Jammie Thomas, the Minnesota woman ordered earlier this month to pay the recording industry $222,000, is pulling out the stops in her bid to defend herself in court.
The 30-year-old woman has begun selling men's and women's undergarments, coffee mugs, canine apparel, and baby bibs to raise money to pay her legal fees. All the merchandise is stamped with the new "Free Jammie" logo created for her by one of her supporters.
The logo features a music note superimposed on a globe and the words: "Free Jammie. Free Everyone."
Thomas is the first person accused of illegal file sharing by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) to present a defense before a jury. She denied the RIAA's accusations that she attempted to share 24 songs online and maintained that someone must have spoofed her IP address. The jury didn't believe her story.
Her lawyers have asked for a new trial and will likely file an appeal. To many file sharers, Thomas has become a symbol of RIAA heavy handedness for going after a single mother of two who makes less than $40,000 a year. Those who support copyright law say Thomas was caught sharing files and isn't worthy of pity because she had an opportunity to settle with the RIAA for a few thousand dollars.
Thomas was unavailable for comment Monday, but one has to wonder whether she's taken to selling merchandise as a result of lackluster donations.
Soon after losing her court case, Thomas' supporters began sending her money. In the past three weeks, according to the Web site freejammie.com, she has raised only $16,000. Brian Toder, Thomas' attorney, was reluctant to say how much an appeal could cost, but said it would be a minimum of $30,000 to $40,000.