if a picture’s worth . . .

. . . a thousand words, how much is a song worth? $9,250, if you’re convicted of downloading it illegally. A jury in Duluth has just found a woman accused by the RIAA of illegally downloading music guilty in the first file-sharing case to go to jury trial. Though this case sets legal precedent that will encourage the RIAA’s efforts to punish file sharers, the number of people sharing files has tripled since the music industry started aggressively targeting the practice

Stay tuned to Threat Level for further updates.

New: analysis from the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which suggests there’s a better way to go about this:

In the Duluth, MN court where the case was heard, some interesting facts have emerged, among them Sony-BMG’s head of litigation Jennifer Pariser suggestion under questioning that the lawsuits are losing money for the RIAA. Whether she’s right or not — we’ve long suspected that these lawsuits are at least breaking even, and the RIAA refuses to say — millions of dollars have been spent on these suits, and millions have been paid to the RIAA, with no sign that a penny of that money has gone into the pockets of artists.

Radiohead has some interesting thoughts on artists and pockets. Meanwhile, lots of discussion over at Metafilter . . .

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