Judge affirms $675,000 verdict in Tenenbaum-RIAA music piracy case, retrial sought

A federal judge in Boston today formally signed off on a $675,000 fine that a jury assessed against Boston University doctoral student Joel Tenenbaum for illegally sharing 30 copyrighted songs.But in an unusual decision, U.S. District Court Judge Nancy Gertner expressed “very,very” deep concerns at the “astronomical penalties” available to music companies under copyright laws. Gertner said the court would have been willing to consider Tenenbaum’s fair use defense in the case but concluded that the manner in which the arguments were presented by the defense counsel made it all but impossible for her to do so.
http://www.networkworld.com/news/2009/120709-judge-affirms-675000-verdict-in.htmlAlso see:us: Lawyer in Tenenbaum music piracy case to seek retrial
The Harvard Law School professor who defended a Boston University doctoral student in a music piracy case plans to seek a new trial.Charles Nesson, a law professor and the founder of Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society, said he is also filing a separate motion challenging the constitutionality of the $675,000 fine assessed against Joel Tenenbaum and asking that it be reduced to a more reasonable amount. A hearing on the motions is scheduled for Jan. 4.
http://www.networkworld.com/news/2009/120809-lawyer-in-tenenbaum-music-piracy.htmlSong downloads: student fined a fortune must destroy files [AP]
A graduate student who must pay four record labels a combined $US675,000 ($740,500) in damages for downloading and sharing songs online has been ordered to destroy his illegal music files – but a judge declined to force him to stop promoting the activity that got him in trouble.Joel Tenenbaum, a Boston University student from Providence, Rhode Island, was ordered on Monday to refrain from future copyright violations and to destroy copies of recordings he downloaded without authorisation.
http://www.smh.com.au/technology/technology-news/song-downloads-student-fined-a-fortune-must-destroy-files-20091208-kg4x.htmlHow Team Tenenbaum missed a chance to shape P2P fair use law
Federal judge Nancy Gertner today officially brought down the tent on the Joel Tenenbaum P2P Big Top World ‘O Fun, all but admitting that she would have given Tenenbaum’s arguments about “fair use” a truly sympathetic hearing were it not for the shoddy behavior of his legal team. What could have turned into a watershed case instead became another statutory crucifixion, with Gertner finally entering the jury’s $675,000 verdict against the young file-swapper whose defense crashed down with an in-court admission that he had been lying all along.Gertner signed off the jury’s damage amounts, which means that Sony BMG is entitled to $112,500, Warner Bros. gets $225,000, Arista Records gets $45,000, and Universal picks up $292,500.

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