"Download martyr" Jammie Thomas-Rasset out of legal options; $220,000 judgment stands

Back in 2011, Thomas-Rasset (at right) told us she viewed the RIAA's lawsuit as "a shakedown" and "extortion."
After eight years of twists and turns, it appears Jammie Thomas-Rasset's legal drama is at an end. Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to review her case, meaning a $220,000 judgement against the Brainerd woman stands.

SEE ALSO: Recording Industry Association of America responds to City Pages cover story

Thomas-Rasset, the so-called "download martyr" who was the subject of a City Pages cover feature back in February 2011, was sued in 2005 by a group of large music labels for illegally downloading a set of songs including Def Leppard's "Pour Some Sugar on Me," Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'," Richard Marx's "Now and Forever," and Green Day's "Basket Case." As we told you about in some of our followup coverage, the penalty in her case has fluctuated wildly from ruling to ruling -- from $220,000 to $1.92 million to $54,000 to $1.5 million back to $54,000 and then finally back to $220,000 thanks to a U.S. Court of Appeals decision.

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Jammie Thomas-Rasset, music download martyr, gets penalty reduced to $54,000

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Thomas said she hopes her case eventually reaches the U.S. Supreme Court.
Jammie Thomas-Rassett, the Minnesota woman who was originally penalized $1.5 million for downloading and sharing two dozen 80's rock songs, had her penalty reduced to $54,000 by a U.S. District Court Judge on Friday.

Judge Michael Davis's decision knocks about 95 percent off the amount of money Thomas-Rasset would owe to the Recording Industry Association of America.

The penalty in the case has fluctuated wildly: Originally, RIAA tried to bring a fine against Thomas-Rasset of nearly $3.6 million, at a cost of $150,000 per song. Instead, the case went to court, three different times. Davis's ruling obliterates the last jury ruling of $1.5 million in fines.

The ordeal has dragged on for almost six years, but Thomas-Rasset, the subject of a February cover story, tells City Pages she's ready to keep fighting.

"We're trying to get it to the [U.S.] Supreme Court," Thomas-Rasset says. "To tell them, look, this law's on the books ... you can pretty much, for the value of less than two CDs nowadays, you can end up having to pay over $3 million. It has to change."

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