Pirates are not just hunting oceans’ floor but also the music industry. There’s still no way she can pay record companies the $222,000 judgment she owes said the Minnesota woman at the center of a long-running court fight over the unauthorized downloading of copyrighted music after the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear her appeal Monday.
The justices did not give remark on their decision. The amount was excessive argued by the attorneys of Jammie Thomas-Rasset, of Brainerd.
In the early to mid-2000s, the music industry filed thousands of lawsuits in opposition to people it charged of downloading music without authorization and without paying for it. Most of these cases were settled for about $3,500 apiece. Only two defendants refused to pay and went to trial one of them is Thomas-Rasset while the other was former Boston University student Joel Tenenbaum. The later also lost and was ordered to pay $675,000.
Back in 2006, the initial case was file against Thomas-Rasset. Ever since the case was filed has gone through three trials and several appeals. According to the evidences presented by the industry, Thomas-Rasset made available over 1,700 songs to other computer uses via the file-sharing service Kazaa, though the lawsuit targeted only 24 songs.
“I’m assuming that since they declined to hear the case it’s probably done at this point,” she said. But she also said she needed to consult with her attorneys to determine what happens next.
Thomas-Rasset at the age of 35 and who works for the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe tribal government, maintained her claim that as she has all along can’t afford to pay.
“There’s no way that they can collect,” she said. “Right now, I get energy assistance because I have four kids. It’s just the one income. My husband isn’t working. It’s not possible for them to collect even if they wanted to. I have no assets.”
She became a grandmother in June, Thomas-Rasset added.
She refused both times when the Recording Industry Association of America offered to settle for $5,000 when it first sued, and offered to settle for a $25,000 donation to a charity for music industry people in need after her second trial.
“We appreciate the Court’s decision and are pleased that the legal case is finally over,” the trade group said in a statement. “We’ve been willing to settle this case from day one and remain willing to do so.”
Kiwi Camara, of Houston, Thomas-Rasset’s attorney, uttered displeasure in the result but oblique in an email that the legal options may still carry out. He noted that Tenenbaum’s case will still live before the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Tenenbaum is still demanding the size of the judgment against him. His attorneys, including Camara, dispute that it’s “grossly disproportionate” to his offense.
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