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"Joel Tenebaum fights back with the help of leading internet lawyers"  (Source: http://joelfightsback.com/)
Massachusetts student to pay $22,500 per shared song

Joel Tenebaum, a graduate student at Boston University, is the nation’s second defendant to go to trial against the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) on file sharing charges. In July of 2009, his case went to federal court where the judge ruled that the defendant pay $675,000 in damages to the RIAA. The only other file sharing defendant to trial against the RIAA was Jammie Thomas-Rasset, who had to pay $1.92 million for sharing 24 songs on Kazaa.

The Obama Administration, which recently asked five former RIAA lawyers to serve in the Justice Department, is supporting the verdict, stating that copyright infringement, "creates a public harm that Congress is determined must be deterred."

In lieu of the tension between the Chinese Government and Google regarding the recent IP theft and  account hacking problems, it isn’t hard to see why the Obama Administration is standing so firmly against copyright infringements. Whether a defendant is sharing files or hacking into a corporation, their act violated copyright laws, and failing to take action could make the administration's policy look inconsistent.

Under the copyright act, fines are determined by the judge and jury and can range from $750 to $150,000 . The Justice Department defends its ruling with the following statement.

The current damages range provides compensation for copyright owners because, inter alia, there exist situations in which actual damages are hard to quantify. Furthermore, in establishing the range, Congress took into account the need to deter the millions of users of new media from infringing copyrights in an environment where many violators believe they will go unnoticed.

Tenebaum’s defense team is going back to work on $22,500 per-song ruling, in hopes of lowering the penalty to $750 per-song.



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Really?
By Chosonman on 1/21/2010 2:34:41 PM , Rating: 5
I really don't understand how the RIA can prove they lost money from one individual sharing music? And how can they sue for the amount of that amount of money if the person sharing the music didn't make a dime? Where are these numbers coming from?

And to look at the bigger picture, how many people who downloaded the music would have actually paid for it in the first place? And what benefits if any did the record company and artist gain from their music being available to people for free? More publicity? Better name recognition? Maybe they could use that to gain better royalties from paying customers for advertisements? I'm really skeptical as to really how much damage this one individual has done to warrant such a fine. This is just ludicrous.




RE: Really?
By Chosonman on 1/21/2010 2:39:21 PM , Rating: 5
Also, if the music and recording industry was really serious about making money off their "work" I use that term loosely. They should work on packaging their albums so people would WANT TO BUY IT. I really love the idea of paying $20 for a 5 cent CD and paper cover. What ever happened to capitalism and working to make money? Now whoever has the most lawyers makes the money. The system is fucked up.


RE: Really?
By Spivonious on 1/21/10, Rating: 0
RE: Really?
By jimhsu on 1/21/2010 4:19:40 PM , Rating: 5
The "cost" to produce an album is a variable cost, and thus is indeed the material cost+labor. Fixed costs (paying the artist) are sunk costs unless a VARIABLE royalty system is in place. It "costs" the studio no more than the material cost to make a copy of essentially identical information.


RE: Really?
By JediJeb on 1/22/2010 11:00:22 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
It "costs" the studio no more than the material cost to make a copy of essentially identical information.


While I in no way agree with the amount of the fine, this statement isn't really true. It also "costs" the studio to promote the album through advertising, overhead for other workers involved with the production of the album, ect...

What I disagree with though is the estimate of what sharing the file cost the record label in lost income. If this is true, 22K+ per song, and this is only one of thousands or even millions of people sharing music,then that would mean the record companies are actually loosing more money than they are making which I seriously doubt. Did they court actually know the number of times the song was downloaded and multiply that by the average retail price of the song? That would mean that each song this person shared was downloaded 22,000 times since you can pick up most music for around $1 per song.

What about songs that are shared that are no longer sold? How could you possibly estimate "lost income" from those? To me the copy right laws should be rewritten so that if a record company does not offer for sale a song for over 1 year they lose all rights to it and they revert to the artist who can then decide if they want to lease the rights to another company. That way the rights stay where they belong, with the artist. And if the artist wishes to offer their music for download for free or a nominal fee they can do it all they want.


RE: Really?
By CHAOQIANG on 1/25/10, Rating: -1
RE: Really?
By CENGJINYIWEI on 1/31/10, Rating: 0
RE: Really?
By invidious on 1/21/2010 5:16:00 PM , Rating: 5
In a capitalist economy the cost to make the product is largely irrelivant to end pricing. Supply and demand is everything. Obviously there is no demand for physical CDs and if the idiots at the RIAA spend 1% as much on R&D as they do on suing people they would know this.

If the record industry can't make money selling music in a way we want and at a price we are willing to pay then I suggest they get out of the music production industry. Bands will always make music and people will always listen to it, if the recording industry want to profit off of the situation then they need to add value to the process. All they currently do is leach off of the stanglehold that they have for some reason been allowed to maintain over our wallets.

The movie/tv industry have just as much piracy to deal with and they are both thriving because they are adapting to the needs of the customers with things like netflix and hulu.


