Judges Reduces Tenenbaum File Sharing Fine 90%
In a major setback for the RIAA and the major record labels, a federal judge today cut the $675,000 damages award against Joel Tenenbaum for downloading and sharing 30 songs by 90% to just $67,500. Calling the fines "unconstitutionally excessive", the judge said that Congress never intended that the Digital Theft Deterrence Act of 1999 would be used to force average people to pay huge damages.
"There is no question that this reduced award is still severe, even harsh," she wrote in her decision. "It not only compensates the plaintiffs for the relatively minor harm that Tenenbaum caused them; it sends a strong message that those who exploit peer-to-peer networks to unlawfully download and distribute copyrighted works run the risk of incurring substantial damages awards."