RIAA Offers To Reduce $222K Verdict Against File-Sharer If She’ll Say Something Nice About RIAA

Have you ever been compelled to make an insincere apology just because you knew it would get you out of trouble? The much-loathed Recording Industry Association of America made that sort of offer to file-sharer Jammie Thomas-Rasset, offering to reduce her $222,000 penalty if she just went on the record to say some kind words about the RIAA’s anti-piracy platform.

For those coming late to Jammie’s case, she was first found liable in 2007 for illegally downloading and sharing 24 songs on Kazaa. The jury awarded the plaintiffs $222,000, or $9,250 per song.

The court later vacated that judgement and a second trial convened in 2009. This time, she was hit with whopping $1.92 million verdict, or $80,000 per song.

Thomas-Rasset argued that this penalty was completely out of proportion to any damage that may have been done by the alleged piracy. The judge in the case ultimately reduced the amount to $54,000 but the defendant rejected even this significantly smaller penalty.

Then there was a third trial to hammer out the damages. This time, the verdict came out to $1.5 million ($62,500/song).

Once again, the court reduced the amount to $54,000. This time, the plaintiffs appealed. In 2012, a U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals held that the original $222,000 penalty was correct and should not have been reduced.

Thomas-Rasset had hoped her case would be heard by the Supreme Court, but in March of this year, the nation’s highest court declined to hear the case.

Now, Wired reports that the RIAA has made Thomas-Rasset a vague offer to reduce the amount of the penalty if she’d say something nice for a change.

Her attorney tells Wired, “the record industry was offering a kind of a public statement as a possible supplement so she wouldn’t have to pay the full amount,” but says that no specific amount of relief was discussed.

“It was kind of a general idea, nothing concrete,” said her attorney. “I would assume it would be something along those lines: anti-piracy and culpability.”

But Thomas-Rasset says she’d rather go bankrupt than agree to speak on behalf of the RIAA.

“I’m not doing it,” she told Wired.

A rep for the RIAA says the group has made multiple offers to reduce Thomas-Rasset’s penalty:

We continue to try to resolve this case in a reasonable way. In the past, for example, we have reached out to Ms. Thomas to settle the case in exchange for a contribution to a local music charity. We have communicated to Ms. Thomas that we would consider a variety of non-monetary settlement options, which is up to her to offer. We think this is a gesture of a good will and we’re doing what we can to resolve this case in a manner that works for everyone.

RIAA Wants Infamous File-Sharer to Campaign Against Piracy [Wired]