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Judge reduces penalty in Tenenbaum piracy case

Written by Andre Yoskowitz (Google+) @ 10 Jul 2010 13:27 User comments (20)

Judge reduces penalty in Tenenbaum piracy case A federal judge has significantly reduced the penalty against Joel Tenenbaum, the graduate student that was convicted of sharing 30 unauthorized tracks online.
Last July, Tenenbaum was found guilty and told to pay $675,000 to the RIAA and record labels.

The judge has now reduced the verdict to $67,500, saying the damages award was "unconstitutionally excessive" given the fact that Tenenbaum made no money off the sharing of the music.

Judge Nancy Gertner added the following of the new verdict: The new damages "not only adequately compensates the plaintiffs for the relatively minor harm that Tenenbaum caused them; it sends a strong message that those who exploit peer-to-peer networks to unlawfully download and distribute copyrighted works run the risk of incurring substantial damages awards."

$67,500 is three times the statutory minimum.

Despite being grateful, Tenenbaum still called the new verdict 'ridiculous:' "I still don't have $70,000 and $2,000 per song still seems ridiculous in light of the fact that you can buy them for 99 cents on iTunes," Tenenbaum said. "I mean $675,000 was also absurd."

The RIAA, unsurprisingly, was not happy: "With this decision, the court has substituted its judgment for that of 10 jurors as well as Congress. For nearly a week, a federal jury carefully considered the issues involved in this case, including the profound harm suffered by the music community precisely because of the activity that the defendant admitted engaging in."

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20 user comments

110.7.2010 13:29

Quote:
including the profound harm suffered by the music community
It took a lot of effort to not laugh at the RIAA here.

210.7.2010 13:38

RIAA are a bunch Crooks !!!

310.7.2010 15:28

What harm? I didn't know financial loss was considered HARMFUL. Is it physical harm... Spiritual, I know mental! That must be it.... Still they have to prove that.

410.7.2010 21:14

It's still laughably divorced from any credible concept of 'harm' or 'loss'.

Since when was the law supposed to reflect the obvious & clear vindictive spite of the music & movie business?

510.7.2010 21:48

This is actually a good thing.

It might get that 2 million charge dropped right down to something else.

The other thing is that kid might want to shut up.

Because if 0.99 cents is nothing to pay for a song file then why didn't he just bloody pay the 0.99 cents, instead of running the risk of paying $70,000 or even $2,000 per song.

610.7.2010 22:22

Originally posted by xtago:
This is actually a good thing.

It might get that 2 million charge dropped right down to something else.

The other thing is that kid might want to shut up.

Because if 0.99 cents is nothing to pay for a song file then why didn't he just bloody pay the 0.99 cents, instead of running the risk of paying $70,000 or even $2,000 per song.



He got caught sharing that's why

711.7.2010 0:01

what a joke ht gripes over a reduced fine then when its not even 1/4 of what he was charged he complains on the reduced one then why didn't you pay for it if you cant afford the fine now? i wonder if hes the same person who complains about too much salt on his fries at McDonald's.

811.7.2010 8:19

Ahaha, yet more appeals to come! A few old cases will be revisited after this.

Joel Tenenbaum is right! It's been said for a while that it's unconstitutional to impose punitive sentences in a civil case in the US. $67,500 is still punitive and even the appeals judge said it was meant to be.

What the damages are is also still up for debate. JT is not responsible for others choosing to fileshare. Arguably, all JT owes is the $0.99 per song and court costs.

The notion of making an example of someone in a civil trial is also questionable. Might as well hand out the death sentence for this.

Even this judge saw the utter destruction of a young persons life by the RIAA over sharing a few tunes was a tad overboard. But she still bent over backwards for them, even if they're too dumb and greedy to see that.

The short lived age of superprofits for the music industry are probably over.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 12 Jul 2010 @ 13:42

Its a lot easier being righteous than right.


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911.7.2010 11:47

Well, it's better than be fined @ $675,000, but ridiculous is not even the word I would give this case. They fine someone over sharing songs? Hell, just hit DO NOT SHARE FILE/FOLDER on the program and that will get them off your back, well at least until the dogs and law enforcement come breaking your door because of 1 lousy music file that you forgot to check off for sharing!! :)

1011.7.2010 15:01

Originally posted by blueboy09:
Well, it's better than be fined @ $675,000, but ridiculous is not even the word I would give this case. They fine someone over sharing songs? Hell, just hit DO NOT SHARE FILE/FOLDER on the program and that will get them off your back, well at least until the dogs and law enforcement come breaking your door because of 1 lousy music file that you forgot to check off for sharing!! :)
that's why you get the boom stick and tell them to GTFO and fix your door. as most civil arrests like that wont have search warrants.

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1111.7.2010 18:11

Originally posted by DVDBack23:
Quote:
including the profound harm suffered by the music community
It took a lot of effort to not laugh at the RIAA here.
Sure, not laugh at them, but what about the poor guy's life that's ruined; this is what I wrote over @ teh Filesharingz where I read this story:

Once again, the focus is in the wrong place. How many thousands-of-clubs around the world are not paying royalties, that would be a significant source of income (& many, many radio-stations).

