Tenenbaum verdict: $675K

Tenenbaum verdict: $675K

Summary: OK the the verdict is in. Joel Tenenbaum has been assessed $675,000, or $22,500 per song, for illegally distributing 30 songs via Kazaa, Ars Technica reports.


OK the the verdict is in. Joel Tenenbaum has been assessed $675,000, or $22,500 per song, for illegally distributing 30 songs via Kazaa, Ars Technica reports.

That's not nearly as bad as I had feared, since it's within the realm of "normal" statutory damages (up to $30,000). Ironically, Jammie Thomas-Rassert was found liable for the enhanced penalties, landing her a $1.9 million verdict.

Tenenbaum's attorney, Prof. Charles Nesson, argued that they might have prevailed if a Fair Use defense had been permitted.

"We were not allowed to speak to fairness," he told Ars. "I thought we had pretty damn good arguments on Fair Use."
Joel himself was most gracious.
"I'm disappointed, but not surprised, but I'm thankful that it wasn't much bigger, that it wasn't millions. That to me sends a message that [the jury] considered [my] side legitimately.

And the bottom line question. Do you regret downloading music?

That's really a loaded question. There are so many things that could have been different.

Topic: Legal

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  • Answer: No, he doesn't

    and the RIAA and MPAA are going to have to realize
    that the black eyes that they get from this and
    the pissing off of legitimate customers is not
    worth doing these court cases in the slightest.

    Really though, he will just declare bankruptcy and
    FZZZT.... verdict nullified.
    • Not dischargeable in bankruptcy

      I'm a lawyer. Theft and similar actions are considered an "intentional tort". Intentional torts are not dischargeable in bankruptcy.
      • I dunno

        I don't think copyright violation without monetary gain would qualify as an intentional tort, that is just my opinion only though.
        User 13
  • Cruel and Unusual.

    Those damages were written with a commercial entity in
    mind. In my opinion, to apply them to an average
    individual with an average income is cruel and unusual.
    I guess you get the best laws money can buy down there in
    US-land. How about some common sense? Getting caught
    with P2P should be like a speeding ticket, not, I'm
    fubar'd for life.
    • They likely won't see a penny.

      It's called bankruptcy court. Well over 1/2 million in damages with no means to pay certainly sounds like a compelling case to me.
    • Common sense

      You're right. It's all about a few songs. These guys are living on their own planet and have definitely lost common sense. On behalf of (almost) the rest of the world, my apologies to Tenenbaum.
    • I disagree

      the charges are not about making money, they are about deterrence ... trying to prevent people from doing it.

      If the fine for parking your car in front of a hydrant was $50 - who cares, if you get caught, it's $50 ... now apply a $10,000 fine to that - would you take the risk?

      Same with file sharing - if you're only going to get fined $10,000, and only if you get caught, that's not such a big deal ... but $679,000 - that makes me think twice ...

      The best way to create a deterrence, is to make the penalty hurt ... a lot ... like "ruin your life" a lot ...


  • Smart moves by Tenenbaum's lawyers?

    Could they be planning to push this up the legal system - and eventually get these insane laws tossed?

    Think about it - $2M for stealing some music. Insane compared to other simple theft crimes.

    P.S. I haven't bought any new music since this insanity started. Won't till it stops.

    Basic Logic
  • RIAA Destroys a man for nothing

    Sooooo out of the millions of people who download music approx 18000 settled for a few grand, and TWO of those 18000 went to court and got slapped with judgments so insanely massive they are bankrupt and have bad credit for 7 years, setting aside the fact that they were idiots who could have settled out of court that's a .00111% chance to go to court if you were in that group of 18000 and not the other group of several million who were never even contacted. the odds of facing actual consequences for file sharing are astronomical.
    User 13