RE: Really?
By RandallMoore on 1/21/2010 8:01:12 PM , Rating: 5
You are 100% correct. That's why every single artist needs to do what Radiohead did a while back; pay what you think it is worth. Cut the RIAA completely out of the equation and we will break this cycle.


RE: Really?
By Spivonious on 1/25/2010 10:03:10 AM , Rating: 2
I agree, but we're not talking selling price, we're talking losses. If a song costs $1, and this guy was sharing a couple thousand songs to potentially 100,000 people, then it's quite easy to get to six figure losses.

The only problem with cases like this is that they can't prove how many people grabbed a copy of the song. So they go for worst case. Honestly, the guy should have just paid the thousand dollars instead of taking it to court. He really shouldn't be sharing the songs at all.

You can make all the arguments you want about music being overpriced, music not being as good, blah blah, but if you're curious about a song there are plenty of free sample clips. If they're not enough, then spend $1 and grab it on one of the many online music stores. Worst case is that the song is horrible and you lost $1.


RE: Really?
By OKMIJN4455 on 1/24/10, Rating: -1
RE: Really?
By WUMINJUN on 1/25/10, Rating: -1
RE: Really?
By Shadowself on 1/21/2010 2:39:23 PM , Rating: 2
That is the point of the way the law is currently written. The RIAA does not *have* to prove that it lost any money at all.

This does not make it right. This just makes it according to the law.


RE: Really?
By killerb255 on 1/21/2010 4:03:05 PM , Rating: 2
The burden of proof in civil cases is lower than that of criminal cases.

Criminal case = "beyond reasonable doubt."
Civil case = "more likely than not"


RE: Really?
By deeznuts on 1/21/2010 4:07:55 PM , Rating: 2
Technically its preponderance of the evidence, but yea, same thing.

easy fix for this. File bankruptcy. A college student will not have a ton of assets. Sure credit will get fucked up a bit but hey, vs. paying a $675k fine? Wipe out all that College credit card debt too.


RE: Really?
By killerb255 on 1/21/2010 4:23:51 PM , Rating: 3
Either form of bankruptcy would work for them. If they don't have a lot of assets, then Chapter 7. If they do (i.e.: they don't want to lose a relatively new vehicle), then Chapter 13.


RE: Really?
By Mojo the Monkey on 1/21/10, Rating: 0
RE: Really?
By Oregonian2 on 1/21/2010 6:44:26 PM , Rating: 5
You're saying then that the student is basically "done for". Might as well turn into a criminal seeing as how there is no downside to it anymore.


RE: Really?
By mcnabney on 1/21/2010 10:01:36 PM , Rating: 5
Yeah. I mean think about it.

You are stuck with a legal judgement that will put you in the poorhouse for the rest of your life.

If I didn't have family I would seriously consider taking revenge on the RIAA/attorneys that wrecked my life. There is nothing more dangerous than a person with nothing to lose and these insane judgements are doing just that.

/grew up taping music off the radio and dubbing albums/tapes from friends
//I must owe billions despite all of my music being legal now


RE: Really?
By MatthiasF on 1/22/2010 12:52:32 AM , Rating: 3
Bull, you can get a jury award discharged by a bankruptcy judge. This couple was able to do just that (after many appeals) and I'm sure the precedent will be used for any copyright infringers in a similar situation today.

http://www.totalbankruptcy.com/news/articles/misce...


RE: Really?
By MonkeyPaw on 1/21/2010 2:49:35 PM , Rating: 5
The best way to make your case is with your wallet, and the RIAA (and MPAA) must really hate me. I rarely buy music, and when I do, it's select songs from Amazon.com. I'd say in a given year, I might spend ~$25 total on music (I also don't buy movies and only go to the theater on free passes). Before the industry decided to go ape on old ladies and 14 year olds, I used to buy lots of CDs and movies. As soon as they decided to have a war over their "product," I decided that they don't get my money. I don't illegally download, but rather I decided that I would rather go without their product than continue to fund a legal machine that protects an ancient business model.


RE: Really?
By Fallen Kell on 1/21/2010 3:00:58 PM , Rating: 3
That is just adding fuel to their argument. They simply point to the fact that their sales are down and say, "See, we only made $1.5Billion this year as opposed to $1.7Billion last year. Sales are down because of piracy. We need better anti-piracy laws to protect us and our profits."


RE: Really?
By Denigrate on 1/21/2010 3:38:36 PM , Rating: 5
Never mind that sales are down due to crap product. Digital age means that we don't pay $15-$20 for an entire album with a single good song. Instead we pay $1 for the one good song from our online retailer of choice.

In today's market, artists would be better off to NEVER sign a record deal, and instead self promote via any of the social networking sites selling their own tunes for a 100% profit for themselves. This would also remove the "canned" sound we get from most "new" artists.


RE: Really?
By Seemonkeyscanfly on 1/21/2010 6:25:49 PM , Rating: 2
I agree with I think everyone here that an Artists deserves pay for their work. If a lot of people like it, they make a lot, if not well they will not earn a lot... The mighty voting dollar at work. However, when someone downloads a song, album, movie or whatever for free, well that is a crime (you either pay for something, it's a gift to you, make it yourself or you steal something). So, I believe it is OK to go after someone who trades and downloads for free. However, $22,000 or even $500 per download is just crazy. Maybe $100 per download to prove a point kind of fine.

