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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 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
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.

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