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"Joel Tenebaum fights back with the help of leading internet lawyers"  (Source:
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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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.

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.

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