[Image via FameFlynetpictures.]
While we do not condone the piracy of music, everyone knows the RIAA's bully tactics and lawsuits are shady.
They try and make examples of people, and claim outlandish damages, when in reality they're not solving the problem what-so-ever.
Joel Tenenbaum, a 28-year-old student who just graduated from a Boston University grad program, knows all about this.
He was ordered by courts to pay a ridiculous $675,000 for illegally downloading and sharing 30 songs on the Internet.
"I can't believe the system would uphold a six-figure damages amount for downloading 30 songs on a file-sharing system that everybody used. I can't believe the court would uphold something that ludicrous."
His lawyer even tried to get it reduced to the 99 cents per song it would cost to download the files legally. That's pretty crazy too, as it IS a crime, but it should be nowhere near six figures!
The crazy thing? A federal judge called the penalty unconstitutionally excessive and reduced the award to $67,500 — but the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals later reinstated it! WTF!
Did we mention Joel has a doctorate in statistical physics? He isn't some pirate that's bringing down the industry. In fact, most of the people that the RIAA has taken to court are not that person. They're just normal people.
He has a good argument, too: 'the U.S. Copyright Act is unconstitutional and that Congress did not intend the law to impose liability or damages when the copyright infringements amount to "consumer copying."'
We just need something better, so why can't someone come up with something better?
The RIAA even had the balls to bring up they offered to settle the case for $5,000 early on, which is common for them. It bullies people who are too afraid to take them on in courts into settling. Bullying is bullying, and they should be ashamed.
The easiest solution to all of this, of course, is not to illegally download music at all in the first place. Just pay the few bucks to get that new album.
Seriously. Avoid all this. Support your favorite musicians.
Do U think he's fighting a lost cause?
[Image via AP Images.]