However, you nailed a good point... download a song for $1.00 per song that you like. This is the future and if you are an artist with any computer skills you can cut out a lot of managers, lawyers and whomever else. That way you can keep 90 cent on the dollar (transaction fees, web page hopefully covered by the 10%). I do not know what an artist receives now per $1.00 but I would not doubt it is less then 5 cents on the dollar.


RE: Really?
By Hellfire27 on 1/21/2010 9:20:19 PM , Rating: 2
Through iTunes independently you get about $0.67 for every dollar (although bigger bands get better deals). But even at $0.67 on the dollar you come out ahead as you didn't have to pay for the physical CD and packaging. Also you don't have to have anything in stock to sell digitally.


RE: Really?
By TSS on 1/21/2010 6:45:15 PM , Rating: 2
The digital age means a song isn't worth $1 (that's just what apple has set for it and the music industry accepted it). It's worth nothing at all as soon as it's digitallized.

If you could have somebody to do whatever you want whenever you want would you pay them money? hell no. Their service becomes worthless because it's always available. Yes that comes down to slaves, but the point is, those didn't get paid, and MP3's aren't human so they don't suffer either.

When i go to a concert i go to hear the performer, not the performance. Most if not all digital music is altered, as in multiple tries in a soundproof studio with high quality equipment etc. It'll be closer to perfection than performers will ever be able to achieve with their own vocal chords. So if i want to hear the performance, i'll turn on a MP3.

In this age, artists would be better off putting their music online on youtube for free and then reap the added income from concerts from more people seeing your work. Because to be frank, nowerdays if i want to hear a song i haven't got i don't buy it and i don't download it. I look it up on youtube.

The Artic Monkeys where the first to show that.


RE: Really?
By rcc on 1/21/2010 3:41:55 PM , Rating: 4
I disagree. The OP handled it in a correct, mature, and legal manner. If the issue still bothers him, he can work toward getting laws changed.

On the other hand, the person that pirates the music or video for the same reasons is sending the wrong message to the industry. They are saying, "look, there is a market, I want this. You just have to figure out how to make me pay".

If you don't like what a company(s) is doing, don't buy their stuff. If enough people agree, the company will change.


RE: Really?
By Chosonman on 1/21/2010 4:01:22 PM , Rating: 2
That's probably why music sales are down and the RIA is blaming and suing pirates to make up for it.


RE: Really?
By killerb255 on 1/21/2010 4:04:10 PM , Rating: 2
It works for RAMBUS, doesn't it? (substitute "pirate" for "alleged patent violator")


RE: Really?
By energy1man on 1/21/2010 6:14:59 PM , Rating: 2
I think it would be a reasonable argument that sales are down due to illegally high prices, caused by price collusion, and the resulting violations of the Sherman Antitrust Act.

Maybe the recording industry will face similiar fines for every song sold online, due to said violations. I doubt it.

Personally I buy all my music, but it would be interesting to see as a defense to file sharing, that is was necessary due to the illegal collusion in setting prices by the industry. However two wrongs probably do not make a right.


RE: Really?
By foolsgambit11 on 1/21/2010 7:55:35 PM , Rating: 2
Hahaha! That would be hilarious - a $22,500 fine per song downloaded assessed against the recording industry for collusion. That would teach them a lesson. Or, more accurately, it would teach the companies that replaced every major label a lesson, since the majors would be out of business.


RE: Really?
By Solandri on 1/22/2010 4:48:13 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
That's probably why music sales are down and the RIA is blaming and suing pirates to make up for it.

Music sales are up. By the RIAA's own statistics, they shipped more units in 2008 than they did in 2007.

Revenue is down, but that's just because more people are buying singles from online stores like iTunes, instead of an entire CD to get just one or two songs they want.

http://www.riaa.com/keystatistics.php?content_sele...


RE: Really?
By bupkus on 1/21/2010 4:28:52 PM , Rating: 2
If the RIAA can say they have lost money due to piracy and quantify it by using industry wide numbers, then a defendant should then be open to demand that the alleged injured parties quantify and substantiate the amount of that loss due to the defendant.
Also, to face one's accusers should include and require a supported and specific quantification of injuries attributed to the actions of the defendant.

All too often the offices of the judges and prosecutors are just too closely located. They pass by each other in the halls, say hello, get just a little too friendly.

As to the need for better anti-piracy laws, that is just another way of saying, "Hang em High". I might argue that often we either need better enforcement or a more balanced legal system that needs not create "examples to be made of." That just sounds too Chinese Government.


RE: Really?
By killerb255 on 1/21/2010 5:00:58 PM , Rating: 2
After typing my previous explanation of civil vs criminal cases (even though I didn't get the terminology correct), I'm wondering if this is considered a civil or criminal case.

Typically, the plaintiff in a criminal case is "the people of :insert jurisdiction here:," whereas the plaintiff in a civil case is usually a person, group of people, or company.

