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Scholastic MATH > NUMBERS IN THE NEWS

Welcome to MATH Magazine’s Numbers in the News! Each week we'll post a math question based on a current news story. Read and solve the question.

If you like, enter your answer in the Comments section. The first person to answer the question correctly has the honor of being our “Winner of the Week.” (We’ll reveal that person, and the correct answer, in that question’s Comments the following week.)

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MP3s at the Supreme Court

Texas teenager Whitney Harper was taken to court for illegally downloading three dozen songs from the Internet when she was 16. Her case went all the way to the United States Supreme Court! Whitney was appealing a lower court's decision. (An appeal is when someone disagrees with a court's decision, so asks a higher-level court to review and possibly change the decision.) The lower court told Whitney to pay $750 per song to music companies. In her appeal, she hoped to get the amount reduced to $200 a song. She thought the original amount was unfair because, as a teen, she wasn't aware of all the laws about music downloading.

However, on Monday, November 29, the Court decided it would not listen to Whitney's appeal. She will have to pay the full amount. If Whitney had won the case, how much less would she owe to the music companies overall?

Whitney would have owed $19,800 less.

The caption contest for this photo is closed.