I understand the courts wanting to set an example that crime doesn't pay to the perpetrators, but a half a million dollar fine for "illegally" downloading music!

Q107 Classic Rockers - take note.

Thousands of lawsuits were filed by the music industry in the early to mid 2000s, with most settling out of court, still for a fairly steep, $3,500 penalty.

There have been two people who decided to take their chance in front of a jury, and both lost.  One woman from Minnesota was recently ordered to pay $222,000, but a man from Massachusetts was told to cough up $675,000!

These amounts doled out as punishment are reprehensible at best.  I don't care if these people broke every piracy law on the books.  With such an abominable sentence handed down to these folks, what is the realistic expectation that "justice shall be served"?

Let me put it another way.  Telemarketers can robo-call at will, and in total defiance of the legal system, yet only receive some measly $10,000 slap on the wrist?  Okay, so these two opted out from the "cheap" route, only to be shanghaied under due process of law.  One has to wonder if they knew the consequences of a guilty jury verdict.

I am definitely not endorsing the practice of ripping off the music artists, but if $3,500 is roughly the cost for not getting into a litigious battle, then why not just triple the outcome ($10,500) in the event of losing the argument in court.  This way, the plaintiff may have a chance at getting some remuneration, but at $675,000  -  the defendant may very well receive a $55 per month wage garnishment  -  for the next 898 years.