After filing appeal to a 2009 court order forcing Joel Tenenbaum to pay $22.500 for each of the 30 songs he shared, the outcome is not surprising at all: he still needs to pay up.
The First Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on Tuesday that Tenenbaum’s penalty must be carried out. Tenenbaum appealed the 2009 court order, arguing that the penalty is unconstitutional; as such, he asked for a either a retrial or for the award to be reduced via common law remittitur.
Despite his arguments, the court of appeals said that…
“Tenenbaum carried on his activities for years in spite of numerous warnings, he made thousands of songs available illegally, and he denied responsibility during discovery”.
“Much of this behavior was exactly what Congress was trying to deter when it amended the Copyright Act. Therefore, we do not hesitate to conclude that an award of $22,500 per song, an amount representing 15% of the maximum award for willful violations and less than the maximum award for non-willful violations, comports with due process,” the court continued.
Tenenbaum then explained to the court that he’s emptied the labels’ pockets with only $450, the overall price of the 30 albums.
“But this argument asks us to disregard the deterrent effect of statutory damages, the inherent difficulty in proving damages in a copyright suit, and Sony’s evidence of the harm that it suffered from conduct such as Tenenbaum’s,” the court said.
It seems that one of the longest copyright lawsuits is drawing to an end. Just like it did for the “file-sharing mom”case.
Read the court’s ruling in full here.