Peoria Public Radio Staff
Mon March 18, 2013
Supreme Court Lets $222,000 Verdict In File-Sharing Case Stand
Originally published on Mon March 18, 2013 2:01 pm
The first person to challenge a file-sharing lawsuit brought by the Recording Industry Association of America has reached the end of the line.
Without comment, the Supreme Court refused to hear Jammie Thomas-Rasset's appeal, which means the $222,000 verdict against her stands.
Thomas-Rasset was convicted of sharing 24 songs on the peer-to-peer service Kazaa. She was arguing that the amount in question was excessive.
"Thomas-Rasset was the nation's first file-sharer to challenge a Recording Industry Association of America lawsuit, one of thousands the industry lodged against individuals who illegally shared music on peer-to-peer networks.
"The high court's move ends a legal saga that dates to 2007. The litigation had a tortuous history involving a mistrial and three separate verdicts for the same offense — $222,000, $1.92 million and $1.5 million.
"The Supreme Court has never heard an RIAA file-sharing case and has previously declined the two other file-sharing cases brought before it."
Last year in May, Mark told us about the case of Joel Tenenbaum a 25-year-old Boston University student who downloaded and shared 30 songs. The RIAA came after him and a jury came back with a $675,000 verdict. Like in today's decision, the Supreme Court also let that judgement stand.
The Associated Press spoke to Thomas-Rasset, who said she simply can't afford to pay the settlement.
"There's no way that they can collect," she told the AP. "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."