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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: 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 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, 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

"I mean, if you wanna break down someone's door, why don't you start with AT&T, for God sakes? They make your amazing phone unusable as a phone!" -- Jon Stewart on Apple and the iPhone

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