Remember those good old days when downloading music was free? (Kazaa anyone?) It was simple as typing in the song of your choice and after a few failed attempts you had a new song in your playlist.  Peer to peer file sharing was the newest and coolest way to obtain music in the early 2000’s.  I obviously never downloaded music on any peer-to-peer file sharing websites, because illegally distributing copyrighted music would surely have some damaging consequences.  However, I do know a few people who did illegally download and distribute copyrighted music. Some of them got caught and settled their lawsuits with the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), while others chose to take their case to trial.

A 35-year-old Minnesota woman named Jammie Thomas-Rasset is one such person who refused to settle her case and chose to go to trial instead.  According to Yahoo News, the RIAA initially sued Thomas-Rasset in 2006 and her case has gone through three trials since.  In her first trial, the RIAA offered to settle her lawsuit for $5,000, but she refused.  At her second trial, the RIAA offered to settle her lawsuit for a $25,000 donation to a charity and she refused again.  In the last trial, the judgment against her was for $222,000.  She appealed this judgment to the U.S. Supreme Court and on Monday, the Supreme Court declined to hear her case.

Thomas-Rasset feels unable to pay the $222,000 judgment.  According to Yahoo News, the RIAA claims that they have “been willing to settle this case from day one and remain willing to do so."

What do you think? Is the $222,000 judgment against Thomas-Rasset excessive?  Do you think she should have settled for $5,000?