The cost of "sharing" music

READ: Recent convictions of file sharers have raised the question about the monetary value of songs.

How much is a song that's been 'shared' worth?
Nothing - music should be free
Nothing - because it doesn't cost anything to make a digital copy of the song
Less than a pound.
$80,000 - because it's illegal and anyone file sharing should be punished
Please Specify:
buy ugg boots

Jammie Thomas-Rasset was found liable of copyright infringement and ordered to pay damages of $1.92 million for downloading and sharing 24 songs.

Joel Tennenbaum was a little luckier. He only has to pay $22,500 for each of the 30 songs that he admitted in court to downloading via sites like Kazaa and Limewire among others.

These amounts were decided by the juries in the respective cases, using a provision in the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DCMA) that allows for fines of $750-$150,000 per song if the infringement was “willful”.

According to news sources, the plaintiffs in the case argued that the defendants knew that their actions were illegal. They added that they caused "great and irreparable harm" to the artists involved, to have their material shared between thousands of users of the file sharing sites.

Ironically, one of the artists whose songs were among the ones Jammie Thomas downloaded has criticised the "greedy actions of major labels" and has expressed his opinion that Jammie Thomas "got a raw deal."

In a statement, songwriter Richard Marx said, "As a longtime professional songwriter, I have always objected to the practice of illegal downloading of music.

"It seems to me, especially in these extremely volatile economic times, that holding Ms. Thomas-Rasset accountable for the continuing daily actions of hundreds of thousands of people is, at best, misguided and at worst, farcical."

However, many mainstream artists remain committed to a strong pro-copyright stance.

Rock magazine Kerrang! recently reported that Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich claimed to be "proud" of his role in bringing an end to Napster, one of the earliest file sharing sites, nearly ten years ago.

So what do you think these songs are worth? And what are they worth if you're caught downloading them?

Find out more about file sharing in the FAQ section.

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