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Music Industry Wins Song-Download Case

A U.S. jury has handed a victory to the music recording industry, which had claimed a Minnesota woman infringed song copyrights by using online media to illegally download and distribute music, according to court documents.

In the civil case, a jury in the U.S. District Court of Minnesota on Thursday found that Jammie Thomas infringed copyrighted song recordings, according to documents. The jury awarded damages of $9,250 for each of 24 recordings, or a total of $222,000, according to documents.

The companies included EMI Group's Capitol Records, Sony BMG Music Entertainment, Arista Records, Interscope Records, Warner Bros Records and UMG Recordings.

Media reports described the case as the first such file-sharing lawsuit brought by the music industry to go to trial.

The recording companies sued Thomas in April 2006 after 1,702 music files were traced to a computer tied to her, according to court documents. Investigators on Feb. 21, 2005 located an individual with the screen name "tereastarr+KaZaA" using the Kazaa file-sharing software program, according to the documents.

"This individual was downloading copyrighted sounds recordings from other users of the Kazaa network, and was distributing copyrighted sound recordings stored on her computer to other Kazaa users," the plaintiffs said.

Thomas, in documents, denied the allegations of the complaint "that relate to any allegations that she ever used any (peer-to-peer) network, including Kazaa."

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