Minnesota woman loses music downloading appeal

Published On: Mar 18 2013 11:10:02 AM CDT

The Supreme Court has turned away an appeal from a Minnesota woman who has been ordered to pay record companies $222,000 for the unauthorized downloading of copyrighted music.

The justices did not comment Monday in letting stand the judgment against Jammie Thomas-Rasset, 35, of Brainerd, Minnesota. She claimed in court papers that the ordered payment was excessive.

The music industry filed thousands of lawsuits against people it accused of downloading music without permission and without paying for it. Almost all the cases settled for $3,500.

Lawyer Kiwi Camara said Thomas-Rasset is one of only two defendants whose case went to trial. The other is former Boston University student Joel Tenenbaum, who also lost and was ordered to pay $675,000.

The case is Thomas-Rasset v. Capitol Records, 12-715.

Thomas-Rasset says she's not certain what happens next and will have to consult with her attorneys. But she says she assumes that she's run out of options for appeals in the long-running case, which dates back to 2006.

Thomas-Rasset says there's still no way the record companies can collect anything from her. She says she has no assets and qualifies for energy assistance because she has four kids and her husband isn't working. Their only income is from her job with the Mille Lacs tribal government.