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Boston student fined thousands for Napstering

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A Boston University student has been found guilty of breaking copyright laws by downloading and uploading songs using Napster and Kazaa.

Joel Tenenbaum admitted downloading 30 songs and must pay Universal Music, Warner Music and Sony $22,500 (£13,438) per song. He could have faced up to $150,000 per track, and seems to view the verdict as evidence that the jury took his defence seriously.

Tenenbaum said: "I'm disappointed, but not surprised, but I'm thankful that it wasn't much bigger, that it wasn't millions." He said the fact that the damages were not higher: "That to me sends a message that [the jury] considered [my] side legitimately," according to Ars Technica.

The student admitted lying in earlier evidence, when he suggested other members of his family might have downloaded the music. In fact, his admission was so complete that the judge removed the question of infringement from the jury's consideration, which was left only to decide how wilful his actions were.

His eccentric defence, originally based on fair use claims, was dismissed by the judge before the trial even began.

Tenenbaum's lawyer Charlie Nesson said they would appeal the verdict.

The Recording Industry Association of America thanked the jury for: "their recognition of the impact of illegal downloading on the music community". ®

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