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Court: Joel Tenenbaum must pay $675,000 fine for file sharing

Written by Andre Yoskowitz (Google+) @ 26 Jun 2013 13:16 User comments (5)

Court: Joel Tenenbaum must pay $675,000 fine for file sharing In a case that is now 9 years in the making, the First Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled this week that Joel Tenenbaum must pay the $675,000 in damages to the record industry.
The original court decision was in 2009 and has been back and forth through the appeals process ever since.

Tenebaum, a graduate student at the time, was accused of sharing 30 tracks via Kazaa in 2004. The student did not admit to sharing the tracks, but also tried a "fair use" defense that was thrown out. His actions in court also made it clear he knew exactly what he was doing and felt no remorse. After the defense fell apart, the original jury awarded the RIAA $22,500 for each of the 30 songs, due to willful infringement.

After the first case, the damages were reduced by one judge, but the RIAA appealed and won. Tenebaum tried to take the case to the Supreme Court in 2011, but was denied last year.

Reads the final ruling: "Joel Tenenbaum illegally downloaded and distributed music for several years. A group of recording companies sued Tenenbaum, and a jury awarded damages of $675,000, representing $22,500 for each of thirty songs whose copyright Tenenbaum violated. Tenenbaum appeals the award, claiming that it is so large that it violates his constitutional right to due process of law. We hold that the award did not violate Tenenbaum's right to due process, and we affirm."

"Much of this behavior was exactly what Congress was trying to deter when it amended the Copyright Act. Therefore, we do not hesitate to conclude that an award of $22,500 per song, an amount representing 15% of the maximum award for willful violations and less than the maximum award for non-willful violations, comports with due process."

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5 user comments

126.6.2013 13:24

Millions of people are downloading and sharing music every day and this guy has to pay $675,000. And all because of 30 songs.

Seems excessive to me.

226.6.2013 14:03

And they won't see a single penny.

326.6.2013 14:09

Oh this money is already spent. Imagine all the lawyers, court costs, travel expenses, media reports, press conferences, magazine articles, and everything else that provided someone, somewhere, a income for the past 8 years.... this man should be praised for creating jobs when we most needed them.

427.6.2013 1:38

In most cases just simply file Bankruptcy and tell them to "F" off, that's What I would do especially before they start garnishing checks

530.6.2013 18:48

.......waiting for the Twilight Zone music to start.......

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