ordered Jammie Thomas, wanton criminal Kazaa user, to pay a total of $1.92 million for sharing 24 songs. As my own little protest, I'm going to illegally download Metallica's entire discography. And I hate Metallica.

The decision has taken a ton of twists and turns—even after the jury had decided what Thomas had done was in fact illegal filesharing, the punishment wasn't at all clear. Originally she was to be fined for over 1,700 songs, which was then whittled down to 24 "representative" songs, and the per song fine has shot up from the initial $750 (the legal minimum) to the current $80,000.

Apparently Thomas "gasped" when the number was read out loud. We don't blame her, although our reaction was more fist-shaking and muttering about old white men in suits than sheer surprise.

The ordeal isn't over, of course—Thomas will appeal the decision and it'll probably be heard by a few more judicial levels before any final say is had. Jammie, we're pulling for you. Stand tall. Or sit down, it's easier to steal music that way. [Ars Technica]