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Supreme Court won't hear Jammie Thomas' file-sharing case

The Minnesota woman who took on the recording industry over a $222,000 verdict for sharing copyrighted songs has to pay up.

Donna Tam Staff Writer / News
Donna Tam covers Amazon and other fun stuff for CNET News. She is a San Francisco native who enjoys feasting, merrymaking, checking her Gmail and reading her Kindle.
Donna Tam
2 min read
Jammie Thomas-Rasset Jammie Thomas-Rasset

A Minnesota woman's fight with the recording industry over her illegally sharing copyrighted songs is finally over.

The Supreme court has denied the petition of Jammie Thomas-Rasset to hear her case, leaving Thomas-Rasset to pay $222,000 to an industry group.

The five-year-long case started in 2007 when the Recording Industry Association of America accused Thomas-Rasset of sharing 1,700 copyrighted songs. After the case's initial filing, the RIAA reduced the number of songs to 24 and the jury rendered a $222,000 verdict in the case.

After multiple appearances and decisions in court -- which included the original decision being thrown out for a technical error and then a retrial that led to a verdict of $1.92 million instead of the $222,000 award -- the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit reinstated the original $222,000 in September.

Faced with the decision, Thomas-Rasset decided to petition the Supreme Court, but the court declining to hear the case means she has run out of choices.

The 35-year-old grandmother told The Associated Press she can't afford to pay:

There's no way that they can collect...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.

The RIAA, of course, is glad to see the case end and says a settlement isn't out of the question.

"We appreciate the Court's decision and are pleased that the legal case is finally over. We've been willing to settle this case from day one and remain willing to do so," a spokeswoman for the RIAA said.

Update, 1:36 p.m. PT: Updated with the RIAA's statement and a link to a court document of the decision.