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Justice Department supports $675k file sharing verdict

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 23 Jan 2010 19:56 User comments (13)

Justice Department supports $675k file sharing verdict The Justice Department has vocally supported the awarding of $675,000 in damages to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) from a Massachusetts student for sharing 30 songs illegally on the Internet. The department said that copyright infringement, "creates a public harm that Congress determined must be deterred."
The comments aren't very surprising, since several former RIAA lawyers do serve in high positions. The student in question is Joel Tenenbaum, a Boston University graduate student, who is only the second person to go to trial against the RIAA following a P2P lawsuit. Over 30,000 such claims were made, almost all of which have resulted in settlements for a few thousand dollars.

The Copyright Act allows for fines ranging from $750 to $150,000 per infringement. After the Jury verdict in Tenenbaum's case, his defense team mounted a legal challenge against the damages, claiming they were unconstitutional on the grounds that they were disproportionate to the harm done to the industry by the crime.

"The current damages range provides compensation for copyright owners because, inter alia, there exist situations in which actual damages are hard to quantify," the Justice Department wrote. "Furthermore, in establishing the range, Congress took into account the need to deter the millions of users of new media from infringing copyrights in an environment where many violators believe they will go unnoticed."

Tenenbaum’s legal team is attempting to bring the damages down to $750 per infringement.

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13 user comments

123.1.2010 23:44

Scare tactics, work.

224.1.2010 0:45

Yeah thats just crazy to charge someone that much money, and a student at that.

324.1.2010 1:01
fgamer
Inactive

Stuff like this doesn't make me like Obama's administration. I know they think allowing the outrages amounts will be a deterrent but that's just not the case. And the way they prove infringement isn't error proof..I don't see how they can go off of IP's, we all know the risk in that.

424.1.2010 4:07
llongtheD
Inactive

"The current damages range provides compensation for copyright owners because, inter alia, there exist situations in which actual damages are hard to quantify," the Justice Department wrote. "Furthermore, in establishing the range, Congress took into account the need to deter the millions of users of new media from infringing copyrights in an environment where many violators believe they will go unnoticed."

Translation:
The RIAA puts a lot of money into our pockets, or into the pockets of the elected officials that put us in place. The trips that they send us on to exotic locales, and the tax free gifts we receive from the organization simply cannot go unnoticed. We must give something back to them. We believe bankrupting college students for 30 songs is a good place to start.

524.1.2010 5:11

Originally posted by llongtheD:
"The current damages range provides compensation for copyright owners because, inter alia, there exist situations in which actual damages are hard to quantify," the Justice Department wrote. "Furthermore, in establishing the range, Congress took into account the need to deter the millions of users of new media from infringing copyrights in an environment where many violators believe they will go unnoticed."

Translation:
The RIAA puts a lot of money into our pockets, or into the pockets of the elected officials that put us in place. The trips that they send us on to exotic locales, and the tax free gifts we receive from the organization simply cannot go unnoticed. We must give something back to them. We believe bankrupting college students for 30 songs is a good place to start.

exactly. I wonder if anyone has actually been able to pay that $150 000 per song fine. What's the point of it if people can't pay that?


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This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 13 Feb 2010 @ 13:45

624.1.2010 9:45

It's called ruin someone's life and after a bit of time no one will notice except the person who was ruined. Just look at the poor exec who won't be able to buy that 6th Mercedes for his daughter's up coming 16th birthday. Think of how she'll feel. This isn't to mention the fact that the artist who came up with the song won't be able to buy a T-shirt at his own concert with the royalty check he gets from said execs. We all got to have a heart don't we?


As far as politicians go have you ever seen one with his/her hands in their own pockets?

724.1.2010 10:57

Welcome to your big business dictatorship, kiddies! I used to feel outrage when reading these kinds of stories but I feel it's becoming the norm. The punishment never seems to fit the crime anymore and everyone just sighs and moves on. Just a thought...

824.1.2010 14:03

What if Joel Tenenbaum pleas for insanity? It works in the real world.

925.1.2010 0:52

Why stop with a financial deterant? Wouldn't the death penalty be a better scare tactic? It wouldn't be any more unreasonable than these fines.

Or maybe they could just remove your eyes...I bet that would scare people.

Heck, watch some old Johny Quest episodes...there are lots of great ideas for horrible ways to torture people.

1025.1.2010 20:01

I hope they have to pay tax on all this nonsense.

1126.1.2010 9:40

Jamie Thomas, the other person to go to court, got got her fine reduced by 99%. Instead of 2.5 million it is now 25,000. They might actually get that.

1226.1.2010 9:55
scum101
Inactive

so you know what to do don't you?... get about 40 credit cards.. max em out.. keep the cash in shoe boxes..

then declare yourself bankrupt and fund a few local bad boy drug dealers who will be forever grateful.. in 12 months you are a millionaire, a local hero (well.. to the local gangsters anyway.. the banker) and the new scarface..

and they say piracy don't pay?


1326.1.2010 11:08

I can almost imagine the conversation that happens when violation notices are sent out.


Exec 1 - "Hey guys, we're running low on hookers and blow, time to send out another round of legal notices."
Exec 2 - "Yeah, my kid needs another trust fund, and a new Porsche."
Exec 3 - "What? another one?"
Exec 2 - "Yeah, they're bored with that Mercedes I bought them last month."
Exec 4 - "Who needs cars, I just bought another private jet."
Exec 1 - "Hell yeah, I want a jet too. It's not like we're paying for it."

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