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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 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.

“So far we have not seen a single Android device that does not infringe on our patents." -- Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith

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