Skip to comments.Court won't reduce student's music download fine
Posted on 05/21/2012 9:03:35 AM PDT by Mad Dawgg
WASHINGTON (AP) The Supreme Court has refused to take up a Boston University student's constitutional challenge to a $675,000 penalty for illegally downloading 30 songs and sharing them on the Internet.
The high court on Monday refused to hear an appeal from Joel Tenenbaum, of Providence, R.I., who was successfully sued by the Recording Industry Association of America for illegally sharing music on peer-to-peer networks. In 2009, a jury ordered Tenenbaum to pay $675,000, or $22,500 for each song he illegally downloaded and shared.
(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...
Yeah, as the heavy intellects above assert, he stole!
The owners don’t have anymore what he stole. Gone!
The day that music was stolen.
One of Homeland Security’s main priorities these days is “copyright protection”.
The prosecution of a gay soldier who stole and leaked tens of thousands of confidential military documents? Not so much.
And the owners can sue, just like the RIAA did here. As I said in my post, the damages are too low, not too high.
An individual going up against ABCDisney for money can expect to be in court for 20 years.
Unless I'm MegaCorp—and I am suing only to make a point (like the RIAA)—what copyright owner is going to take his chances in multi-year litigation to recover a lousy $22,000 per work?
Disney and other corporate defendants know this and use it to their advantage. The statutory damage range for infringed works should be in the millions, not capped at $30,000. Congress should be giving copyright owners adequate incentive to bring lawsuits against infringers. As it is, people can infringe with impunity knowing that there is very little repercussions for doing so.
The people COLLECTING royalties for licensed plays are collecting a hell of a lot more than the $0.30 checks paid to the artists. Even Steve Martin recently bitched about it.
Um, ok. Look, I don’t care to comment on the merits of the RIAA, but as far as Steve Martin goes, no one forced him to sign on with ASCAP or BMI or whatever. If he thinks he can do better licensing his songs/comedy albums on his own, then he’s welcome to try it.
My point is that copyright holders under the existing law get screwed because there is inadequate incentive to bring civil suits against infringers.
NONE of the revenue they collect will actually be paid to the artists that may have been overheard by customers or employees. It will be paid out based on industry “expectations” that the public must be listening to U2, Jay-Z, or Bruce Springsteen because that's what "sells".
The big lawsuit payouts won't be going to the artists who were wronged and the collection agencies will never be paying more than a pittance to the artists. While they claim to be doing it for the benefit of the artists, they are just pimping their names. As pimps, they collect the money and dole it out on rare occasion to those they pwn. Who does extending copyrights to 100 years benefit? Certainly not the creators or their estates.
I may be in the severe minority here, but I’m glad they threw the book at him.
Just wait until they start going after people who’ve been uploading music to YouTube.
The notion that downloading = stealing was invented by the RIAA,
and fools have bought it. If I download from an artist’s website, an MP3 that he’s offering, am I stealing? Or if I share this download, am I or my sharers stealing?
When my car was stolen (and it’s shameful to have to explain)
it was gone from my driveway, no car, absent, stolen.
No one is missing a downloaded MP3.
It is grand larceny but 675,000 dollars is way over the top. Are they actually saying his actions caused that much in damages? There has to be a limit one person can be expected to pay back in fines. People kill and get sent to prison for ridiculously short sentences, but download a few songs and leave your sharing port open and drop the better part of a million into the coffers. Does this kid have realy deep pockets? Do they really think this high a penalty is needed to dissuade him from repeating his actions? Or were they trying to use him as an example? Hell, just execute the little bastard scofflaw.
I think you put your finger right on the reason: they wanted to use him as an example. The draconian fine would serve to warn others of what possibly awaits them if they do what he did.
I have no idea of what an appropriate fine would be. For him, maybe something on the order of $5,000 would dissuade him from doing it again—that sure would stop me if I were doing what he did. But, as you point out, that huge fine serves as a warning to others.
“Aww, c’mon man, music should be free, ya know?”
I don’t think that needs a sarcasm tag.
They can’t prove harm done because there is no harm done. If fact the more a song is downloaded the more it sells.
“Cruel and unusual punishment? No way! Plain old stealing. When are people going to learn that you have to pay for things you want. We have been so far removed from ethics that even FREEPERS are questioning theft and thinking it is ok. Sad how far we have gone down the tubes. No wonder Romney was nominated.”
Well I sure hope, for the sake of not being hypocrites, that none of you ever burned a CD for a friend. You know, that’s illegal too right?
“It is grand larceny but 675,000 dollars is way over the top”
Yeah, and I’m reading that copyright infringement is punishable to up to five years in prison and up to a $250,000 monetary fine.
In light of that, $675,000 is a bit much!
I think you're missing his point. Since when is a music CD ($20 and 10-20 songs) worth $450,000*?
A more equitable solution would be a fine of $14/song; that would be 7x the value per-song of the CD.
* -- $450,000 = $22,500 x 20; I'm using high-end, even so low-end is $225,000.