If the past cases were, indeed, civil cases, then the RIAA doesn't have to quantify the amount of money loss to that degree, as long as "preponderance of evidence" has been met. If these were criminal cases, then this would be a different story altogether--they would have to quantify to that degree to prove guilt "beyond reasonable doubt."


RE: Really?
By Mojo the Monkey on 1/21/2010 6:36:26 PM , Rating: 2
The numbers often do no have to be proved up as direct loss. First, you have to remember that an action is created through federal fine amounts. A civil prosecution of these same cases may or may not be able to rely on the federal fine amounts, but could also go for exemplary/punitive damages for acts of theft acts constituting willful torts.

If you walk up to me and sucker-punch me in the face on the street, my only monetary damages may be 1 tissue for a nose bleed. That doesnt mean I could only recover $0.01 if I took you to court. There is a punitive measure to the recoverable amounts. I could take you for thousands. I wouldn't be surprised to see a similar artifice being implemented here.


RE: Really?
By Mojo the Monkey on 1/21/2010 6:39:31 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, (now reading the part of your post about the level of proof for damages) the damages do not have any particular standard of proof. Fact finders (jury or judge) are free to assign their own numbers in damages. Otherwise, they would have to go on "proven/supported" (to whatever degree) numbers from either the plaintiff or defense, meaning they would HAVE to choose between the 2 preferred numbered. This is not the case. Typically, if the losing side brings a motion, there is only a brief review to ensure the amount awarded could have, in some way, been rationally justified by the evidence. This is a VERY lenient standard.


RE: Really?
By AlexWade on 1/21/2010 4:42:44 PM , Rating: 1
$25 per year! Whoa, big spender! I spend about $0 per year on RIAA labels most years. I like to buy my CD's secondhand. But last year I just had to have a Weird Al CD. So the RIAA got some of my money.


RE: Really?
By Wererat on 1/23/2010 6:11:48 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly. I don't refrain from buying commercial music because I pirate it, I refrain because their business practices offend me and their prices are higher than I think the music is worth.


RE: Really?
By dragonbif on 1/21/10, Rating: -1
RE: Really?
By inperfectdarkness on 1/21/2010 3:35:10 PM , Rating: 2
a much simpler solution is for the file-sharer to declare bankruptcy. lawsuit judgments are unsecured debt..so the RIAA is essentially screwed out of any hope it could have of reimbursement.

although detrimental to one's credit in the short term--the financial impact of higher interest rates, etc...is significantly less than the cost of paying off such a ludicrous debt legitimately.

isn't anyone surprised that even with all the MPAA & RIAA "hell raising" with regards to file-sharing--the E-Book industry seems to be immune?


RE: Really?
By Denigrate on 1/21/2010 3:41:20 PM , Rating: 2
I think it has to do with the nature of people who actually read. Any ebooks that I download (if not available for purchase in ebook format) I have either already bought the hard copy to put on the shelf, or soon will.


RE: Really?
By killerb255 on 1/21/2010 5:03:10 PM , Rating: 2
It depends on how much representation they can get.

Music = RIAA. Big name.
Movies = MPAA. Big name.
Games = ESA. Not-so big name, but might get there some day.
e-books = ????
pr0n = ????


RE: Really?
By Mojo the Monkey on 1/21/2010 6:43:01 PM , Rating: 2
I commented on this above, but I just wanted to say you cant really get out of a legal debt very easily by filing for bankruptcy .

A federal judgment can be renewed every 10 years. You dont think this grad student is going to have some property in 10 years, even if he files for bankruptcy tomorrow? How about when they renew again in 20? 30?

Better to just work out a settlement for what he does have to discharge the entire judgment. Its not worth the RIAA's legal fees.


RE: Really?
By lazylazyjoe on 1/23/2010 12:19:25 AM , Rating: 2
Just leave the country. That way your debt is uncollectable


RE: Really?
By Uncle on 1/22/10, Rating: 0
RE: Really?
By OKMIJN4455 on 1/24/10, Rating: -1
RE: Really?
By WUMINJUN on 1/24/10, Rating: -1
RE: Really?
By WUMINJUN on 1/24/10, Rating: -1
Hope and Change ain't Free
By Reclaimer77 on 1/21/2010 2:26:48 PM , Rating: 2
Hey, how else are we going to pay for all this wreckless spending ?




RE: Hope and Change ain't Free
By amanojaku on 1/21/2010 2:29:48 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
In July of 2009, his case went to federal court where the judge ruled that the defendant pay $675,000 in damages to the RIAA .
Where does it say this money is going to the government? Directly, anyway.


RE: Hope and Change ain't Free
By Smilin on 1/21/10, Rating: -1
RE: Hope and Change ain't Free
By Denigrate on 1/21/2010 3:43:44 PM , Rating: 4
Why are there so many Democrats who can't do simple math?


RE: Hope and Change ain't Free
By killerb255 on 1/21/2010 4:06:08 PM , Rating: 5
Why are there so many Republicans and Democrats that hold on to extremes?


