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Have you heard about this story.
A single mother from Minnesota is being ordered to pay nearly two million dollars after a jury last week found her -- guilty of illegally down leading.
24 songs on the Internet it's a victory for the Recording Industry Association of America in the war against illegal music downloads.
Which account for about twelve billion dollars a year -- global economic losses.
And a loss of 71000 jobs here in the United States -- to talk to me.
About this this morning attorney Joseph silently he joins me from Houston he represented the woman at the center of this case.
-- -- -- -- Joining me from Minneapolis thank you both for joining us this morning.
Thank you for having us Jamie right at the top.
I'm asking you know the recording industry association America has filed 30000 suits against individuals.
For illegally downloading music from web sites like -- -- but your case.
Is actually the first to go to trial -- you -- Like many others for 3500 dollars -- songs like many others have done before you.
I didn't download any music off of his and when they actually when I called the settlement support senator.
They tried to help me find is on my computer and once we couldn't find it.
They said well -- me this amount money and will go away and I'm like why what I paid for something I didn't do.
Senator talked about the legal process of this she saying that she didn't even have his on her computer yet there.
Are going ahead and finding her almost two million dollars.
What's that what's a legal explanation for all that's.
Well it's somewhat perplexing but the the short legal explanation is that juries are unpredictable.
And we couldn't have predicted this.
I think what happened is Jamie told her story.
The evidence linked her computer and not her to any illegal downloading.
She told her story and the possible the reality is is that it's possible her children.
Or her ex husband were responsible for this and I don't know if the jury didn't like the story you know it's unclear.
But I think there's definitely a punitive.
Aspect here which is why we think this is unconstitutional.
And we intend to appeal because the one point nine million dollar award is.
Grossly disproportionate to the point five dollars worth of songs that she allegedly downloaded or stole off of Kazaa -- No absolutely Joseph -- a prior case -- was fine 220000.
Why did that happen and why did -- get escalated -- -- two million dollars.
Well again it's a different -- but in this case as opposed the last case.
We had Jamie tell the whole story the last case the the strategy was basically.
And and I was in the attorney on -- case but apparently the strategy was to.
Try to poke holes in the plaintiff's case and and -- keep Jamie as silent as possible.
This case we had Jamie talk sort of like a criminal defendant taking the stand and and testifying in her own defense and and sometimes that can.
That can cause the jury to go the other way if they if they think that the defendant is lying and I don't know if that's the case and in this case clearly they thought -- she wasn't.
She wasn't given them the truth and and that I think that explains the higher damage to the war.
-- you pretty expected take this from here next year a mother of four you've been find almost two million dollars.
Are you going to try and paid this fine -- are you gonna challenge that's.
Actually we're going to appeal it's.
And once it goes -- the appellate process.
I'm not gonna really worry about having to pay it back until it's pretty much set in stone that I have -- options but to pay it back.
If I -- -- worrying about it right now I -- would not be able to function sound.
It's certainly that's and that's understandable two million dollars for -- that -- that translates to 80000 dollars per song for 24 songs.
Joseph there are thousands of people that are finding themselves getting sued by the recording industry.
On many accounts there are almost 30000 lawsuits filed are you going to be taking this as a class action lawsuit to hear the claims.
And many people -- find thousands of people that find themselves in the same situation.
That is something that's in the works -- Bonnie and and that's theory behind that is this is an unconstitutional.
Statutory scheme the recording industry knows that.
It's just not fair to demand that 5000 dollar 3500 dollar settlements from everyone that -- -- When those people are forced to choose between.
Coughing up that amount of money in and in many cases like in -- cases was a lot of money yeah for the average American to cough up and the alternative is you could be hit with a multi billion dollar damages award which in this case.
Because it -- a finding of willful infringement is not discharged -- bankruptcy.
That's a serious threat that the recording industry has at its disposal we don't think it's fair we don't think it's constitutional and there is a class action can work.
-- let me ask you last question -- you feel like you're unfairly targeted here.
-- I think I'm unfairly targeted because I thought back I think bags.
Because I did decide to take it to trial and I did tell them I was not gonna pay them for something I didn't do.
Yeah they're they're make they're trying to make an example of me and I try to make an example of my situation.
And so in my eyes yeah that is unfair why why you why you Jamie.
Because I -- back because I refuse to -- I refuse to pay them.
What they demanded -- I refuse to pay them for something I didn't do.
So they decided okay we're gonna try we're gonna make an example -- view so that nobody else will fight back.
All right thank you very much -- and -- for joining us this more.
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