Then, do you remember the drawers full of copied tapes back-in-the-day. The exact same thing was happening then, as is now. Except now, people have the Internet and 99-cent-tracks to buy and mp3 players to play them on (also very wide-spread and at affordable prices).

I'm almost willing to bet that the ratio of people buying music to people copying music is much greater than it was ten, or twenty years ago. It's almost certain that, in actuality, more music is being sold - then copied - nowadays.

1212.7.2010 0:32

More people purchased music back in the day than they do now, hell i have my fathers record collection to prove it. but at $3-$6 bucks a record there was no reason to borrow from a friend and copy it to 8track. that's if you had an expensive deck.

the problem now is the buck is worthless. 99cents may seem like a deal but what do you get for 99cents.. DRM on a Limited Compressed Format.

i would pay 99Cents for a .wav file with no restriction. that's what i would pay at the store if i where to buy a CD. 14 tracks around 14 bucks +/- 3 dollar store fee.

1312.7.2010 2:30

He still brings up a good point. The songs can be bought for 99 cents a piece, and $2,000 per song is still quite excessive.

1412.7.2010 3:24

Originally posted by bomber991:
He still brings up a good point. The songs can be bought for 99 cents a piece, and $2,000 per song is still quite excessive.
I agree $500 a violation should be a Softcap for those of us that don't wear a trench coat peddling are WAREZ.

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1516.7.2010 15:32

Originally posted by nimd4:
I'm almost willing to bet that the ratio of people buying music to people copying music is much greater than it was ten, or twenty years ago. It's almost certain that, in actuality, more music is being sold - then copied - nowadays.
I think you would lose big time. Persons are not buying that much music from the industry. I think 99 cents is not fair but close enough for new releases. I would NEVER buy music that was only 128 BR. Sorry that can't give that away to me. There is no discount for stuff that used to sell for $3 for an LP. They have already made their money back 100 fold. Most if not all of those royalties were fixed price. Demanding a buck for them at 128 BR is out and out robbery.

I still buy music but the only music I think is worth buying was made by an indie. I really can't remember the last time I bought a new label CD. I can remember going out to buy the latest Paul Simon CD a few years back. It only had one new tune on it. I passed. The industry is hawking crap! The are dinosaurs who are ignoring climate changes. If they cut the price down to 25 cents for lossless they wouldn't know what to do with all their money.

1616.7.2010 18:21
WierdName
Inactive

Quote:
...Was convicted of sharing 30 unauthorized tracks online.

Last July, Tenenbaum was found guilty and told to pay $675,000 to the RIAA and record labels.

The judge has now reduced the verdict to $67,500, saying the damages award was "unconstitutionally excessive" given the fact that Tenenbaum made no money off the sharing of the music.
$67,500 is excessive...

1717.7.2010 4:09

Originally posted by DXR88:
More people purchased music back in the day than they do now, hell i have my fathers record collection to prove it. but at $3-$6 bucks a record there was no reason to borrow from a friend and copy it to 8track. that's if you had an expensive deck.

the problem now is the buck is worthless. 99cents may seem like a deal but what do you get for 99cents.. DRM on a Limited Compressed Format.

i would pay 99Cents for a .wav file with no restriction. that's what i would pay at the store if i where to buy a CD. 14 tracks around 14 bucks +/- 3 dollar store fee.
It is true the music industry has shot themselves in the foot but instead of admitting it they go after others and blaim others instead of looking internally for the problem.

99 cents a tune is expensive still and make the focus on commercial crap instead of buying an album/CD and learning that you really like other tracks on the CD better than the one you bought it for. So know the artists are forced to put out commercial crap instead of music they would prefer. This all falls on greed and power controlling the industry and it will only get worst.

I agree with Tenenbaum he is still getting screwed and it was even worst at 10 fold the amount, which proves the bias and joke factor.

1819.7.2010 6:41

Originally posted by xtago:
This is actually a good thing.

It might get that 2 million charge dropped right down to something else.

The other thing is that kid might want to shut up.

Because if 0.99 cents is nothing to pay for a song file then why didn't he just bloody pay the 0.99 cents, instead of running the risk of paying $70,000 or even $2,000 per song.

Agree totally. Why do people seem to think that it is ok to steal?

1919.7.2010 9:51

Same reason companies think it's ok to overcharge for an inferior product?

201.8.2010 1:55

600 grand, 60 grand, 6 grand, 6 hundred per song, all are still ridiculous, sure he broke the law, since he broke it should there be a fine, ok fine him at the most $500 for the whole shabang.

Unless this kid is a multi millionare how in the hell is he gonna come up with that kind of money, the judge did him no kind of favor, to most folks 67 grand is just as much unreachable as 675 grand, I don't blame the kid for still putting up a bitch, after telling me I need to come up with 67 grand I'd have to announce another comment, you all can kiss my behind, if you can't come up with either 650 or 67 how much more can they do to you besides frezzing everything you have for the rest of your life or throwing you in jail, at least the added comment would give me some minor satisfaction.

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