Filesharing Still Illegal, Penalty Reduced

The Boston Globe reports that in the case of Boston Universtity student convicted of illegally downloading copyright material, the penalty initially handed down was excessive.

In July of last year, Joel Tenenbaum was ordered to pay $675000 damages to four record labels for illegally downloading 30 songs and sharing them online. US District Court Judge Nancy Gertner has cut the award to $67,500, and in so doing, ruled that the original amount awarded as damages was “unconstitutionally excessive”. She described the harm caused to the record labels as “modest”, but stated that the reduced award was “still severe, even harsh”.

In a statement, the Recording Industry Association of America said that the judge’s decision dismissed the “profound economic and artistic harm’’ to the recording industry from illegal music sharing.

“Profound … harm” ??

Yes, the artists need to be protected against this illegal activity, but the RIAA needs to get real here: most downloaded content does not represent any loss to any artist.