Student ordered to pay $675k for file-sharing

Though illegal file-sharing seems to have eased (see this), a story out of Boston this past week certainly underscores that the legal risks haven’t. Admitting in court that he had downloaded and distributed 30 songs, Boston University graduate student Joel Tenenbaum was ordered to pay $22,500 for each song to four recording companies, the Washington Post reports. “Under federal law, the recording companies were entitled to $750 to $30,000 per infringement. But the law allows as much as $150,000 per track if the jury finds the infringements were willful.” Tenenbaum’s lawyer said he would appeal the decision because he wasn’t allowed to argue the case based on fair use. Tenenbaum said he’d file for bankruptcy if the decision stands, but nearly 100 people have already offered to help pay his legal fees if his appeal fails.


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