RE: Hope and Change ain't Free
By eyebeeemmpawn on 1/21/2010 4:47:19 PM , Rating: 5
why are all our politicians owned by corporate interest?


RE: Hope and Change ain't Free
By Smilin on 1/21/2010 4:56:20 PM , Rating: 5
Because the supreme court just said it's ok.


RE: Hope and Change ain't Free
By Smilin on 1/21/2010 4:07:25 PM , Rating: 2
So add up the wreckless spending for me. By my count it's 0.


RE: Hope and Change ain't Free
By ClownPuncher on 1/21/2010 4:28:32 PM , Rating: 5
So you insult his spelling, then continue the trend by spelling reckless incorrectly? Was it for the irony?

Speaking of irony, I hate it when every *insert political affiliation here* stereotypes.


RE: Hope and Change ain't Free
By Smilin on 1/21/10, Rating: 0
RE: Hope and Change ain't Free
By ClownPuncher on 1/21/2010 5:14:35 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I'm with you on the stereotypes point. My conservative friends know for sure that I'm a liberal yet when we actually discuss issues we end up agreeing on everything. Go figure.


It's funny you mention that. I have many friends hailing from just about every political group and most of us agree on the bulk of political issues these days. I think we just don't become wrapped up in the media based spectrum polarization that some people on the internet do.


RE: Hope and Change ain't Free
By Smilin on 1/22/2010 11:14:03 AM , Rating: 3
So much has been attached to the "liberal" and "conservative" labels.

When I say, "I'm a liberal" you have an immediate picture of all my beliefs on a whole range of topics. You can immediately know where I'll disagree with you and begin hating me for it. Unfortunately that picture is completely wrong.

For example here are my liberal views on gun control: gun control should be obtained through practice at the firing range.

Surprised?

It's not unique to me either. The label is so precisely defined that there can only be some tiny fraction of people that it actually describes accurately. I mean the ACLU are a bunch of liberals so why does their mission align with that of the conservative NRA? It's because the labels are broken.


RE: Hope and Change ain't Free
By Reclaimer77 on 1/21/10, Rating: -1
RE: Hope and Change ain't Free
By rmlarsen on 1/21/2010 6:09:22 PM , Rating: 1
You mean like most DT readers pretend to agree with you, Reclaimer77?


RE: Hope and Change ain't Free
By Reclaimer77 on 1/21/2010 6:42:03 PM , Rating: 2
They do ???


RE: Hope and Change ain't Free
By Smilin on 1/22/10, Rating: 0
RE: Hope and Change ain't Free
By Reclaimer77 on 1/21/2010 4:07:10 PM , Rating: 3
1-1=raise taxes !


RE: Hope and Change ain't Free
By Smilin on 1/21/2010 5:01:00 PM , Rating: 3
Yep with two simultaneous wars that need paid for and a massive deficit we need a tax cut!!! That's how you ensure the future...you know for the children!


RE: Hope and Change ain't Free
By EglsFly on 1/21/2010 6:24:34 PM , Rating: 5
IF we are in that bad of shape, then the osama administration shouldn't be spending money like drunkin sailors! Taking over car companies, banks and now health care?
Where does it stop?

If your in that bad of shape, you don't start some multi-trillion dollar nationalized health care system? Are they freakin nuts?

This administration is flirting with disaster, and the people know it. Why do you think such a strongly democratic state like Massachusetts voted in Scott Brown?
The Democratic leadership has gone so far to the left wanting to drive this country into Socialism its losing its base of supporters.


RE: Hope and Change ain't Free
By redbone75 on 1/22/2010 8:57:54 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
This administration is flirting with disaster, and the people know it.

No, actually, the people don't know it. They only know what the corporate-owned media tells them- the masses- for the most part. "A person is smart. People are stupid."

The amazing thing about the Republi-tards is that they want to condemn, often hypocritically, anything the Obama administration does or proposes without even going to the table and talking about it, because what we have currently has worked out so wonderfully <sarcasm>.

Democra-tards tend to think they know what's best without explaining to the American people how they will truly benefit. They let the right-wingers annihilate them in the media before they even begin to defend themselves, but by then the negative statements are saturated in the public mindset that anything they do to defend themselves does little to abate the damages done by the media.

The problem is that too many people don't think for themselves. They listen to only one side of the issue because they grew up in one party and don't bother to listen to both sides and then make an assessment of the issue. It is then that we need to demand what we want of our politicians. I, personally, would like to see us turn away from this increasingly fascist state we are becoming.


RE: Hope and Change ain't Free
By Smilin on 1/22/2010 9:31:33 AM , Rating: 1
I think Obama is doing a decent job given the circumstances. I've got a few gripes but things could certainly be worse.


RE: Hope and Change ain't Free
By redbone75 on 1/22/10, Rating: 0
RE: Hope and Change ain't Free
By thurston on 1/21/10, Rating: 0
How is Obama involved?
By Shadowself on 1/21/2010 2:35:33 PM , Rating: 2
This is no more an act of "the Obama Administration" than the prior $1.92 million case was an act of "the Bush Administration". The President (no matter which president) tracks these kinds of cases about as closely as I track the cost of camel dung in the Sudan -- that is, not at all.

