Minnesota woman loses music download appeal

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A 35-year-old Brainerd woman, accused by record companies of illegally downloading music, and who appealed the case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, has lost, the Associated Press reports.

The high court rejected Jammie Thomas-Rasset's appeal Monday, the AP says. She's been ordered to pay $222,000 for the unauthorized downloads in a case that dates to 2006. Here's the case filing.

The justices did not offer further comment on the case, another Associated Press story said.

Thomas-Rasset had argued that the payment was excessive, and she says she doesn't have the money or assets to pay, the Pioneer Press reports. The mother of four says she qualifies for energy assistance and her husband isn't working, the newspaper reports. She works for the Mille Lacs tribal government.

The music industry filed thousands of lawsuits against people for illegal downloads, the AP says, but many of the cases were settled for $3,500. The cases of Thomas-Rasset and a former Boston University student named Joel Tenenbaum were the only two that went to trial over the issue. Tenenbaum also lost and has been ordered to pay $675,000.

CityPages profiled Thomas-Rasset in 2011 as the "Download Martyr."

DailyTech has a rundown of how the Thomas-Rasset case has developed over the years, noting that, at one point, she had been ordered to pay as much as $1.9 million for the downloading of 24 songs, including tunes by Aerosmith, Richard Marx and Guns N' Roses. Wired magazine lists the songs as perhaps the "most valuable hour-and-a-half of music ever."

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