Feeds

P2P judge trims student's fine by 90 per cent

Tenenbaum only has $67,500 to pay

Security for virtualized datacentres

Last year, a Boston University grad student was whacked with a court order to pay $675,000 damages for downloading 30 songs illegally and sharing them on a P2P network.

This week, a US District Court agreed with defendant Joel Tenenbaum's claim that the amount determined by the jury was "unconstitutionally excessive" and slashed the damages award to four record labels by 90 per cent to $67,500. This works out at $2,250 per infringed work, three times the statutory minimum.

Which is nice. But Tenenbaum, 26, can't afford to pay the lower amount. "It's basically equally unpayable to me," he told the Boston Globe.

In her ruling Judge Nancy Gertner, who presided over the original trial, wrote: “There is no question that this reduced award is still severe, even harsh. It not only adequately compensates the plaintiffs for the relatively minor harm that Tenenbaum caused them; it sends a strong message that those who exploit peer-to-peer networks to unlawfully download and distribute copyrighted works run the risk of incurring substantial damages awards."

That seems to hit the right note - but the Globe is calling Gertner's order a "major setback for the recording industry". And judging from the hissy fit from the Recording Industry Ass. of America (RIAA), the music industry sees this in a similar light.

In a statement to the Globe, the RIAA said the court has "substituted its judgment for that of 10 jurors as well as Congress [and ignored the] profound economic and artistic harm to the recording industry that occurs when people illegally share songs online". It says it will contest the ruling but doesn't say if that means an appeal.

Lastly, let's not forget the reason why the jury awarded such huge damages against Tenenbaum in the first place. They were pissed off by the student's eccentric and incompetent defence masterminded by Charles Nesson, co-founder of Harvard University's Berkman Center for Internet and Society. ®

Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
JINGS! Microsoft Bing called Scots indyref RIGHT!
Redmond sporran metrics get one in the ten ring
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Murdoch to Europe: Inflict MORE PAIN on Google, please
'Platform for piracy' must be punished, or it'll kill us in FIVE YEARS
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Sony says year's losses will be FOUR TIMES DEEPER than thought
Losses of more than $2 BILLION loom over troubled Japanese corp
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.