Saturday, March 14, 2015

Verdict in downloading song robbing poor to pay rich

Joel Tenenbaum is now appealing a case about steeling of songs on the Internet. He is one of many that have been sued by the recording industry for enormous amounts of money for downloading a relatively small volume of songs. Somehow they managed to get a jury to rule that a kid with little or no money has to pay $675,000 for the downloading of thirty songs for his own use; this didn’t involve distributing to others. The award was cut but it is still more than any kid can afford to pay. The following is a few quotes from an article followed by links and a few more comments of mine. 

Last year, US District Court Judge Nancy Gertner slashed the award by 90 percent to $67,500, or $2,250 a song, saying the jury’s decision was “unconstitutionally excessive.’’
The $67,500 would still serve to deter similar actions, she said.

But lawyers for Tenenbaum — Harrow and Harvard professor Charles Nesson — argued yesterday that the federal copyright laws and the Digital Theft Deterrence Act were never meant to target consumers and that, even if they were, such extreme punishment would be unconstitutional. Nesson described Tenenbaum’s knowingly downloading songs to the act of “a willful jaywalker.’’

Lawyers representing the Recording Industry Association of America argued yesterday that Congress was aware that consumers could be targeted under the deterrence act and that the penalties were set high because of the seriousness of the misconduct.One of them said the economic impact of illegally downloading is far greater than the sharing of one song…..
Most of the 30,000 lawsuits the recording industry has brought since 2003 have been settled out of court, on average for $3,000 to $5,000. In 2008, the recording industry decided it would no longer file lawsuits against individual people, but would target file sharing programs. The industry would proceed in existing cases, however…..

His lawyers now propose a judgment of $21, or 70 cents a song if he had bought them on iTunes.

 For Complete article:

for past articles on the subject see the following: 

They claim that this is intended as a deterrent yet they also disclose that they will no longer pursue cases against individuals. This is a blatant case of the rich and powerful trying to use their power to control the majority. I have previously expressed more concern about the use of copyright laws to suppress educational opportunities for the poor or to make a large volume of educational material about current activities that are often corrupt available only to those that pay for it but they are going to far for the use of this against those that just want a inexpensive way to listen to music or read novels. This system is doing more to protect the corporations and copyright lawyers than it is to protect the artists or fund worthy research that will benefit the public. 

For past blogs focusing mainly on the educational aspect of copyrights as well as how patent laws are being used to deprive poor people of the medication they need to survive see the following:

(For more information on Blog see Blog description and table of context for most older posts.)

The following are the original replies when this was first posted on Open Salon.

Of course it's a case of the rich and powerful using their clout against the common person. Why? Because they can. And it's why they'll continue to do it. The common person has zero to no influence, yet those with money and power have lots. Who do you think is going to get all the breaks in the game?

Duane Gundrum April 11, 2011 10:47 AM


zacherydtaylor April 11, 2011 10:57 AM

After the horrible way recording companies have treated musicians over the last three decades, I say they deserve to be put out of business.

Dr Stuart Jeanne Bramhall April 12, 2011 01:08 AM

If they were put out of business then the industry would wind back in the hands of local people that may be more inclined to use their ingenuity; they may wind up losing some of the advantages of big studios for a little while but then they will have an opportunity to build new institutions if they think it is worthwhile and they can control them with input from the majority of the public.

zacherydtaylor April 14, 2011 12:14 PM

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