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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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By Qapa on 1/24/2010 8:14:22 PM , Rating: 2
Strange that in any other business you'd only be guilty if...

... you were stealing!

A library has books and you can borrow them, read them.
- the library doesn't have to pay fines for the books;
- if I make a copy of one of those books for myself, I am guilty, not the library;

For some reason, in the music industry things got turned around due to lobbies...

So the library (person that has music being shared) is getting fined, and the guys that didn't have the books and made illegal copies of them (downloaders that did _not pay_ for that in a different format - say CD - which are stealing) are completely free of charge.

So actually, it is fine to commit the crime (stealing), but you're not allowed to lend stuff nor does it matter if you own it (have the CDs) or not...

How great are these lobbies, huh?

PS: Would still like to get an answer for this... for someone with power to do something about it, or from someone in RIAA/MPAA/etc.

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