This is all the act of a few mid level bureaucrats (judge and DoJ lawyers) that are getting their way. Unfortunately, in the U.S. Government (well, to be honest, in most governments) the mid level guys run the government the way they want and unless they do something that extremely crosses the line the top tier don't clamp down on them.




RE: How is Obama involved?
By amanojaku on 1/21/2010 2:39:06 PM , Rating: 3
The DOJ is part of the executive branch, and each member is chosen by the president. The douches that upheld the original verdict were appointed by Obama. Not that it matters, considering Jaime Thomas was screwed by Bush's appointees. The fact is no politician, Dem or Rep, is going to look favorably on illegal file sharing, and few will say these fines are beyond ridiculous.

The defendants should pay for the cost to go to trail and the real price of the songs, if found guilty.


RE: How is Obama involved?
By Reclaimer77 on 1/21/10, Rating: -1
RE: How is Obama involved?
By Smilin on 1/21/2010 3:01:48 PM , Rating: 2
You're forgetting something kind of important.

Bush was a dick.


RE: How is Obama involved?
By retrospooty on 1/21/2010 6:49:36 PM , Rating: 2
Can you ever just act human, just once? Must you be a complete schmuck at ALL times?


RE: How is Obama involved?
By arazok on 1/21/2010 3:07:59 PM , Rating: 5
While your technically correct, this is the sort of BS the people hoped would stop when they voted for “Change”. Instead, they got:

quote:
The Obama Administration, which recently asked five former RIAA lawyers to serve in the Justice Department, is supporting the verdict, stating that copyright infringement, "creates a public harm that Congress is determined must be deterred.


Americans need to stop voting Democrat/Republican and wondering why nothing ever changes.


RE: How is Obama involved?
By killerb255 on 1/21/2010 5:15:45 PM , Rating: 2
The reason people vote Democrat/Republican is that people are suckers for the Freudian primitive defense mechanism called "splitting."

Splitting is when we compartmentalize the overwhelming amount of information in life into only two extremes. Good vs. evil. Happy vs. sad. Right vs. wrong. Black vs. white. True vs. false.

In this case, conservative vs. liberal.

To handle the grays, we use a scale of 1-10: 10 being the positive result, and 9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 being all negative results that are weighed the same.

We all wish life were that simple, and we try to get through life lying to ourselves about it being that simple.

tl;dr version: We do it because it's easier.


RE: How is Obama involved?
By killerb255 on 1/21/2010 5:19:33 PM , Rating: 2
Don't get me wrong: I'm not saying I agree with that mentality.

The problem is getting enough people to disagree with it. Once enough people do, then an independent or other political party-affiliated candidate may become president.

Interesting enough, the only president that was not a member of a political party was George Washington. I'm not 100% sure on this (someone correct me if I'm wrong), but I don't think he wanted the US to have political parties...


RE: How is Obama involved?
By arazok on 1/21/2010 11:13:57 PM , Rating: 3
I can't say that I disagree with you, but I'm not sure about your theory. There is something unique about American politics. Most countries have many political parties, and create/destroy them routinely. Canada, Germany, Italy etc all have numerous major parties.

Ross Perot took a good stab at creating a new party. He spent millions of his own money, had some electoral success, but he could never get it to self sustain. Money seems all too important in the US system.

In most countries, a political party will spend 10-20 million during a campaign. In the US, it's hundreds of millions. Who has that kind of money? Or more importantly, how can you get that sort of money without whoring yourself out to the various special interests?


RE: How is Obama involved?
By Dafuznmehed on 1/25/2010 11:56:38 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Americans need to stop voting Democrat/Republican and wondering why nothing ever changes.


I couldn't help but think of this poem.

http://www.jabberwocky.com/carroll/walrus.html


That's fair.............not.
By awer26 on 1/21/2010 2:30:57 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The current damages range provides compensation for copyright owners because, inter alia, there exist situations in which actual damages are hard to quantify.


So, since we can't figure out exactly how much, or exactly what, you stole...we're just going to make the fine really, really big. Yeah...that makes sense [/sarcasm]




RE: That's fair.............not.
By Bateluer on 1/21/2010 2:40:30 PM , Rating: 3
Hmm, if anything, they should determine how many times the tracks were illegally downloaded from the defendant's computer and levy fines of 99 cents per song. Thats the money they lost. Probably is, they can't really got to court over 20-30 dollars and have any sort of legitimacy.

I'd still refuse to pay a fine of 675K.


RE: That's fair.............not.
By tastyratz on 1/21/2010 2:51:42 PM , Rating: 3
I don't think you really get the option to just say "no" with a judge ordering you like that. Refusing doesn't work.

The reality of these exorbitant fines however is that they really wont see the money. Lets be honest - they wont REALLY get 675k out of a grad. 10k? maybe 20k? more likely to ACTUALLY get paid out. 675k? ya sure. Show me the nearly 2 million dollars they actually get out of Jammie Thomas too. Its just a deterrent headline.

