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1st Circuit Reinstates Massive Downloading Award

Publication Date: 
September 19, 2011
Source: 
The National Law Journal
Author: 
Sheri Qualters

Julie Ahrens, Associate Director of the Fair Use Project, is quoted by Sheri Qualters in this National Law Journal article on the case of Sony BMG Music Entertainment v. Tenenbaum and how the 1st Circuit's decision "seems to ignore the real costs that that process will impose on everyone."

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 1st Circuit reinstated a $675,000 damages award against Boston University graduate student Joel Tenenbaum for illegal music downloading, but remanded the case for review of whether the verdict was excessive.

The Sept. 16 ruling in Sony BMG Music Entertainment v. Tenenbaum reinstated the original District of Massachusetts July 2009 copyright infringement verdict, which boiled down to $22,500 for each of 30 songs.

The 1st Circuit found that U.S. District Judge Nancy Gertner erred in July 2010 by cutting the verdict by 90% to $67,500 on the ground that it was excessive enough to violate Tenenbaum's due-process rights.

...

Julie Ahrens, a representative of amicus the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and Jason Harrow, a Harvard Law student at the time of the April oral argument, also argued for Tenenbaum.

Ahrens said the 1st Circuit's decision on the remand issue "seems to ignore the real costs that that process will impose on everyone."