Judge refuses to change $675,000 fine in music downloading case

By Shawn Knight
Aug 24, 2012
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  1. US District Court Judge Rya W. Zobel has upheld a previous ruling against Joel Tenenbaum for illegally downloading music from the Internet. Tenenbaum was sued in 2007 and ultimately found guilty of downloading 31 songs over the course of two…

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  2. r8bwp

    r8bwp Newcomer, in training Posts: 27

    $20,000 per song seems fair...NOT!.....compared to other crimes and there sentences!
  3. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 2,009   +681

    I'm new to this planet, can someone explain to me how $67,500 is a 'managable' fine for a college student? Honestly though it doesn't really matter... 60,000, 600,000 or 6 million, it's going to be a declaration of bankruptcy anyway. He should have his credit high enough to buy a car around 2025.
  4. demonlord721

    demonlord721 TechSpot Member Posts: 20

    Honestly if 675,000 is a reasonable fine for downloading songs from the Internet then the judge should be thrown in the looney bin for lets say.... 56,000 years for being insane. Until there is a global standard that makes identifying legal sources of downloaded music ironclad and easy.There is absolutely no way they should be made to pay more than the retail cost of the songs they downloaded at the online rate.
  5. Jbucko

    Jbucko Newcomer, in training Posts: 33

    All the copyright infringement laws are quite ridiculous, It is not surprising to see this. I don't think making an example of this guys is going to do anything.
  6. Tygerstrike

    Tygerstrike TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 827   +93

    Unfortunately the fine InThis case is a two parter. One is the costs of the songs themselves, the other part is punitive damages. That's the cost of downloading copyrighted material and going to trial. It isn't truly fair but that's the cost of gettIng caught. Instead of just pirating, ppl should spend that energy coming up with a way to do what they wish w/o it being illegal. If you wish a Law to change you have to do something to change it. Just pirating and ranting isn't going to change the law. Get your head out of the sand and do something to effect change
  7. UnknownSky

    UnknownSky Newcomer, in training Posts: 40

    Still seems though that they are fining one person, but trying to fine every person that is pirating at the moment. Bringing down all out Hell on .01 percent of the problem will never be seen as justice.
  8. Seriously.....even assuming a full price of $20(Price of the CD more or less) times 31 which I think would be more than fair reimbursement, they really expect him to pay $670,000+.........Here's what's gonna happen, 1 week after he's exhausted all his option's and the judgment Is final he's simply going to file bankruptcy and walk away and laugh about It with his buddies.
  9. In my mind; forcing him to buy the album from each song 5 times over is fitting punishment.
    Excluding legal fees of course...
    I wish I was a judge....
  10. That's crazy, someone could steal the Christmas presents from 1,000 needy families and the fine wouldn't be 1/10th of what that is. But 31 songs, wtf is the world coming to.
  11. Zoltan Head

    Zoltan Head TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 268   +27

    Read Tygerstrike above, explained it clearly.
     
  12. Jbucko

    Jbucko Newcomer, in training Posts: 33

    It explains but does not justify.
  13. anguis

    anguis Newcomer, in training Posts: 79

    Pirating should be treated like parking tickets. If you happen to get a ticket, you pay the small, reasonable fine. If you don't pay it, you face a larger fine (instead of your car being towed, maybe shut off your Internet until you pay the fine). None of this $675,000 along with court costs and wasted time for all parties involved. Small, simple, effective is the way to go.
  14. Tygerstrike

    Tygerstrike TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 827   +93

    @Jbucko
    Its simple the courts dont NEED to justify punative damages. Thats the courts ruling for whatever reason. The Judge/Jury has stated that the price the individual must pay for damages, and thats their opinion. Collecting on it will be different story. This is what that person must pay for his piracy. That is the costs involved. He got caught, went to trial, more then likely thinking the jury would side with him, and now has to pay the othersides Legal fees. Which isnt included in the Punative Damages ruling. So 10 to 1 this guy is prolly in debt something like a million five hundered thousand, simply because he didnt want to pay for his entertainment.
  15. ETF Soldier

