US File-Sharer fined $675 000

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US file-sharer refuses Donations
Over the weekend supporters had begun to donate money to Boston University student Joel Tenenbaum who was found guilty of sharing 30 songs.

In a blog post Mr Tenenbaum said: "I ask no one to help me. And I ask for no one to cover what I signed up for." He said any money raised so far would be used to pay expenses to his legal team, many of whom worked for free.

"I shared music. I was the one who wanted a say in court. This lawsuit was against me. This is my verdict," wrote Mr Tenenbaum. Mr Tenenbaum was ordered to pay the money to four record labels.

Supporters had begin to donate money, he said, after news of his fine spread around the social networking site Twitter. Around $2000 had been raised before Mr Tenenbaum wrote his blog.

"We don't want the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) to be paid when I can't afford to do it, and this money could be more valuable elsewhere," the blog post said.

"From the money raised already, I would like to reimburse my legal team for the money they've spent out of their own pockets." In a different post, he said that he would "declare bankruptcy" if his appeal against the fine was not successful.

Giant Library
The case is only the second of its kind to go to trial in the US. In the first case, a woman in Minneapolis was ordered to pay $1.92m for sharing 24 songs.

On Friday, the jury ordered Mr Tenebaum to pay $22,500 for each infringement. The maximum that he could have been fined was $4.5m.

Mr Tenenbaum used a computer at his parents' home and at his college to download and distribute digital files. Prosecutors working on behalf of the record labels focused on 30 shared songs from artists such as Nirvana and Green Day.

Under US law, the recording companies are entitled to $750 to $30,000 per infringement. However, the jury can raise the amount to $150,000 per track if it finds the infringements were wilful. In the Minnesota case, the jury awarded $80,000 per song.

On the stand, Mr Tenenbaum admitted that he had downloaded more than 800 songs since 1999. "I used the computer. I uploaded, I downloaded music," he told the court under questioning from his own lawyer, Charles Nesson. He said he had used Napster and then Kazaa to download the files.

Got off Easy?
In opening remarks, Mr Tenenbaum's lawyer said he "was a kid who did what kids do and loved technology and loved music". Recording companies had been slow to adapt to the internet, he added.

But prosecutors argued that file-sharers take a significant toll on the revenues for artists and others involved in music. The recording industry has recently changed its tactics in file-sharing cases, preferring to settle quickly for much smaller amounts.

However, cases such as those against Mr Tenenbaum, which were already filed, are proceeding to trial. The four recording labels involved in the case are subsidiaries of Universal Music, Warner Music and Sony. Kevin Cullen of the Boston Globe said Mr Tenenbaum had "got off easy" compared to the Minnesota case.

Asterixposted on Monday 3rd of August 2009 at 17:43

Record companies have no history of protecting artists, their profits on the other hand get well looked after... I find it very hard to believe these major companies have their artists in mind.

It's been said that one can forget about making money from selling records these days, should companies not be looking at efficient and free distributing methods? Making money on gigs and other merchandise, possibly taking a little less of the top?

From a consumers point of view it's simple, why pay when you can get it for free? Well because you have morals and ethics and things like that... plus you might want the pretty pictures in the CD case.

Ciao for now, keep well.

Kind regards...

Guestposted on Monday 3rd of August 2009 at 13:45

Artists have to make money too, are the record companies protecting them ?

Guestposted on Monday 3rd of August 2009 at 11:13

Afroman says, Fuck the corporate world!

Asterixposted on Monday 3rd of August 2009 at 11:10

Fuck 'em, did you see the companies involved there? "The four recording labels involved in the case are subsidiaries of Universal Music, Warner Music and Sony".

Aren't these the same okes being bailed out of the recession with tax payers monies? Aren't these the same okes that charge you R500 for a yet another stupid PS2 game? Aren't these the same people that put copy protection on those games meaning you can't make even a personal backup for when those flimsy ****ing compact disks stop working.

And thus my one finger salute to these thieves. Sharing is caring people, catch you all on the (Lime/Frost)'wire.

Ciao for now, keep well.

Kind regards...

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Ciao for now, keep well.

Kind regards...

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