Despite Lawsuits, P-to-P Use Still Growing

While the evidence against Thomas may have been sketchy before trial, the music industry proved its case in court, Ed Felton, a professor of computer science and public affairs at Princeton University, noted in his blog.

While she argued that someone else must have downloaded the music, the RIAA lawyers showed that the Kazaa user had a user name that Thomas has used on other services and downloaded songs by her favorite artists, Felton said.

But Felton was struck by the size of the verdict, with damages of $9,250 per song. "That's more than nine hundred times what the songs would have cost at retail," he wrote. "There is no way that Jammie Thomas caused $222,000 of harm to the record industry, so the jury's purpose in awarding the damages has to be seen as punishment rather than compensation.

"All of this, over songs that would have cost $23.76 from iTunes."

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