Lawyers for Jammie Thomas-Rasset, the Minnesota mother of four who was hit with a $1.92 million fine for illegally downloading 24 songs on P2P network Kazaa, is asking a federal judge to either significantly lower the decision to $18,000 or grant a third trial, The Hollywood Reporter writes. “Such a judgment is grossly excessive and, therefore, subject to remittitur as a matter of federal common law,” Jammie Thomas-Rasset’s attorney reportedly told the court.
According to the Inquirer, Thomas-Rasset’s legal team also argued that evidence gathered by MediaSentry, a company that locates copyright-violating IP addresses, was presented at the trial, which Thomas-Rasset’s lawyers claim broke private investigator rules and thus should not have been admitted. The Wall Street Journal reported in January 2009 that the RIAA had parted ways with MediaSentry for undisclosed reasons, yet the company’s evidence in the Thomas-Rasset trial was still utilized.
As Rock Daily previously reported, the first trial against Jammie Thomas-Rasset in 2007 resulted in a $222,000 fine. An error in jury instructions, however, allowed for Thomas-Rasset to have a second trial, with a much worse result for the Minnesota mom: A $1.92 million fine, or $80,000 per song. Richard Marx, one of the artists whose songs Thomas-Rasset downloaded, spoke out against the RIAA for the lawsuit, saying “Ms. Thomas Rasset, I think you got a raw deal, and I’m ashamed to have my name associated with this issue.”
The RIAA said they would be open to negotiating a settlement with Thomas-Rasset after the $1.92 million, and experts speculated that the group’s goal was primarily to scare off potential illegal downloaders.
• Richard Marx “Ashamed” He’s Linked To $1.92 Million RIAA Fine Against Minnesota Mom
• Minnesota Mom Hit With $1.92 Million Fine For Illegal File Sharing
• Jury Finds Minnesota Woman Guilty of Using P2P Program, Must Pay Richard Marx $9,250