Boston – A federal judge has ruled that a damages award of
$675,000, which a jury last year ordered file-swapper Joel Tenebaum to pay to
the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), was "unconstitutionally
excessive," the Boston Globe reported. U.S. District Judge Nancy Gertner
ordered Tenenbaum instead to pay $67,500, while noting, "there is no
question that this reduced award is still severe, even harsh," in her

"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."

The RIAA told
The Globe it plans to "contest this ruling," arguing that, "the
court has substituted its judgment for that of 10 jurors as well as

A federal judge earlier this year also slashed a $1.92 million
jury award against a file-sharing defendant to $54,000; that defendant, Jammie
Thomas-Rassett, is likely to continue to contest that amount at a third trial.


Related Links:

(Boston Globe)
(Copyrights and Campaigns)
(DMW previous coverage)


  1. as always, the RIAA showing the logic and restraint that has served them so well over the years… making them the most well-run and popular industry group anywhere. obviously, the RIAA really knows what it is doing.

  2. Doing end runs around the constitution. Well they’d better get wise to the fact, that their going to be called on it.