Supreme Court Refuses To Hear Appeal Of Student Assessed $675,000 Fine For Illegal Downloading
May 22, 2012 at 3:55 AM (PT)
JOEL TENENBAUM, the BOSTON UNIVERSITY student who was assessed a $675,000 penalty for illegally downloading 31 songs and sharing them on the Internet, has been denied an appeal before THE SUPREME COURT. TENENBAUM was initially sued in 2007 by the RIAA after UMG, SONY, WMG and other record labels accused him of copyright infringement.
The initial fine was $675,000, but in 2009, a federal judge in BOSTON changed the penalty to $67,500, ruling that the original fine was "unconstitutionally excessive." However, the RIAA appealed that ruling, and a federal appeals court revisited the ruling last year and reinstated the $675,000 judgment against TENENBAUM.
"TENENBAUM's lawyers argued that federal copyright laws and the Digital Theft Deterrence Act were not meant to target consumers," reports FOX NEWS. "Lawyers representing the recording industry argued that the economic impact of illegal downloading is much greater than the sharing of one song. The case ultimately came down to one of constitutionality, according to the ruling by the U.S. First Circuit Court of Appeals. The court determined that the judge who downgraded TENENBAUM's penalty did not have the power to reduce damages in a copyright trial."