The reality is he will file for bankruptcy and move on. As a bonus he gets out of paying his student loans or any credit card debt at the same time.

http://www.eff.org/IP/P2P/RIAA_v_ThePeople/P2P_bkt...


RE: That's fair.............not.
By OUits on 1/21/2010 3:32:30 PM , Rating: 2
I didn't read all of your link, but it is my understanding that student loans cannot be expunged with a file for bankruptcy.

If that were the case every college student who wasn't independently wealthy would immediately file for bankruptcy upon graduation.


RE: That's fair.............not.
By spwrozek on 1/21/2010 4:35:41 PM , Rating: 2
You are correct. You always have to pay back student loans. They are immune to bankruptcy.


RE: That's fair.............not.
By killerb255 on 1/21/2010 5:07:54 PM , Rating: 2
You're correct, minus student loans.

As one who is on the tail end of paying off a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, I know for a fact that student loans are not covered under bankruptcy laws.

The most you can hope for with bankruptcy in regards to student loans is a Chapter 13 to defer the payments for the 3-5 year term of the bankruptcy. You'll have to start paying again afterward. A Chapter 7 won't help you here, as the bankruptcy case lasts about six months at the most...

Speaking of which, I can see the amount of bankruptcy filings soar from copyright lawsuits alone. After the bankruptcy law changes of late 2005, chances are, most will be forced to file Chapter 13 instead of 7.


RE: That's fair.............not.
By Smilin on 1/21/2010 3:03:54 PM , Rating: 3
It's a punative damage to deter. Not saying I agree with it.


RE: That's fair.............not.
By xrodney on 1/22/2010 7:45:07 AM , Rating: 2
Well if someone without any gain and income about 25k$ per year can be fined almost 2mil (yeah that over lifetime giving almost noone live over 80 years), then compamy like sony music for selling songs they dont have rights (use them to gain money) and having income over 2000bil$ for 2008 should pay even more ant that should be no less then 160.000 bil$.

There need to be changes as currently its only companies that are protected and poor people that pay heavy taxes and actually are ones making all stuff we enjoy, getting screwed up for rest of their lives.


Stand strong against the Chinese!
By 91TTZ on 1/21/2010 2:36:15 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
In lieu of the tension between the Chinese Government and Google regarding the recent IP theft and account hacking problems, it isn’t hard to see why the Obama Administration is standing so firmly against copyright infringements.


Yeah, you're really showing them. I guess the only difference is that in the case of the single kid (your own citizen) you fined them $675,000, whereas with China (a country that actively steals your IP and hacks your military's computers) you did NOTHING.

Way to stand strong.




RE: Stand strong against the Chinese!
By bupkus on 1/21/2010 4:44:57 PM , Rating: 3
Obama pauses, reflects on his loss of a Congressional seat in MA, can't seem to pass promised health care legislation, Iraqis and Afghans not progressing much past government corruption, Taliban getting more volunteers and financial support, Pakistan rebuffs him by refusing to extend any attacks against the Taliban in 2010, Chinese Government brazenly waging cyber warfare against U.S. and Western interests, supports severe financial penalties against U.S. student for file sharing, goes home and kicks family dog Bo.


By bupkus on 1/21/2010 4:48:22 PM , Rating: 2
Of course if you prefer an alternate ending...

Obama pauses, reflects on his loss of a Congressional seat in MA, can't seem to pass promised health care legislation, Iraqis and Afghans not progressing much past government corruption, Taliban getting more volunteers and financial support, Pakistan rebuffs him by refusing to extend any attacks against the Taliban in 2010, Chinese Government brazenly waging cyber warfare against U.S. and Western interests, supports severe financial penalties against U.S. student for file sharing, goes home and gets his leg humped by family dog Bo.


Proof positive that...
By Motoman on 1/21/2010 2:28:07 PM , Rating: 2
...our "justice" system is broken.




RE: Proof positive that...
By Shadowself on 1/21/2010 2:37:47 PM , Rating: 3
It has not been a "justice" system for many decades. The U.S. "justice system' is an "adversarial system". It is all about one side winning and the other side losing with the judge just calling fouls every once in a while -- then making the final call. Neither side really cares anything about "justice".


RE: Proof positive that...
By killerb255 on 1/21/2010 4:07:04 PM , Rating: 2
...depends on how one defines "justice"...


RE: Proof positive that...
By Motoman on 1/21/2010 8:50:28 PM , Rating: 2
Let's start with having the punishment fit the crime.

A ridiculous concept, I know - but maybe we should give it a shot.


The great thing about this is..
By KeithP on 1/21/2010 6:03:48 PM , Rating: 5
So President Change turns out to be just as clueless and surrounded by special interest scumbags just like President Hick was.

If Bush had appointed a bunch of RIAA lawyers and his administration had supported this verdict, most of the people posting here would be screaming "Republicans are scumbags, I can't hardly wait until we get some Democrats in the Whitehouse!"

But when Obama is behind this crap, it is all "RIAA is evil! Burn them!" mostly ignoring that their party's hand in all of this.




