Joel Tenenbaum, a 28-year-old student who just graduated from a Boston University grad program, was ordered by a judge to pay a ridiculous $675,000 for illegally downloading and sharing 30 songs on the Internet.
Tenenbaum has appealed for a reduced amount has just been denied, but that's not going to stop him. He says:
"I can't believe the system would uphold a six-figure damages amount for downloading 30 songs on a file-sharing system that everybody used. I can't believe the court would uphold something that ludicrous."
His lawyer even tried to get it reduced to the 99 cents per song it would cost to download the files legally.  A federal judge called the penalty unconstitutionally excessive and reduced the award to $67,500 — but the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals later reinstated it!  Did we mention Joel has a doctorate in statistical physics? He isn't some pirate that's bringing down the industry. In fact, most of the people that the RIAA has taken to court are not that person. They're just normal people.
He has a good argument, too:

'the U.S. Copyright Act is unconstitutional and that Congress did not intend the law to impose liability or damages when the copyright infringements amount to "consumer copying."'

We just need something better, so why can't someone come up with something better?
The RIAA even stated they offered to settle the case for $5,000 early on, which is common for them. It bullies people who are too afraid to take them on in courts into settling. Bullying is bullying, and they should be ashamed.
The simple solution is not to illegally download music at all in the first place.