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Jury Finds Minnesota Woman Guilty of Using P2P Program, Must Pay Richard Marx $9,250

October 5, 2007 10:15 AM ET

RIAA 1, Kazaa Users 0. In the first trial involving the record-industry union versus an illegal downloader, a jury found Minnesota single mother Jammie Thomas guilty of infringing on music rights. While Thomas was illegally sharing 1,702 songs in her folder, she was only sued for twenty-four recordings. The price she'll have to pay: $222,000, or $9,250 per song, or 9,250 songs bought legally on iTunes. Some of the artists that Thomas was illegally harboring included Janet Jackson, Sarah McLachlan, Godsmack, Richard Marx and many other artists not worth $9,250 a song (honestly, who is? -- but to be fair, those acts were pretty hot in the Nineties).

So what's to be learned from this trial? First, thanks to the win, the RIAA will start gunning for even more P2P users, and two, the record industry thinks ripping tracks from a CD to your computer is theft. "When an individual makes a copy of a song for himself, I suppose we can say he stole a song," testified Jennifer Pariser, an exec at Sony BMG. As usual, it sounds like the ailing record industry really has its finger on the pulse of America.

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Song Stories

“Whoomp! (There It Is)”

Tag Team | 1993

Cecil Glenn — a.k.a., "D.C." — was a cook at Magic City, a nude dance club in Atlanta, when he first heard women shout "Whoomp — there it is!" Inspired by the party chant, he and partner Steve "Roll'n" Gibson wrote a song around it. Undaunted by label rejections, they borrowed $2,500 from Glenn's parents and pressed 800 singles, which quickly sold out in the Atlanta area. A record deal came soon after. Glenn said the song was meant for positive partying. "If you're going to say 'Whoomp there it is,' and you're doing something negative, we'd rather it not have come out of your mouth."

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