Indeed, but its that way for a reason.
The original intent of statutory damages was 2 fold:
1. To ensure that the infringer does not do it again, and to send a message to other potential infringers, that this behaviour will not be tolerated.
2. To punish commercial infringers for any infringements they may have done that could not be accounted for through actual losses.
It's obvious from the plain evidence in this case that she is not a commercial infringer, and never intended to re-sell the 24 songs, which leaves the other option: To send a message.
I'm pretty sure everyone can agree that $80,000 is insane damages for a single song. So then, in a range of $750 to $150,000, what *IS* fair?
The evidence seems to say that she is guilty, and thus should be held accountable. Actual damages would not send the message that the industry wants to send, but at the same time, ridiculously high damages seems to have the same effect.
Is $750 acceptible? For a total damage award of $18,000? The question is not "Could she reasonably pay the damages?", because the law doesn't care if you can pay it. The question is "How much would make a reasonable deterrent for future infringers?".
Unfortunately, these days, I believe the problem is already out of control, and no amount of damages, reasonable or not, would serve to deter future infringement. Indeed, the same person, after resolving all these issues, being left penniless and bankrupt, is likely to learn from these mistakes and use an encrypted client in the future, and simply download all their music in the future.
Punishing an avid music collector (it's reported that she actually *owns* 200+ cd's) over 24 downloaded songs seems to me to betray all of your future customers.
I don't honestly think theres any way the recording industry can drive this mess for a positive outcome for them. They'll never get the money from *any* damage award, and they're reputation is irreversibly and forever scarred by this lawsuit campaign.