Business briefs: Jammie Thomas taken to court

The nation’s largest record companies took their fight against illegal downloads to court for the first time Tuesday, targeting a Minnesota woman they say improperly shared nearly 2,000 songs online. Record companies accuse Thomas, a 30-year-old mother of two from Brainerd, Minn., of making 1,702 songs available on her Kazaa file-sharing account in 2005.

PENDING HOME SALES

An index that forecasts near-term home sales fell in August to a record low as would-be homebuyers had difficulty getting mortgages. Economists said the housing market’s woes show no sign of improving. The National Association of Realtors said Tuesday its seasonally adjusted index of pending sales for existing homes fell 6.5 percent from July and 21.5 percent from a year ago.

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