Joel Tenenbaum Ordered To Pay $675K To Four Record Labels

Posted Aug 2, 2009

Professor Charles Nesson and a team of students tried hard to help defend Boston University graduate student Joel Tenenbaum from the RIAA.  The Recording Industry Association of America represents a majority of the music labels in North America.  Recently the court decided to favor four record labels that filed a lawsuit against Tenenbaum through the RIAA.  Tenenbaum is now being forced to pay $675,000 for sharing music.

Tenenbaum admitted to downloading and sharing 30 songs.  Federal law stated that each of those 30 songs could be charged anywhere from $750 to $30,000.  If the infringement was willful, the RIAA could charge $150,000 per track.  That means that Tenenbaum could have been charged up to $4.5 million.  Instead, the record labels decided to go with $22,500 per incident of infrigement.

Tenenbaum said he will have to declare bankruptcy if the verdict for this amount stands.  Professor Charles Nesson, Tenenbaum’s lawyer said that the verdict in this case was not fair and that he plans to appeal the decision.  Nesson also reportedly was rumored to be filing a class action lawsuit of his own against the RIAA.

In June, Jammie Thomas was found liable $1.92 million for the same crime, sharing music.  Jammie shared 24 songs and the verdict was that each song was worth $80,000 worth of damage.

[via MediaPost]