Thomas-Rasset to take $222K copyright case to the Supremes

Kiwi Camara, one of Thomas-Rasset's attorneys, tells CNET his client will take the fight over the $222,000 she's been ordered to pay the RIAA "all the way" to the Supreme Court.

Joe Sibley (left) and Kiwi Camara Camara & Sibley law firm

Lawyers for Jammie Thomas-Rasset confirmed what many people who have followed her case likely expected.

The Minnesota woman found liable for sharing 24 copyrighted songs via the Web will try and take her case to the U.S. Supreme Court, Kiwi Camara, her attorney, told CNET today. It must be noted that there's no guarantee that the court will hear her case.

Earlier today, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals found largely in favor of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), the trade group representing the four largest music-recording companies. The appellate court granted an RIAA request to throw out a lower-court decision that had reduced the damages assigned to Thomas-Rasset by a jury.

Thomas-Rasset's attorneys asked the appeals court to determine the constitutionality of the damages award in copyright cases, which are based on statutory rates set by Congress. Camara has said that the awards are cruel and unusual punishment and unconstitutional. The appeals court declined to make the determination.

"We're happy that [the appeals court] went with the $222,000 judgment," Camara told CNET. "Obviously, we're disappointed with the court's ruling on the constitutionality of the damages award... we think they're punitive and we think the court made a mistake. We will seek an appeal from the Supreme Court."

The highest court in the land hasn't appeared to be very eager to hear these kinds of cases. In May, the Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal made by attorneys for Joel Tenenbaum , a self-admitted music pirate, who was ordered by a lower court to pay the RIAA $675,000 in damages.

 

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