Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review has been on the web since 1995. See main page for full contents

July 31, 2009


Boston Globe - A federal jury ordered a Boston University graduate student to pay four record labels $675,000 in damages for illegally downloading 30 songs and sharing them online, in only the second such lawsuit to go to trial. After deliberating about three hours, the jury in US District Court in Boston concluded that Joel Tenenbaum, a 25-year-old doctoral student in physics, "willfully'' infringed on the copyrights of 30 songs, including Nirvana's "Comes As You Are'' and Nine Inch Nails' "The Perfect Drug.'' The jury award the record labels $22,500 for each infringement.

If the verdict stands, Tenenbaum said he will have to file for bankruptcy protection. His lead counsel, Harvard Law Professor Charles Nesson, said his client will appeal the judgment.


Anonymous Mairead said...

That's something I find difficult to understand: the willingness of juries to convict and punish people severely for minor crimes. I just don't get it; I can't make it fit into any theoretical framework.

Voting against our economic interests, that I can understand: the propaganda industry churns 24/7/365 to tell us that the interests of the elites are our interests. I abominate it, but I understand it.

But juries of ordinary people punishing other ordinary people outrageously for trivial crimes? It just makes no sense.

August 3, 2009 12:31 PM  
Anonymous SanFran90 said...

@Mairead: If I may make this allegory: It's like a kid being punched, kicked, slapped and whipped with a belt, and being told how worthless he supposedly is, all for something stupid like coming home from school 5 minutes late.

It's totally ****ing outrageous what they levied on this guy. I feel sorry for him, really.

August 3, 2009 8:44 PM  

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