Digital Copyright Infringement Award Reduced

The Boston Globe reports that a federal District Judge in Boston today cut a copyright damages award by 90% today, from $675,000.00 to $67.500.00.

The news story summarized a portion of the judge’s opinion:

“There is no question that this reduced award is still severe, even harsh,” she wrote in a 62-page order. “It not only compensates the plaintiffs for the relatively minor harm that Tenenbaum caused them; it sends a strong message that those who exploit peer-to-peer networks to unlawfully download and distribute copyrighted works run the risk of incurring substantial damages awards.”

Nonetheless, she said, the reduction also sends a message that the constitutional protection against excessive punitive awards protects not only big corporations in civil suits but “ordinary people like Joel Tenenbaum.”

The is not happy. Details at the link.

I think the judge’s ruling looks reasonable. $67,500 more than I paid for my first house.

I don’t do illegal file sharing and darned little legal file sharing (neither Benny Goodman nor the Jefferson Airplane are coming out with any new albums), so I don’t have a dog in this hunt.

Nevertheless, II find the RCIA’s tactic of beating up on poor students to be rather off-putting.

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