First RIAA Lawsuit to Reach Court to Begin

The first RIAA court case against an accused "music downloader" begins today.  Jammie Thomas will become the first of 26,000 people who have been sued by the RIAA to have their case reach trial.  The rest of those sued have settled out of court.

The Brainerd, Minn., resident is accused of illegally sharing 1,702 songs for free on a file-sharing network. Her trial offers the first chance for both sides in the debate over online music sharing to show a jury its version of the facts.

Thomas is accused of violating the song owners' copyrights. Her lawyer says the record companies haven't even proved she shared the songs.

Thomas was initially offered a $3,000 settlement.  Now she would face a minimum of $19,500 and a maximum of $3.9 million in penalties.

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