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back to article Court confirms $675,000 fine for sharing 30 songs

Joel Tenenbaum has lost his request for a mistrial in his long-running case against the music industry over sharing music and now faces financial ruin. The Massachusetts court declined his request for a mistrial and confirmed he will have to pay $675,000 in fines after being found guilty of sharing 30 songs on the Kazaa network …

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What Tenenbaum needs to do.

Tenenbaum needs to sue Nesson for malpractice.

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Anonymous Coward

Is anyone else thinking that instead of the end of the world, the Mayans predicted the second American Revolution where idiotic legal cases drive the common man to rise up and cast off the almost bankrupt US Gov?

Dec 21, 2012. Closer than you think.

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Unhappy

There is a good chance that after November 6, 2012, the US will fade into economic and political obscurity and the rest of the world will finally start to ignore the stupid tripe the US courts and lawmakers are puking out.

Actually, that's going to happen regardless of who wins because we have stopped preferring to hear the truth instead of pleasant platitudes. Politicians who try to tell us the truth simply don't get elected, it is far too bleak...

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Unhappy

Worst than a jail sentence

No problem only 675k, I guess his life must definitely be ruined somehow. I bet he never wanted to get credit, own a home etc. anyway. I'll just go check my tor connect again...

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Stop

@Katie re: just go check my tor connect again.

If you must download things you shouldn't, please think about using a VPN or proxy service, rather than the TOR network. TOR really isn't designed for torrenting.

Thanks.

A TOR bridge relay owner.

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Re: Worst than a jail sentence

Yet the real pirates (Somalian pirates) get millions of dollars out of people and get away with it mostly.

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Black Helicopters

Re: @Katie re: just go check my tor connect again.

I guess I could use my work VPN, but I have a slight naggling that I'll be the one to blame for the SWAT team, considering I'm in charge of that type -o-stuff. Meh, I just blame it on my sister.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Worst than a jail sentence

This guy is one very unlucky dude. How many thousands(millions world wide) are sharing music. How many over Kazaa?

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Re: Worst than a jail sentence

I guess he could always make 30 songs and sell them for the 22,500 each. That's the going rate for any song in the world isn't it?

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Pirate

Re: Worst than a jail sentence

He'll just have to turn to burglary and robbery to get what he needs. I here the punishments for getting caught are a lot less than copyright infringement so...

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Anonymous Coward

WTF? 22k a song????

HOW does the record industry actually get away with such a crazy amount of money for just 30 songs??

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Mushroom

Simple...

It's easy when you can simply buy an entire branch of government...or, in this case, the entire government.

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Tough on File Sharing, Soft on Homicide

Can you imagine if this kind of logic applied to homicide?

Kill someone and the state will execute you, your parents, your friends, spouse and children.

For $22,500 for a $4 song, doesn't that seem to fit?

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Anonymous Coward

The statutory damages date from when the only way to copy a large quantity of music involved large amounts of machinery. So you'd only be copying large amounts of music illicitly if you were intending charging for it, to pay for said machinery.

In which case, the level of the fines seems right - it's aimed at deterring the professional copyright infringer.

Now, fast forward a few years, and all of a sudden, you can distribute thousands of copies of a song just by leaving Napster running overnight.

The technology moved on. The statutes, haven't.

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Anonymous Coward

How they "get away with it".

Pretty simple. The jury was given the power to decide how much to award the plaintiffs and that was their decision. It could have been much much more.

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@NukEvil

They bought the jury too?

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Anonymous Coward

Were all doomed...

... if anyone finds a way to transmit memories. I mean, all those billions and trillions of dollars worth of "movies and music" that will be pirated! The horror!

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Thumb Down

That's probably more than the studio time cost.

The cost is purely punitive. A deterrent.

Seems the RIAA is due some punitive measures. I can only hope they get regulated and we get the tort reform we so desperately need.

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because

the MPAA/RIAA own the USA justice system and USA judges is the easiest thing to buy these day.

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Pirate

This is mostly nonsense. The big fines are a new thing, from the "Copyright Damages Improvement Act" (who is it improving it for? GUESS). This bill was bought by the music industry specifically to go after individuals, it's got nothing to do with large bootleggers. Every once in a while the music industry manages to fleece the government to treat one of those guys like a terrorist though. Seriously - sometimes homeland security goes and busts down the doors of some dickhead making bootleg CDs.

More detail on this stupid law here: http://www.techlawjournal.com/cong106/copyright/Default.htm

For an outstandingly entertaining treatment of the same material, where you wish the legal stuff was the science fiction, pick up Rob Reid's book "Year Zero".

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Anonymous Coward

As far as I can see, the Copyright Damages Improvement Act was introduced in May 1999; that means that it actually pre-dates Napster (June 1999.) What file sharing services were large enough to be on the music industry's radar then?