By steven975 on 1/22/2010 8:28:38 AM , Rating: 2
Let us not forget who wrote the DMCA, either.


Terrible.
By Josh7289 on 1/21/2010 6:52:28 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
The Obama Administration, which recently asked five former RIAA lawyers to serve in the Justice Department

Disgusting.




RE: Terrible.
By Makaveli on 1/21/2010 8:14:05 PM , Rating: 1
What the hell is going on with america. If I was that kid I would give the judge the lawyers a big FU. I'd rather rot in jail than pay those scumbags the money. In fact I would rather this kid pay a resonable fee to all the artist. Those are the people that deserve the money.

If not I would pack my shit and get the hell out of that country.


Missing a Great Opportunity
By siliconvideo on 1/21/2010 5:16:37 PM , Rating: 5
We're missing a great opportunity here. If the fine for one infringement is $150 to $150,000, just think what we could do if the RIAA could sued China. We'd could afford $2 trillion medical reform bill in Congress now.




By pjs on 1/21/2010 5:53:14 PM , Rating: 4
The Obama Administration, which recently asked five former RIAA lawyers to serve in the Justice Department ...

So why am a still angry about President Obama's stance on this issue? ... Oh, because I expected him to to the right thing. It is clear that big $$$ still call the shots in the present administration.

President Obams, I supported you (voting and dontations) the first time around. I don't exect to be doing that if you decide to run again.

Good bye!




By Randomblame on 1/22/2010 12:46:01 AM , Rating: 2
This isn't news, the obama administration backs every law that screws over the American people. His administration is bought and paid for by big liberal corporations. I'm sooooo tired of these shenanigans




By wolfwood on 1/22/2010 4:17:52 AM , Rating: 2
It isn't liberal vs. conservative. It's corporatism vs. the interests of the American people. The people have been losing for a long time; well before Bush and Obama were in the Oval Office.


RIAA=Fascism
By Ananke on 1/21/2010 4:41:10 PM , Rating: 2
RIAA=Fascism....

I've seen this movie already, it didn't end well.




Obama Supports Fine?
By SkierInAvon on 1/21/2010 11:46:52 PM , Rating: 2
Hey, did the Obama Administration read this (file sharing) guy his Miranda Rights? Check his underwear? Too bad for him wasn't trying to share files from his laptop, sitting on an aircraft flying over the US.




License to Use
By dm36415 on 1/22/2010 8:40:22 AM , Rating: 2
I have spent years in IT Procurement licensing software, and I see strong parallels in how the RIAA is approaching this litigation. I agree that artists should be fairly compensated, however consumers should also be protected. I'm surprised that there has not been a savvy class action firm institute a case against the RIAA under the grounds that, if we indeed by a license (or right to use) when we acquire a song, then when I upgrade the media, I should only need pay for the cost of the replacement media, as opposed to, what in effect, is a cost to re-license the IP that I have already licensed. For crying out load, under tht scenario, I should be owed a couple hundred bucks back just for the number of times I've bought the White Album. Any sharks out there wanting to contact me to be the primary in a case, I'm happy to oblige!




Hey Obama
By oldscotch on 1/22/2010 9:04:20 AM , Rating: 2
Those huge fines are part of the law for people trying to profit from illegal work. Not for a scare tactic.

You want to fine people for sharing, do so, but keep it reasonable and remember who the "maximum" penalties are for. If you're just going to use it to flex your muscle, the people are going to turn their back on you.




Who's suprised??
By barrychuck on 1/22/2010 3:19:25 PM , Rating: 2
So let me get this right, our President and his team who are known to support the RIAA backed up this decision?

This isn't news, this was fate!




Unbelievable
By eddieroolz on 1/22/2010 11:12:31 PM , Rating: 2
We have a real issue with our society if a person who shared few music files is ordered to pay 650K in damages while rapists, murderers and repeat offenders don't have to pay a single cent, and instead gets paid while in prison - however little.

What we need is to make the offenders liable for any damanges.




By Qapa on 1/24/2010 8:14:22 PM , Rating: 2
Strange that in any other business you'd only be guilty if...

... you were stealing!

A library has books and you can borrow them, read them.
- the library doesn't have to pay fines for the books;
- if I make a copy of one of those books for myself, I am guilty, not the library;

For some reason, in the music industry things got turned around due to lobbies...

So the library (person that has music being shared) is getting fined, and the guys that didn't have the books and made illegal copies of them (downloaders that did _not pay_ for that in a different format - say CD - which are stealing) are completely free of charge.

So actually, it is fine to commit the crime (stealing), but you're not allowed to lend stuff nor does it matter if you own it (have the CDs) or not...

How great are these lobbies, huh?

PS: Would still like to get an answer for this... for someone with power to do something about it, or from someone in RIAA/MPAA/etc.




OIH
By OKMIJN4455 on 1/24/2010 6:27:33 AM , Rating: 1
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On Copyright Legislation
By armulyman on 1/23/10, Rating: 0
"My sex life is pretty good" -- Steve Jobs' random musings during the 2010 D8 conference














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