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Joel Tenenbaum opens FAQ to help explain file sharing ruling

Written by Andre Yoskowitz (Google+) @ 10 Aug 2009 22:30 User comments (8)

Joel Tenenbaum opens FAQ to help explain file sharing ruling Convicted copyright infringer Joel Tenenbaum has opened a FAQ on his website today to help explain the recent file sharing judgment against him.
Earlier this month, Tenenbaum was convicted of sharing 20 songs via file sharing networks such as Limewire and Kazaa and a jury ruled he owed the RIAA and media companies $675,000 USD.

The FAQ, entitled, FAQs: what did you do, why so much, and what now? explains what the convicted file sharer did, why the giant sum, and what his plans for an appeal are.

Says the page:

Q: What did you do with 30 songs that got you nailed?
A: I downloaded them and shared them on Kazaa. They also proved in court (because I admitted it) that I used Limewire, iMesh, Morpheus, Napster, and Audiogalaxy, but it doesn’t matter.

Q: Isn’t that a huge friggin’ number just for that?
A: The RIAA and the Judge in this case succeeded in convincing the jury that the DMCA act of 1999 (http://www.copyright.gov/title17/92chap5.html) should be applied here. The ranges specified are:

(1) $750-$30,000 per song
(2) $750-$150,000 per song if the infringement was “willful”

The jury decided to go to the lower end of willful and chose $22,500 a song.

Q: So are you challenging this?
A: I think the plan is to appeal to Judge Gertner to adjust the damages. She seemed itching to want to do this for a while. After that we can appeal on the basis that our Fair Use argument was wrongfully dismissed by the court.

Q: If the $675,000 stands?
A: I declare bankruptcy.

Q: Why did you share them? Why didn’t you just enjoy them yourself?!
A: Art is meant to be shared. For more info, please read John Perry Barlow’s beautifully written (of The Grateful Dead) expert report, points 3 and 4. Barlow

Q: Come on, don’t you want the artists to be paid?
A: More than anything. They take the time to learn an instrument, spend the money to get the equipment, and then they pour themselves so completely into their expression. The artists are what matter and 2/3 of them don’t see file sharing as a threat. Just read what Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails has said on this.

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8 user comments

110.8.2009 23:43

Kazaa? I'm sorry, but that's where you failed.

211.8.2009 3:59

It still amazes me that this law provides for a fine of up to $30,000 per song for accidental file sharing...if a hacker broke my firewall and got a my collection of MP3s, I could be fined about $60,000,000 for not knowing that my legal backups were being shared!

A $60,000,000 fine could never be paid by an ordinary person (they could not even keep up with the interest). This would result in jail time, at a rate of 8 times the minimum wage per day, or about 1,040,221 days/2,849 years.

Considering this sentence, it would seem to be less illigal to forcefully steal a ship using machine guns (life sentence at worst) than to accidently share some legal mp3s (about 28 life sentences back-to-back).

311.8.2009 13:31

Quote:
Q: What did you do with 30 songs that got you nailed?
A: I downloaded them and shared them on Kazaa. They also proved in court (because I admitted it) that I used Limewire, iMesh, Morpheus, Napster, and Audiogalaxy, but it doesn’t matter.
What amazes me is that this guy admitted to anything before actually being convicted of the crime. Is that answer in the FAQ somewhere?

Just an FYI to this guy and others....the burden of proof is on the accuser not the accused.

Meaning they have to prove your guilty...you don't have to prove that your innocent!!!!
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 11 Aug 2009 @ 13:35

“Breathe in. Breathe out. Breathe in. Breathe out. Forget this... and attaining enlightenment is the least of your problems.”
–Zen Judaism by Someone Clever

411.8.2009 14:15

Okay i'm not getting this. I read where Joel was offered a settlement for a lot less and turned it down for his day in court.

One he gets in court, he admits to everything. No defense, no excuse, just i did it..i'm guilty.

Did he expect to get a "Get out of Jail Free" card? Why go to court in the first place??

511.8.2009 15:52

It would honestly be nice if we lived in a world where courts played by fair rules that was set by them regarding, innocent UNTIL proven guilty. However in most court cases it is the exact opposite, and unfortunately the burden is on you.

It would be ignorant tho to think the crown had no proof for him file sharing on Kazaa and other programs they themselves mentioned to which the accused had to admit too. They can easily get such records from his ISP, which would be forced to give that up with a police order/warrant. So at that point they already proved he had committed the crime, it's just sad that the judicial system considers this a criminal offense at all and not just a civil one. All in all he's lucky he didn't get jail time with that.

611.8.2009 19:08

Quote:
Just an FYI to this guy and others.... the burden of proof is on the accuser not the accused.

Meaning they have to prove your guilty...you don't have to prove that your innocent!!!!

Quote:
It would honestly be nice if we lived in a world where courts played by fair rules that was set by them regarding, innocent UNTIL proven guilty. However in most court cases it is the exact opposite, and unfortunately the burden is on you... it's just sad that the judicial system considers this a criminal offense at all and not just a civil one. All in all he's lucky he didn't get jail time with that.
As everybody on this forum should know, the RIAA is NOT the government. This was a CIVIL CASE in civil court. THE BURDEN OF PROOF IS MUCH LOWER!

In civil court, the plaintiff doesn't have to prove anything. They only have to convince the jury that the claims are "more likely than not" true. If the jury thinks you "probably" shared files, that's enough and the court can rule against you! The jury decision does not have to be unanimous, and you have to pay for your own attorney. And of course, you can't be sentenced to jail in a civil case. (Remember, after his criminal trial, O.J. Simpson was found "responsible for the death of" his ex-wife and Ron Goldman in civil court, and he was only fined.)

In a criminal case (in the U.S.) you are considered innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, and the jury has to unanimously convict you. And, you can get a (free) court appointed attorney.

P.S.
In a civil case, any "fine" goes to the plantiff. (In this case, The RIAA.)
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 11 Aug 2009 @ 19:17

711.8.2009 23:43

"In a civil case, any "fine" goes to the plantiff. (In this case, The RIAA.)"

Failure to pay said fines (often impossible by many times over) can result in jail time...so it can have the same result as a criminal case.

812.8.2009 13:54

I agree his first mistake was not making them prove anything. It was an open and shut case. I think what he wanted (and the best result) was to get the DCMA exposed for the swiss cheese rider bill that it is.

In a proper court it was meant to be used in cases where one company steals IP from another company and sells it without permission. He doesn't fit any part of that, private individuals don't even come close to having the funds, plus he never made any profit on it.

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