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Ignoring RIAA Lawsuits is Cheaper Than Going to Court

If the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) names you in an illegal music downloading lawsuit, ignore it. At least, that would be better than going to court, according to a recent report by Ars Technica, a technology information Web site.

The report compared the damages awarded against two defendants--Jammie Thomas-Rasset and Joel Tenenbaum, both of whom hired an attorney, showed up in court and defended themselves against the illegal-downloading allegations--with those who simply ignored the charges altogether.

After retrial, Thomas-Rasset faced damages totaling $1.92 million ($80,000 per illegal download) and Tenenbaum faces $675,000 in damages (or $22,500 per illegal download). Those who ignored the charges by not showing up for
court received a default judgment averaging $7,500 ($750 per illegal download).

However, your best bet would be to settle the suit with the RIAA--those settlements on average total between $3,000 and $5,000.

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Cathleen Flahardy

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