huge fine in US file-sharing case

A woman has been ordered to pay $1.9 million (£1.2m) in the only file-sharing case to go to trial in the US.

A jury in Minnesota ruled Jammie Thomas-Rasset, 32, had violated music copyright and must pay damages to the record industry.

The mother of four from Minnesota was accused of illegally sharing 24 songs from artists including Sheryl Crow and Green Day.

Outside the courtroom Thomas-Rasset said the fine was "kind of ridiculous".

It was the second time record companies had taken Thomas-Rasset to court. The first trial ended without a verdict.

A spokeswoman for the Recording Industry Association of America said the companies are willing to settle out of court for a much smaller amount.

"Since day one we have been willing to settle this case and we remain willing to do so," said Cara Duckworth from the RIAA.

Previous cases

Most people targeted by the music industry had settled for around £1,500 each.

It is not clear if Thomas-Rasset plans to appeal against the fine.

This case was the only one of more than 30,000 similar lawsuits to make it to trial.

Record companies accused Thomas-Rasset of uploading 1,700 songs to the Kazaa file-sharing site before it became a legal service.

In court she described herself as a "huge music fan".

Defence lawyers argued companies could not prove that she was sharing the songs, suggesting her children or ex-husband may have done it.

Companies including Sony, BMI, Universal and Warner Music say they are now concentrating on working with internet service providers to crack down on the worst offenders of file-sharing.

Online piracy has been blamed for a decline in music sales in recent years.

Thomas-Rasset said she has no means of paying the fine: "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."

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