Skip to main content

$675,000 file sharing verdict reinstated by appeals court

Illegal Downloading
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Earlier this year, U.S. District Judge Nancy Gertner of Boston was handling the case of Joel Tenenbaum versus the Recording Industry Association of America. Tenenbaum had been found guilty of using file-sharing software Kazaa to download and share 30 tracks. The original amount of damages to be awarded to the RIAA was $22,500 per song, but was reduced by Judge Gertner down to $2,250 per song making the full payment $67,500. She originally stated the the exorbitant amount was “unconstitutionally excessive”. However, the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the decision making Tenenbaum liable for the original amount of $675,000.

illegal-downloading-discThe main issue the appeals court had with Judge Gertner’s ruling is that it jumped over other procedures and went directly to the constitutional argument. Judges are ideally supposed to exhaust all other options for jumping to the Constitution for support. The appeals court states that Judge Gertner could have used a process called “remittitur” to reduced the amount of the award without relying on the Constitution. In addition, the appeals court didn’t find any validity that the Copyright Act is unconstitutional, an argument that Tenenbaum attempted to make.  Tenenbaum is of the position that people who consume illegal material shouldn’t be penalized as severely as people who distribute copyrighted material.

The appeals court also felt pressure from the Obama administration as it argued in support of the original $675,000 penalty, mostly due to the use of the Constitution within the decision to reduced damages. The RIAA’s position claims that judges have no right to reduce the penalties in these cases and continue to appeal decisions that chop down monetary awards. However, the RIAA has abandoned its continual pursuit of litigation against suspected file-sharers and is working directly with Internet service providers to track down people sharing music as well as threaten an end to Internet service. 

Topics
Mike Flacy
By day, I'm the content and social media manager for High-Def Digest, Steve's Digicams and The CheckOut on Ben's Bargains…
The best laptops for music production, chosen by experts
best laptops for music production

The world has gone pretty far when it comes to the processing power that we carry around with us, and if you're big into music production, then you're the luckiest of all. Some of the best laptops on the market have high-end CPUs for relatively low prices, which means that if you want to do music production on a laptop, you have a huge number of choices. Of course, that does also mean that it can be hard to navigate and pick the best laptop for your budget and needs, which is why we've done the legwork for you. We've collected our favorite picks below in various categories so that you can pick them with ease. Plus, we've even thrown in a quick guide on what to look for so that if you don't find what you want here, you can check out these other laptop deals for alternatives.
The Best Laptops for Music Production

Best overall laptop for music production:
Best Windows device for music production:
Best portable laptop for music production:
Best large-screen laptop for music production:
Best for 2-in-1 laptop for music production:

Read more
The most common Spotify problems and how to fix them
How to fix common Spotify problems

At any given time, Spotify is probably the most popular music streaming service with countless listeners tuning in to songs, stand-up, podcasts, and even audiobooks. However, between an AI-driven DJ and clients for iOS, Android, and PC, a lot of things can go wrong with the entertainment system. And that's not even including problems with your iPhone or headphones.

To make sure you get to spend as much time as possible listening and as little time as possible sorting through errors, we're providing expert tips and tricks for the most common Spotify problems. Everything from the app simply not working to aspects of Spotify glitching out. Is your Spotify not working? Try these fixes and see if your problem gets better.

Read more
How to add family members to your Apple Music subscription
Apple Music Browse screen.

Apple Music is one of the go-to streaming services for all things melodic and melody-adjacent. Hosting over 88,000 million subscribers globally and featuring upwards of 100 million tracks from the leading artists of today, Spotify's nemesis has plenty to love.

If you're a new subscriber, Apple Music gives you a break-in period of one free months of service. After the trial period, memberships are billed on a monthly or yearly cycle with the most popular Individual plan coming it at $11 per month / $109 per year. While that's on par with the average cost for other music streamers, saving a buck here or there is never a bad thing. While college students can get Apple Music for $6/month, another way to save on your subscription is with an Apple Music family plan for $17 per month.

Read more