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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Joel Tenenbaum Asks for Rehearing of His Case

Boston student became the most famous representative of the entire generation of illegal file-sharers as a person who has stood up against the Recording Industry Association of America instead of accepting a settlement. This case has been lasting for over 5 years already. Back in 2009, the court found the individual guilty of wilful violation, ordering Tenenbaum to pay damages of around $675,000.

After that, in July 2010, another judge decided that the initial fine was both excessive and unconstitutional. Subsequently, the jury-awarded damages were dropped 10 times. Unfortunately, this ruling has been reversed this past summer during a new hearing at the Court of Appeals. Now the case continues, with Harvard law professor writing a petition to the court. He points out that the defendant is seeking another hearing because it was unconstitutional for the judge to instruct a jury to return an unconstitutionally excessive award. Indeed, the judge instructed the jury that the fine may be up to $4,500,000, while the defendant was a non-profit copyright violator. This was at least punitive, excessive, and not authorized by statute.

The Tenenbaum’s legal team claims that the trial judge has misinstructed the jury, saying that it could ascribe a fine 67 times what was later found legally permissible. Now the defendant is asking for a rehearing before the full court. Tenenbaum hopes to get the penalties decreased or cancelled at all, because the campaign of the music industry wasn’t warranted in the first place.

The petition sent to the court explains that the massive litigation campaign launched by the entertainment industry against Internet users engaged into copying music for personal use, considering that they have never sold it, was totally unprecedented. Meanwhile, Joel Tenenbaum described himself as a person having a passion for music, which means that he paid for music even more than the average consumer. For Joel, unauthorized file-sharing was the only way to discover new music when there weren’t any legal alternatives.

Thanks to TorrentFreak for the source of the article 

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