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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 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.

"A politician stumbles over himself... Then they pick it out. They edit it. He runs the clip, and then he makes a funny face, and the whole audience has a Pavlovian response." -- Joe Scarborough on John Stewart over Jim Cramer

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