    ETF Soldier TechSpot Booster Posts: 279   +39

    He's a student? THAT MEANS HE HAS NO INCOME! how is $67,500 more managable? It's extremely excessive for only 31 songs!
  16. I don't understand the mentality of the majority here. This person knew that this activity was illegal. This person took part in the illegal activity. This person now has to pay the consequences set forth by the law. Why all the whining?
  17. VitalyT

    VitalyT TechSpot Guru Posts: 1,564   +474

    We are all one download short of a disgrace like that...
  18. ikesmasher

    ikesmasher TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 1,851   +342

    the consequences make him confiscate for the inconvenience he caused, which is not worth nearly 700 THOUSAND dollars. anyone who thinks this is a fair penalty is mental.
  19. wastedkill

    wastedkill TechSpot Maniac Posts: 1,039   +218

    Us sane people don't understand your mentality its like saying 10,000 years in jail is "Justice" its not its like me suing the government for $999,999,999,999,999 just because they broke my human rights law and I am guessing you "Guest" see that as justice if I win which I should according to you ye the amount might seem a bit high but its just "meh its fine"
  20. foreverzero89

    foreverzero89 TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 246

    it falls under cruel and unusual punishment. so , yes they have to justify it.
  21. Tygerstrike

    Tygerstrike TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 827   +93

    Guys it is "Justice". It was theft. No matter how anyone tries to justify it. He knew it was illegal and did it anyways. Im sure many ppl here have downloaded copyrighted material. THAT IS THE COST THIS PERSON HAS TO PAY BECAUSE HE WENT TO TRIAL!!!! Now we all know he downloaded a lot more then 31 songs. Im guessing they settled on 31 because thats what the lawyers for the prosicution can prove without a shadow of a doubt. The damages awarded were prolly for the full amount he intially download and the jury wanted to make an example of him for the benefit of society. You are talking about 12 ppl who have a legal obligation to judge the facts of the case and award damages accordingly. The price tag is high but there are exstenuating circumstances that we as the general public are not privvy to as we were not on the jury or in the courtroom. More then likely the plantiffs in this case will settle for a lower amount and spin the situation to their advantage and use it to put out PS announcments about piracy.
  22. My firm opinion is that only sellers of stolen goods, only dealers of drugs and only owners of pirate sites should be punished. Punishing buyers, users, downloaders is unethical, immoral and in my view is against human rights. Internet users pay for their Internet access, they do not steal it, and they are allowed to click on anything, open any site and download anything on Internet, provided they do not hack into private data - that's like breaking an entry into a private house. Now, PUBLISHING on Internet is a different matter - people who own sites, make files available for download or publish lies in newspapers - those are a different group, they should be responsible for the content they are filling the Internet with. Because using Internet is literally receiving information. And in my view, it is against the law, be that moral law, civil law, human rights, whatever, - it is illegal to punish people for receiving information.
  23. foreverzero89

    foreverzero89 TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 246

    not justice, vengeance. when GROSSLY over-punishing like that, justice would be, say it's 99 cents a song, paying 5 dollars per for the original cost of the song, plus a fee covering any perceived loss and then maybe a flat fee for pirating in the first place. that would be more like justice.
  24. Tygerstrike

    Tygerstrike TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 827   +93

    @Forever
    See the point is that individual had the opportunity to pay for his music. Then it would have been a "Fair" price. Howeve they chose to pirate instead of pay the fair price. So now the jury makes him pay the price THEY believe he should pay. Also understand that Punative Damages isnt about "Fair" for the defendant. Its about awarding the victim an amount that given the facts of the case, that the jury believes is fair. Your not far off calling it vengance, however the individual HAD the opportunity to play by the rules and CHOSE to not. Thats the cost of "Doing the crime". I know for a fact that the prosecutors offered the plantiff a deal for a lower amount. He also CHOSE to go to trial thinking the jury would side with him. They didnt obviously.
  25. He didn't "receive" information. He willing stole it.


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