Appeals court upholds RIAA lawsuit ruling

— 3:02 AM on December 13, 2005

A federal appeals court has upheld a lower court ruling that fined a Chicago woman $22,500 for illegal song swapping. The RIAA had actually offered Ceclia Gonzalez a $3,500 settlement, but she elected to take her chances in court, claiming that she'd only been downloading songs to decide what to buy. The court didn't buy it, in part because although the RIAA only named 30 songs in its suit, Gonzalez actually had over 1,000 on her computer.

Many of those named in RIAA lawsuits have elected to cut a deal with the recording industry, and this latest ruling could further encourage settlements. The ruling may also embolden the RIAA, fuel a new wave of lawsuits, and inspire another I Fought the Law iTunes commercial during the Super Bowl.

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