RIAA Appeals Reduction of Tenenbaum P2P Judgment

RIAA Appeals Reduction of Tenenbaum P2P Judgment

Disagrees with Judge Nancy Gertner’s ruling that the $675,000 fine is “unconstitutionally excessive” and formally appeals the case to the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.

As expected the RIAA has formally appealed Judge Nancy Gertner’s recent decision to lower a jury’s award from $675,000 to $67,500 in statutory damages against accused file-sharer Joel Tenenbaum for illegally sharing 30 songs online.

“This copyright case raises the question of whether the Constitution’s Due Process Clause is violated by a jury’s award of $675,000 in statutory damages against an individual who reaped no pecuniary reward from his infringement and whose individual infringing acts caused the plaintiffs minimal harm,” she wrote in her ruling. “I hold that it is.”

The RIAA immediately decried the ruling and vowed to appeal.

“The court has substituted its judgment for that of 10 jurors as well as Congress,” it said. “For nearly a week, a federal jury carefully considered the issues involved in this case, including the profound harm suffered by the music community precisely because of the activity that the defendant admitted engaging in.”

A few days ago it made the decision a formal one by submitting a notice of appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.

It’s sadly more of the same from the RIAA and its ill-advised “sue-em-all” strategy which years ago it said was abandoning in favor of targeting ISPs instead. It claims that suing people like Tenenbaum is merely part of an effort to clear out a backlog of lawsuits that existed prior to its decision to abandon the effort altogether.

A few weeks ago it was revealed that in 2008 the RIAA spent nearly $17 million on litigation to recover a mere $391,000. The year prior to that, 2007, was no better with more than $21 million spent and $515,929 recovered. For 2006 the numbers were just as bad with more than $22.6 million spent and $455,000 recovered.

With the RIAA claiming that it’s suffering dramatic economic losses you’d think it would drop the case against Tenenbaum and realize that whether it’s $675,000 or $67,500 it’s still a lot of money for an unemployed student to come up with.

But, then again you’d have to assume there’s any rational people left in the RIAA “brain trust.”

Stay tuned.

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