Court won't reduce student's music download fine

May 21, 2012

(AP) -- The Supreme Court has refused to take up a Boston University student's constitutional challenge to a $675,000 penalty for illegally downloading 30 songs and sharing them on the Internet.

The high court on Monday refused to hear an appeal from Joel Tenenbaum, of Providence, R.I., who was successfully sued by the for illegally on peer-to-peer networks. In 2009, a jury ordered Tenenbaum to pay $675,000, or $22,500 for each song he illegally downloaded and shared.

A federal judge called that unconstitutionally excessive, but the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston reinstated the penalty at the request of Sony BMG Music Entertainment, Warner Brothers Records Inc. and other record labels represented by the RIAA.

The judge will have a new opportunity to look at the case and could again order the penalty reduced, using different legal reasoning.

Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice did not participate in the high court's consideration of the case.

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Norezar
5 / 5 (1) May 21, 2012
Wonder how much the RIAA/Sony sharks paid for that "reinstatement?"

Think it was less than the settlement?
muggins
5 / 5 (1) May 21, 2012
I'm not condoning illegal downloads but this fine amount is ridiculous. If he worked on an average wage say $40,000 per year, it would take him nearly 17 years to pay that off and that's not taking away living costs or tax. All for downloading 30 songs. He would have been better off stealing them from a shop. So many teenagers have illegal music, should they all be subject to fines this severe?