Reports: Record industry wins $US675k in damages from file swapper

A jury ordered Joel Tenenbaum to pay $US22,500 per song that he was found guilty of sharing

A Boston student has been ordered to pay $US675,000 to the recording industry for illegal file-sharing, according to reports Friday.

Joel Tenenbaum had admitted to downloading and sharing digital music. Judge Nancy Gertner of the U.S. District Court for Massachusetts found him guilty of infringement and left the jury to decide damages.

They were instructed to charge him between $US750 and $US30,000 for each song he downloaded and distributed. On Friday, the jury decided he should pay $US22,500 per song, according to Ars Technica.

The verdict had not been posted online late Friday and Tenenbaum's lawyer did not immediately return a call for comment.

The ruling comes a month-and-a-half after another file sharer, Jammie Thomas-Rasset, was also ordered to pay up for infringement.

She was initially asked to pay $US220,000 but won a retrial, after which a Minnesota jury ordered her to pay $US1.92 million, or $US80,000 per song. She plans to appeal the decision.

The Recording Industry Association of America has filed around 20,000 lawsuits against people in a bid to stop online music trading and copyright infringement.

Thomas-Rasset was one of the first people to receive a guilty verdict in a case backed by the RIAA. Others have settled their suits.

Late last year the RIAA said it would stop filing new lawsuits against individuals for file-trading, but it continues to litigate cases it had already filed.

In a statement Friday the RIAA said it was grateful for the jury's recognition of the impact illegal downloading has on the music industry.

Tags riaamusic downloadslegaldigital musiclawsuitsfile sharing

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Nancy Gohring

IDG News Service




Is anyone asking about the ramifications of this?

The whole article focuses on what happened NOW, but is anyone actually asking what the ramifications of this means in the future?

This to me seems unbelievably out of line with reality. What other "crime" is there which requires so little effort and yet gets sucha HUGE punishment in return? This person is now faced with a debt bigger than any mortgage ahead of him and will be spending the next 20-30 years or more having to pay it off... and what did he do? He downloaded computer files that were FREELY available (they came from somewhere, why not sue the people he got them from?), and made them accessible for others to download.

There are people out there who are ruining lives, murdering, robbing, leaving a wake of destruction in their path and these people, if caught are getting away with a far lighter punishment.

How can the music industry claim lost revenue when the thing "stolen" doesn't actually deprive the original owner of anything? It isn't a tangable product and this misguided claim that people would have actually gone out and purchased the product instead of downloaded it is absolutely preposterous!

Here is something to think about... I like a song, why would I go and buy it when they are playing it on the radio over and over and over again? I get to the point where I hear it enough I dont WANT my own copy. Are they going to sue the radio station for depriving them of my sale because they overplayed it to the point where I WONT go and buy a copy?

No other aspect of the law is as poorly understood or dealt with as the digital world and as long as we keep trying to apply "Old World" standards like "theft" we are going to do nothing but cause unnecessary misery. When a person can use FREE software and EASILY download things on the internet, and then get treated like they are the worst criminal in the world for "misstepping", something is wrong!



Love how you don't put peoples comments in here... CENSORSHIP AT ITS BEST!

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