And while that Act did increase the fines, they were already quite hefty - fines went from $500 to $20,000 per infringement to $750 to $30,000, and the maximum fine from $100,000 to $300,000.

So there were already large fines before that Act, though admittedly they were increased drastically. Can you provide any citations that this was aimed at individuals?

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Anonymous Coward

Punishing the RIAA

Just stop buying recorded music. If you want to support musicians buy tickets and official T shirts and go to their live gigs. (This will also encourage musicians to continue working and having to control their various life-shortening addictions).

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Punishing the RIAA

"Just stop buying recorded music"

This is what I have done for the last several years. I used to regularly buy CD and DVDs but decided to download and share only because of the behaviour of the media companies, not least having legislation fixed in their favour.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Tough on File Sharing, Soft on Homicide

>Can you imagine if this kind of logic applied to homicide?

When Staff Sgt Bales when rogue in Afganistan and murdered 17 villagers - blood money was paid at $50,000 a head...

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Windows

HOW does the record industry actually get away with such a crazy amount of money for just 30 songs??

That's the point! The artists won't get a penny! Even in the unlikely event the money somehow gets paid.

Recording Ass. of America and the other Soprano's (Lawyers, etc,) are laughing all the way to the bank!

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Wow; I thought new CD's were too expensive. But he should have had a worse defense; a couple of billion dollars would have been better for him -- no way to pay. Might not live long enough for them to collect what they were awarded anyway.

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Re: Simple...

Let's be fair. The u.s government can't be bought. For a start i haven't seen negative denominations of any currency.

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Re: Tough on File Sharing, Soft on Homicide

No. It doesn't fit. I think if oreo raided my chocolate biscuit cupboard and demanded 22,500 each (top and bottom layer plus cream layer) for those biscuits that i made and gave away to my friends then we are closer to an analogy.

In said case i would do a big turd and force feed it to their lawyers, stuffed inside an oreo (as the cream layer).

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WTF?

Copyright Damages Improvement Act

Hang on, I'm confused, according to Pet Peeve's link about the Copyright Damages Improvement Act

HR 1761 RH also addresses the dereliction of the U.S. Sentencing Commission by setting a deadline for acting. However, it also addresses the content of the guidelines. They must be based upon the "retail price" and "quantity" of the infringed items. This is designed to prevent someone who pirates products that sell for $10,000, and then resells them for $50, from being sentenced as a petty thief.

Why dose't this also apply to the copyright mafiaa???? one rule for the mafiaa and one rule for the downloader, this seems to break every concept of natural justice, surely there is basis for an appeal there, I thought that every one was equal before the law????

If I were to share a track that I bought for 99 cents the mafiaa can say, "no it's worth $22,500", presumably the copyright mafiaa will also apply this to the 77% of music on itunes (2008 figures, 10M tracks out of 13M) that have never been sold thereby confirming that the economic value of such muzak is in fact zero. <rant> Presumably a significant number of then are simon cowell's failed ex-x-factor karaoke signers. </rant>

The biggest treat to the music industry is not piracy, it's the music industry itself.

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Anonymous Coward

@Mectron

"the MPAA/RIAA own the USA justice system and USA judges is the easiest thing to buy these day."

Well in that case, asshole, you and your friends should have gotten together and bought a judge for Tenenbaum.

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@Andus McCoatover

"Even in the unlikely event the money somehow gets paid. Recording Ass. of America and the other Soprano's (Lawyers, etc,) are laughing all the way to the bank!"

Do you see a little bit of a contradiction there, between the "unlikely event the money gets paid" and "laughing all the way to the bank"?

Well, even if you don't it\'s there all the same.

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Vic
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Re: Tough on File Sharing, Soft on Homicide

> blood money was paid at $50,000 a head..

Two tracks each?

Vic.

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Another solution

I haven't bought any music new since the mid 90s when Sony decided it was illegal for me to copy a CD I owned to a minidisc player I owned, for my own use.

I never buy downloads and I only buy CDs in charity stores, garage sales or swap with friends - so not a penny goes to the record industry. Of course it also means not a penny ever goes to the artist either - but that's also the RIAA's policy !

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Mushroom

Re: Another solution

A better solution if you want artists to earn something and the recording industry to get nothing is to go to live gigs. Much more fun than sitting on your own listening to recordings. Making your own music with friends is better still if you can.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Another solution

Should have got a Casio minidisc player then. I'm sure I.... oh wait, I didn't... I used a cd player and a phono cable to copy to my portable (which recorded, only right thing the minidisc did pre mp3) player. Then used it on my Hi-Fi too. Lol.

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FAIL

Re: Another solution

Where did you get the crazy idea that the music industry earns nothing from live performances? It's the single most profitable thing they do, and the artists still get screwed just like always.

