Oy, Tenenbaum

Originally posted 2011-10-04 18:43:04. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

A while ago I wrote a little piece linking to Doug Lichtman’s exploration of the Tenenbaum copyright case, which Harvard law professor Charles Nesson said would be a “a public referendum not only on the music industry’s efforts to enforce copyright through these direct-infringer suits, but also on the copyright rules that make the industry litigation possible.”

Well, I hope he wasn’t counting the judge, or the jury, as part of the “public.” Now it’s over, or at least the not-such-a-referendum part.  It didn’t go such a good way, though, for Tenenbaum.  This came down on Friday:

Judge Nancy Gertner has ruled against alleged unauthorized file sharer Joel Tenenbaum today, ruling that he is liable for copyright infringement.
Just yesterday, Tenenbaum confessed to illegally sharing 30 tracks through Limewire and other P2P clients . . .
“Notwithstanding the protestations of Tenenbaum’s counsel, Tenenbaum’s statement plainly admits liability on both downloading and distributing, does so in the very language of the statute (no ‘making available’ ambiguity) and does so with respect to each and every sound recording at issue here,” wrote Judge Gertner . . .

Well, that would be a tough formula to beat.  Which makes the following even less surprising:

After just three hours of deliberations, a jury has ruled that convicted pirate Joel Tenenbaum has willfully infringed on copyrights, and has awarded the RIAA and the media companies $675,000 USD, $22,500 for each of the 30 songs he admitted to sharing.
In some ways, Tenenbaum should be grateful, as the jury could have awarded up to $150,000 in penalties per track. In the recent ruling against Jammie Thomas-Rasset, the jury awarded the RIAA $1.92 million USD, on only 24 tracks.
Tenenbaum’s Harvard Law professor Charles Nesson added of the decision: “It’s a bankrupting award.”

I know the feeling, only when I hit the wall I didn’t think I was driving head-first into a statutory brick wall as Tenenbaum was here.  My client actually had the law on its side, plus humble old LIKELIHOOD OF CONFUSION®. Whereas Tenenbaum seemed to have, well, Professor Nesson, fighting fiercely.

I’m still trying to figure out exactly what the secret stragety was, or is, here.

On the other hand, the RIAA was ecstatic with the jury’s decision.

Yeah, they’ll do that every time!

Okay, does the referendum begin now?  And if so, does that stay execution of the judgment?  I sure hope so.  But I wouldn’t rely on your voting on it.

Ron Coleman

I write this blog.

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