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Infamous music pilferer Jammie Thomas-Rasset has had a $2m damages bill for copying 24 songs slashed by a US judge.

Thomas-Rasset will now have to pay $54,000 to the big US music labels, a fraction of the original reward.

She used the Kazaa network to share music and was originally hit with damages of $80,000 for each song. The mum of four became a posterchild for the freetards.

She was the first person taken to court by the Recording Industry Ass. of America for non-commercial sharing, but the long-running case didn't win copyright defenders a lot of friends.

Now the organisation has a problem - it can appeal the reduction in damages but this will push the case back into the headlines. Even if it won the appeal the music industry will probably not get much out of Thomas, who is of limited means.

But continuing to push this case, which started in late 2007, will start to look even more excessive to observers.

Equally Jammie Thomas could choose to appeal the amount, which again risks re-running an argument the music industry can win in court but not in real life. ®

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