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Student fined $675,000 for sharing 30 songs

By Jos · 43 replies
Aug 3, 2009
  1. Although it promised not to file any ‘new’ lawsuits against file sharers towards the end of last year, opting to work with ISPs instead, the RIAA also said it has no choice but to move forward with the legal process on previously-filed cases. Most of them are settled early on for between $3,000 and $5,000, but one in particular made it to court recently and ended with a hefty fine of $675,000 for Boston college student Joel Tenenbaum.

    Read the whole story
  2. Captain828

    Captain828 TS Guru Posts: 289   +15

    So if I share a single track I can get fined $150k??!

    This makes no sense... a track is as little as $0.5 if not lower. Hell, even it cost $2 it would still be absurd. Or is he paying for all the other people not caught??
  3. when does the 'cruel and unusual' aspect of law come into this equation because right now this just seems ridiculous.
  4. TomSEA

    TomSEA TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 3,093   +1,545

    (shrugs) It's $150k maximum per willful infringement. Obviously ridiculous when I can get songs off of iTunes and Amazon for .89 each. But these laws were designed a long time ago to protect people's products from theft and/or reproduction. And these laws weren't based on "just a song" or "just a movie," it was based on proprietary rights. It's also pretty clear that people outside of the illegal file-sharing community agree with these laws considering the hefty 1.92 million fine increase by a jury in Minnesota.
  5. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 4,909   +8

    This is a sham. Someone's life is ruined over 30 bloody tunes but there are people walking the streets using knives, fighting and stealing. Society's focus is all wrong, the priorities are all wrong. This person's life is ruined but in Scotland they are only jailing the most persistent and violent of offenders. Certain people do the most horrible things again and again and again and escape punishment.
  6. People know the risks. They know that it is theft, against the law, and illegal. Yet, they keep on doing it. I don't have any mercy for these people. They did wrong and they have to pay for it.

    It would like someone shooting someone and then asking that they don't get thrown in jail. Sorry, it doesn't work like that. You did the crime, now you have to pay for it.
  7. This can ONLY happen in the US. The country where everybody is sueing everybody for anything and everything. Stupid country.

    I'm against piracy, but this is way out of proportions.
  8. guyver1

    guyver1 TS Booster Posts: 110

    And once again the Artists who wrote those songs wont see a damn penny....

    The System has failed.
  9. Well, it's obvious that the RIAA wants the money, because if they really wanted to stop the downloading of music they would have to shut down one source at a time.
  10. you must have enough money to buy everything so its not a problem for you.
  11. you must have enough money to buy everything so its not a problem for you. pardon for the mistake.
  12. Brewskie

    Brewskie TS Rookie Posts: 28   +6

    Unconsitution Fines

    "Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted."

    Eight Amendment to the US Constitution.

    And I don't want to hear about this being civil. The Constitution makes no reference to whether it only applies to criminal proceedings.
  13. Twister123

    Twister123 TS Rookie Posts: 219

    yea , the punishment must fit the crime , isn't that enshrined somewhere or a rule of thumb of some kind , that story even made it over here , but it was one of those end of the news bit size stories , the reporter joked "he won't be doing that again" , surely he can appeal to someone , and water gets poisoned in india , thousands dye and no proceedings of any kind ,
  14. DarkCobra

    DarkCobra TS Rookie Posts: 79

    Indeed this is absurd as the punishment has to fit the crime. When an artist &/or record company establishes the value of a given piece of intellectual property (in this case a single song at .99 cents on most authorized purchase sites) then this same artist/record company cannot and should not be allowed to suddenly drastically change that value by claiming the value of that "SAME" intellectual property should now be over 100 thousand dollars per song when somebody makes a copy for themselves (which is a simple theft).

    Such a notion doesn't even pass the laugh test! Let's say I steal the entire CD of that same intellectual property from a store which let's say sells for $20 tops. I then get caught. At best it would be a simple petty theft misdemeanor and I would probably pay a small fine &/or do some weekend community service or something. However, the value of the stolen CD would never be suddenly revalued in court as being worth 100 thousand dollars! On appeal to higher more intelligent court this will no doubt be drastically reduced.
  15. Twister123

    Twister123 TS Rookie Posts: 219

    I remember cassette tapes , getting my first double cassette tape player , I must owe someone a fortune , I hope they don't reopen any cold cases , or 99% of the tape deck generation are off to jail .
  16. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,073   +164

    ok Twister...now this is draconian!
  17. Twister123

    Twister123 TS Rookie Posts: 219

    I think your right red , thats a good way of putting it , imagine everybody who copied or shared something , music , video , whatever was tried , prosecuted and fined , we would have more criminals than non-criminals on the planet.
  18. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,687   +3,847

    The RIAA must have had Monika Lewinsky, under this Judge's robe.
  19. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,073   +164

    :haha: my cartoon bubble just had a certain scene from a 'Police Academy' movie
  20. Twister123

    Twister123 TS Rookie Posts: 219

    he actually got off not to badly , I know that sounds nuts but he was fined 22,500 per infringement , the maximum is 150,000 , did u read the bit about the guy who managed to get a retrial ,holy s##t ....,
  21. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,687   +3,847

    The Fed can't fine you money you don't have. In this case, the best attorney might have been a Federal Defender. Federal maximum fines are set ridiculously high in the first place. It would be interesting to know the back story of this case. Because prima facia, it seems like our defendant really pissed somebody off big time.

    The defendant was fined for "30" songs, but that just might have been all they chose to prosecute. Face it, all Al Capone went down for was income tax evasion.

    There's sort of a moral here, the internet is a very public place. It's being monitored in real time for child pornography, people in my general area were just busted for it.The Assistant US Attorney said, we can monitor your downloads in real time, we have new technologly. Was the a psych job, just bluster? Maybe, maybe not. But, I think the Fed is casting a wider net than anyone suspects.

    The same web crawlers can be used by the forces of good or evil.

    One man bragged the he could rip "10,000 songs off the net in one night". For my part, I think sharing is something that is best done on a personal level, with friends, and in tasteful amounts.
  22. red1776

    red1776 Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe Posts: 5,073   +164

    I did not see that one....but i have to believe that this wont stand in an appeal....or maybe its just hope. This is some seriously orwellian stuff.
  23. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,687   +3,847

    Isn't this the way tyranny is always supported? You, take somebody out into the town square, and hang them for next to no reason. The rest of the sheep bleat a bit of objection , then skulk home in abject fear.

    What I can't seem to fathom, is why nobody for a minute thinks that the FBI has accounts on "Lime Wire". My guess is multiple accounts. Meh, I'm probably just paranoid.
  24. Twister123

    Twister123 TS Rookie Posts: 219

    I'd say his lawyer was one of the best daddy's money could buy, he's a harvard law professor, so I'm sure the fine will be met, I doubt he pissed anyone off , its like the drug laws , drugs will never be stamped out and neither will piracy , so all that can be done is inflict excessive punishment , in the hope people will stop doing it , they don't try address the reasons behind it
  25. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,687   +3,847

    No, this quote from the article says exactly what I suspected, "Tenenbaum admitted to downloading and distributing music over peer-to-peer networks and was prosecuted and convicted on the basis of 30 shared songs." They only prosecuted for thirty songs, then enhanced the fine upward. And a Harvard law professor should have known that "fair use" wouldn't fly! So, yeah, they were pissed off at him. Fair use, would work on a CD you copied to back up, but not bloody likely on and open drive containing copyrighted material.
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