Jammie Thomas-Rasset, the Minnesota woman who found herself in a world of legal issues after being sued for $1.5 million by the Recording Industry Association of America for downloading two dozen 80’s songs in 2007, may find her recent appeal making its way to the Supreme Court of the United States.
Federal Judge Michael Davis overturned the until-then most current ruling of the case, lowering the fine to a more “reasonable” amount, a mere (comparatively speaking, anyway) $54,000, or about 95% less than the RIAA is demanding. Needless to say, the RIAA is pissed and counter-appealed, as Thomas-Rasset and her legal team said they had been anticipating, sending the case one step closer to the Supreme Court.
When the RIAA sent Thomas-Rasset a letter demanding she publicly apologize and cut a check for several thousand dollars for downloading and sharing music from then-popular p2p client Kazzaa in 2007, she decided that she wasn’t going to just roll over and take it.
“It sounded like a shake-down,” Thomas-Rasset said in a cover story for Minneapolis’ City Pages. ” It was like some kind of extortion.”
She decided to fight back, but her defense was quickly overpowered by the RIAA’s top lawyer and an unsympathetic jury who decided, for reasons never disclosed, that she be fined $9,250 per song, or a grand total of $220,000.
After refusing to settle with the RIAA again, Thomas-Rasset found herself in court yet again and this time facing an even more damaging verdict: this time the jury felt $80,000 per song was worthy punishment. After a third trial and a final refusal to settle for $25,000 outside of court, Thomas-Rasset had to stifle a laugh when the jury announced their current recommendation: $62,500 per song, or $1.5 million.
Thomas-Rasset is bracing herself for another long leg of the legal battle against RIAA, but she does not sound any more afraid then she did 4 years ago.
“This could easily go another four or five years,” Thomas-Rasset said in City Pages. “I’m fine with that. As far as I’m concerned, this whole thing can go as far as it needs to go. In for a penny, in for a pound.”