Skip to comments.Jury Awards $675,000 in Music Downloading Case
Posted on 08/01/2009 8:09:44 AM PDT by Publius804
Jury Awards $675,000 in Music Downloading Case
BOSTON A federal jury on Friday ordered a Boston University graduate student who admitted illegally downloading and sharing music online to pay $675,000 to four record labels.
Joel Tenenbaum, of Providence, R.I., admitted in court that he downloaded and distributed 30 songs. The only issue for the jury to decide was how much in damages to award the record labels.
Under federal law, the recording companies were entitled to $750 to $30,000 per infringement. But the law allows as much as $150,000 per track if the jury finds the infringements were willful. The maximum jurors could have awarded in Tenenbaum's case was $4.5 million.
Jurors ordered Tenenbaum to pay $22,500 for each incident of copyright infringement, effectively finding that his actions were willful. The attorney for the 25-year-old student had asked the jury earlier Friday to "send a message" to the music industry by awarding only minimal damages.
Tenenbaum said he was thankful that the case wasn't in the millions and contrasted the significance of his fine with the maximum.
"That to me sends a message of 'We considered your side with some legitimacy,'" he said. "$4.5 million would have been, 'We don't buy it at all.'"
He added he will file for bankruptcy if the verdict stands.
(Excerpt) Read more at newsmax.com ...
I wish em luck collecting one dollar.
I am truly surprised a jury went against the little guy....especially in mass-of-2 $h!ts.....
Cash or credit?
If I was on the jury I would have awarded $60. Thats triple damages for each of the twenty $0.99 downloads.
You're not considering the songs he "shared" or illegally distributed from his computer to others on the file "sharing" network.
No music made today to worth that much money....
Then why not make the "others" pay? $675,000 in this case is insane. I can't imagine how a jury could do this to someone for media on a computer. Chances are, anyone that downloaded the crap probably wouldn't have bought it anyway, given no other option.
Really though, this is a great revenue strategy for the record labels. Since their sales have been in the toilet for the past decade, they can just collect millions from lawsuits instead!
This is ridiculous if you ask me. Yes, I know it’s property and all that, but $675,000? Really?
I am. The people who made any further downloads (if any) should be prosecuted for any copyright infringement, and would bay the same $3 triple damages per download. The plaintiff should be made to prove actual damages, not "could have been" damages. The current law stinks.
I've yet to hear an argument how a person who offers files to be downloaded from the Internet is any different from my local tax-funded library. That library has hundreds of music CDs that can be borrowed and ripped to a file on my computer. I can then use those files without paying the artist or publisher.
RIAA offered to settle for $3000. Lesson here is: Don’t broadcast to the world that you have copyrighted music that you will give away free.
“Exhibits B-1 through B-7: MediaSentry screencaps allegedly showing the contents of Joels shared folder on KaZaA”
If this copyrighted work was YOUR work, you'd be singing a different tune (pun intended). The very purpose of "statutory damages" is that it is very difficult to prove actual damages, especially for the "little guy" who gets ripped off by Internet piracy.
Removal of statutory damages would declare open season for stealing the creative work of millions of creative people.
The only way creative artists can avoid being totally screwed by Internet piracy is for a very strong application of severe penalties for infringement.
You can legally buy songs all day long for 99 cents each.
Is that too much to ask of you?
I consider it a bargain for good music and I buy songs on iTunes in that way all the time.
The 30 songs in question in this lawsuit would have cost the Defendant less than $30.
It's his own fault it's going to cost him $675,000.
The next time someone pulls along side of me in their car and decides to “share” their music with me, I hope they have to pay a fine like this. $675,000 isn’t enough.
The kid will declare bankruptcy but that will have it’s own price for him. That aside i am glad for this finding and you can bet it will send a strong message to others who are illegally stealing(I know, I know, it’s redundant) the licensed work of another. This particular individual does not even have the brains or sense to admit what he did was wrong. It’s part of the upbringing of these morons to believe they are entitled to whatever it is they want.
BTW, there was another case not long ago where a kid was also found guilty and was fined over a million dollars.
And what about the people THEY sent it to and the people THEY sent it to and the....get the idea? If I send an email with a file attached to 50 people and they pass it on to 50 people EACH that’s 2500 people who have the song and if THEY in turn pass it on to 50 people each that’s 125,000 people that now have ILLEGALLY taken this artists work without payment to the artist.
What was done here is EXACTLY the way to stop this sort of thing. Your way of charging triple damages or about $3.00 is no deterrent at all since the chances of getting caught are well worth the small penalty.
In a nation of patriots, 50 million people today will download songs in memory of this poor victim of corporate greed. Maybe we need to organize a boycott of CD purchases for week to strike back.
Well, I'll explain the difference to you.
The library "loans" a copyrighted CD to an individual for the individual's listening pleasure. If the individual illegally copies the loaned CD, that is strictly a violation of the law by the individual, and not by the library.
Someone who puts a copyrighted song on their computer to be "shared" knows that anyone who obtains a copy by downloading is violating the law. The "sharer" has no right to put a song out to be downloaded because he does not own the copyright. And, the song offered for download was most likely illegally downloaded from another "sharer" on the file "sharing" network. '
Not when Disney, Sony and other media companies pay huge dollars to congressmen to write the laws. Want to know how long something will be protected under copyright? Check how long Mickey Mouse has been around. Every time Mickey reaches the end of his copyrightable period, Disney slathers the bucks around and they extend the copyright period.
When VCRs first came out, the movie companies tried to have them outlawed. Video rental stores wouldn't exist if the movie companies had gotten their way. The first Disney video tapes had notices on them that it was illegal to rent them. It's also illegal to show copyrighted videos at a public gathering. Yep, if your church has a sleepover for the kids at the church, it's illegal to show Toy Story.