RIAA open to non-monetary options to settle high-profile file sharing case

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Seven years is a long time to fight a battle in court but if your name is Jammie Thomas-Rasset, that’s the reality you’ve faced for close to a decade. Thomas-Rasset was accused of illegally sharing 24 songs online back in 2006 and faced a fine of $3,500.

The Minnesota woman decided to fight the charges and after the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear her case this past March, she was left owing the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) $222,000. Whoops.

There could still be a happy ending after all as the RIAA has offered multiple ways to settle the case for less than the amount owed. Thomas-Rasset’s attorney, Michael Wilson, said the RIAA offered her the opportunity to make a public statement in opposition of file sharing in exchange for a reduced fine.

Alternately, Thomas-Rasset could settle the case in exchange for a contribution to a local music charity. The RIAA said they would even consider a variety of non-monetary settlement options that would be up to her to offer. Her lawyer noted that she was “pretty opposed” to the idea of making a public service announcement and was planning to look into the option of filing for bankruptcy protection instead.

Maybe I’m alone in my thinking, but after seven years and who knows how much money already invested in her defense, maybe it’s time to simply swallow your pride and accept a non-monetary settlement option. What says you?

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