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Judge Refuses To Reduce Music Downloading Fine For Student!

| Filed under: Music MinuteWacky, Tacky & TrueLegal MattersSad Sad

Joel Ten RIAA

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.

His appeal for a reduced amount has just been denied, but that's not going to stop him. He says:

"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.]

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22 comments to “Judge Refuses To Reduce Music Downloading Fine For Student!”

  1. 1

    While I agree that in the long term it's better to buy single's and album's legally. But who can really afford to throw away twenty pound on an album when they're being offered it all for free. Most people aren't looking to the long term, they're just getting by each day and if downloading an album means they'll have an an extra tenner or so for food, school supplies, whatever. Then d'you really think they'll take the legal path? I doubt it.

  2. 2

    Copyright is going out the door - to the RIAA's chagrin.

  3. 3

    ABSOLUTELY REDICULOUS!!! Just another example of the "law" run amuck.. I'm thinking of you Joel (as I download whatever the frick I want), best of luck to you man.

  4. 4

    "Prohibiting the federal government from imposing excessive bail, excessive fines or cruel and unusual punishments"

    Almost $10,000 per song seems a little excessive. I can understand getting caught and paying the 99cent per song and a fine. But holy shit, ruin a guys life over some crappy music. That sucks.

  5. 5

    Yet people who rape a child can get away with a prison sentence of 3 years.

  6. be strong says – reply to this


    What? There has to be more to this story. Is it the 100th time he got caught?

  7. 7

    thats just insanity…wow…there are much bigger crimes/issues in the world…It's not right to steal music, but doing this excessive fining is NOT stopping the problem…There needs to be something else…another way. THis is disgusting…I really feel for this kid…even 68,000 is absolutely ridiculous….just disgusting.

  8. 8

    I will not buy a single song while content mafia is running a muck. Musicians can have my money by doing live acts.

  9. justme says – reply to this


    I think it's ridiculous that album prices are going up while the effort put into them by artists is going down, I'm never going to pay $20 for a 12 song CD, especially when half of the songs seem to be filler anyways.

  10. 10

    Re: sick_girl – * Wow my math was way off. But my point is still the same.

  11. 11

    Yeah, you are so against pirating music, yet you pirated photo agency exclusive shots on this site so many times, they sued your gay ass. You're a fucking idiot.

  12. 12

    30 songs represents 675000 dollar in damage

    question: can they prove that ?

  13. Jon says – reply to this


    the RIAA can go fuck themselves. And don't be too stupid Hilton. The right way to support your favorite artists is to see them live and buy merch. They don't see shit from album sales.

  14. Bokiluis says – reply to this


    Sorry Perez, everyone doesn't think the RIAA is unfair. The fact is that no matter what, illegal downloading is a crime. Few are caught. But those that have been, must and should pay the cost. I am a veteran of the music industry so I am biased. But wrong is wrong. I thought you told Oprah that you were a changed man and would stop making erroneous attacks and statements. You may not like what the RIAA does, but, fact is, they are very much in their right. Being in the music industry. I was often more aware of all the illegal sites. But I never went there. I go to Amazon because it is sometimes cheaper than iTunes. But I have paid for music since I was 11. I was not going to stop just because someone had develop a way to steal. If someone took an apple from your apple tree, even if it were low hanging fruit, it is still stealing. Disappointed in you and it goes to show you have a distance to go to become a person of true integrity.

  15. kandycane says – reply to this



  16. 16

    don't do the crime…..if you can't….well you get it….honestly……i am glad he got this…..he deserves it…..stealing is stealing…and he didn't just steal….he stole and then felt like he had the right to give it away…..to a lot of folks….not his call….so it is waaaaaay more than 99 cents a song…..i see a lot of folks who think it is ok…or to much….and honestly…..that is not how musicians see it or small labels who are bringing you the music…..if you want to make music and give it away….then go with the gods….that is your right…..but you don't get to make that decision for everyone else…..support your local musicians…..BUY their music…..for you and a friend…..

  17. 17

    I only support Rihanna and Katy Perry. The rest of these lessers can suck a sick dick. The RIAA is a damn crime organization. If the artists themselves aren't suing, I doubt they have a f**k to give.

  18. 18

    He messed up sharing it online though. He should have just downloaded the file from the internet and stayed away from torrent sites.

  19. 19

    For having a Ph. D. he wasnt smart enough to not get caught.

  20. 20

    Whats wrong with this whole scenario is that if this group is going to charge people for downloading and sharing music as a crime then they should not be selective and randomly sue people. They should have to either go after everyone or no one at all. It is not fair to single individuals out if thousands of others are doing it. People have shared and copied sibce cassette tapes. the whole thing seems stupid.

  21. 21

    this is ridiculous! they really focus on what's NOT important. sickening.

  22. SITE:.GOV says – reply to this


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