Now, if you're talking about some random band going to a bar to play, that's fine, but a promoted concert? Total money factory for the recording industry. It's their only major area of revenue growth right now, which is why concerts are so stupidly expensive.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Another solution

The recording industry adds little if any value to live performances. Musicians simply don't have to sign stupid contracts which oblige them to promote sales of recorded music that way, and have little reason to share proceeds of live performances with the recording industry. They will have enough genuine contributors to share the proceeds with including live concert promoters, official ticket vendors, PA hire, road crews, venue operators etc.

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Happy

Re: Another solution

Nowadays, you can buy a LOT of good music direct from the artist. Worked for us in Tinyfish.

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Mushroom

Re: Another solution

I stopped buying music ages ago.

But I did it because it all sounds like the same noisy, unintelligible crap these days. It's not even good enough to listen to, even if I chose to download it for "free".

Now...where is Radio 4's frequency again...

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Linux

Get medieval on his arse...

He's just lucky that there wasn't anything in the statute about boiling in oil.

Clearly this judge is asleep at the switch and is just rubber stamping any crazy penalty that they come up with.

"It could be worse" is not a suitable response to the question of "is it just" or "is it even legal"?

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Re: Get medieval on his arse...

If only that Zuckerberg fella had been found with a hard disk of illicit songs, the music industry would be fully rejuvenated.

Perhaps he mentions listening to mp3's in his memoirs, could still be a chance...

How much are the lawyer fees in the case?

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Angel

Re: Get medieval on his arse...

Unfortunately, the Judge pretty much *had" to rubber stamp whatever the Jury elected.

This is the risk you take with a "free and impartial" judicial system.

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Boffin

Pointless

The only winners in case are again.....the lawyers.

The amount is just stupid. There is no way this man can earn enough to pay this and still hope to have enough to live on.

The only viable solution for him is to declare bankruptcy and start from square one.

Sometimes the "Justice" system is backasswards. If this man commits a crime and goes to jail....He will get free housing, meals, medical, and access to a college education. In today economy...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Pointless

Can you go bankrupt to avoid such a fine?

It might be worth him fleeing the country and never returning.

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Re: Pointless

Court settlements happen to be one of the things backruptcy CAN'T relieve since they are a legally-backed restitution. If the debt cannot be discharged outright, the law has the authority to garnish wages and so on to fulfil the obligations.

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Re: Pointless

As other have stated...he has to pay this.

However, he can submit accounts against this, which will fall in his favour, and would favour him more if he was bankrupt, unemployed and with children.

Negotiated repayment at $2-3 per week for rest of his life? Entirely - and absurdly - possible.

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Joel "Blame The Foster Child" Tenenbaum

"The only winners in case are again.....the lawyers."

That's debatable. What is not debatable is that there is a very obvious *loser* in this case, and that is Joel Tenenbaum. And that's altogether appropriate.

Here's a short synopsis of Tenenbaum's behavior, entitled "Joel Tenenbaum willfully infringed plaintiffs’ copyrights, lied, destroyed evidence and tried to shift the blame to a foster child living in his family’s home, his sisters, a family house guest, and burglars" (I'll paste the link at the end of this post.) Additionally, as pointed out in the article, even after receiving warnings from Sony, he continued downloading until the lawsuits were actually filed. From the Huffington Post: "During the trial, Tenenbaum admitted he downloaded and shared hundreds of songs". He'd been doing this for years.

But look at that again: "Joel Tenenbaum tried to shift the blame to a foster child living in his family’s home". Some kid who needs a foster home gets the blame for Tenenbaum's downloading. In fact, that should be made part of his name: Joel "Blame The Foster Child" Tenenbaum.

It is only fitting that Joel Tenenbaum be the loser - in this lawsuit and in life too..

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Here's the quote from the judge's decision: "When he was confronted at trial with his attempts to shift blame for his actions to others – including a foster child living in his family’s home, his sisters, a family house guest, and burglars – Tenenbaum finally admitted responsibility'" available here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/103737792/Sony-BMG-v-Tenenbaum-Order-August-23-2012

Here's the link: http://vrritti.com/2012/08/25/joel-tenenbaum-willfully-infringed-plaintiffs-copyrights-lied-destroyed-evidence-and-tried-to-shift-the-blame-to-a-foster-child-living-in-his-familys-home-his-sisters-a-family-ho/

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Coat

Re: Pointless

He could start busking to repay the fine

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Trollface

I suppose these songs are now considered fully paid down and public-domained?

After all they were "shared", right?

No?

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Windows

"Supreme Court"

Seems always to judge the opposite way to logic and rational thinking. Maybe Alzeimers, Dementia or a spell in a "Home for the Bewildered' is a requirement for the post....Or, being appointed by G.W.Bush, which has all the necessary qualities previously mentioned nicely parcelled together.

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