The most alarming aspect of yesterday's court ruling that 32-year-old Minnesota woman Jammie Thomas-Rasset owes $1.92 million for downloading 24 songs has nothing to do with the penalty (though at $80,000 per song, it is amazingly excessive). The most amazing thing was the list of songs that she's being rung up for, which include Guns N' Roses' "Welcome to the Jungle," Def Leppard's "Pour Some Sugar On Me" and Green Day's "Basket Case." I took a look at this list and thought, "Has anybody who has downloaded music not sucked down those songs?" When you consider that Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'" — one of the most downloaded songs in the history of digital music — was also on there, it kicks the percentage up even further.
Which makes it all the more amazing that Thomas-Rasset was found guilty by a jury of her peers, which means they managed to find twelve people who have never downloaded music before. How could that be? Statistics are hazy, but an estimated one billion songs are passed through peer-to-peer networks each month, and a study published last year in the U.K. showed that the average teenager's iPod contains around 800 illegally obtained tracks. Does that mean everybody has to pay up for rocking Linkin Park's "One Step Closer" — another track Thomas-Rasset was rung up for?
So we ask you: Take a look at the full list of songs Thomas-Rasset downloaded and tell us how many of those tracks you've snagged without paying for them. Or maybe just remain anonymous — after all, the RIAA appears to be out for blood (and cash).