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RIAA offers a music pirate chance to make 'a public statement' in return for a smaller fine

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The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) is looking for a way to bring the seven-year copyright battle waged by Jammie Thomas-Rasset against the US music industry to an end. After the US Supreme Court declined to hear Thomas-Rasset's appeal in March, which centers on a copyright lawsuit for illegally sharing 24 songs online, the RIAA offered to reduce her $222,000 fine — if she agreed to a make a public statement.

Thomas-Rasset may file for bankruptcy to avoid paying the fine

Wired reports that the RIAA has already offered to settle the case "in exchange for a contribution to a local music charity" as well as considering "a variety of non-monetary settlement options" which are reportedly up to Thomas-Rasset to offer. In 2006, she became the first person to refuse to settle with the RIAA take the case to court, when the settlement cost was just $3,500.

Thomas-Rasset’s attorney, Michael Wilson, said "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." Wilson added that his client "is pretty opposed" to the idea of making a public service announcement and will look into the option of filing for bankruptcy protection in order to evade the damages award. The RIAA attempted the same tactic in 2009, when it agreed to let LA resident Kevin Cogill to publicly warn internet users about the dangers of file sharing. Cogill had uploaded nine unreleased Guns N’ Roses’ tracks to his music website but eventually managed to wriggle out of doing his PSA. For now, Thomas-Rasset's case continues to remain unsettled, while the RIAA hopes it can find a way to bring its legal battle to an end.