The original court decision was in 2009 and has been back and forth through the appeals process ever since.
Tenebaum, a graduate student at the time, was accused of sharing 30 tracks via Kazaa in 2004. The student did not admit to sharing the tracks, but also tried a "fair use" defense that was thrown out. His actions in court also made it clear he knew exactly what he was doing and felt no remorse. After the defense fell apart, the original jury awarded the RIAA $22,500 for each of the 30 songs, due to willful infringement.
After the first case, the damages were reduced by one judge, but the RIAA appealed and won. Tenebaum tried to take the case to the Supreme Court in 2011, but was denied last year.
Reads the final ruling: "Joel Tenenbaum illegally downloaded and distributed music for several years. A group of recording companies sued Tenenbaum, and a jury awarded damages of $675,000, representing $22,500 for each of thirty songs whose copyright Tenenbaum violated. Tenenbaum appeals the award, claiming that it is so large that it violates his constitutional right to due process of law. We hold that the award did not violate Tenenbaum's right to due process, and we affirm."
"Much of this behavior was exactly what Congress was trying to deter when it amended the Copyright Act. Therefore, we do not hesitate to conclude that an award of $22,500 per song, an amount representing 15% of the maximum award for willful violations and less than the maximum award for non-willful violations, comports with due process."
Written by: Andre Yoskowitz @ 26 Jun 2013 13:16