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Federal court to review $67,500 music piracy fine

Jaikumar Vijayan, Computerworld | April 4, 2011
For the first time, a federal appellate court has been asked to consider the appropriateness of the damages sought by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) against individual copyright infringers.

Tenenbaum's appeal also challenges the judge's instructions to the jury in the last trial. Harrow said the judge did not adequately inform the jury about its obligation to only consider the facts of Tenenbaum's infringement and not about music piracy in general, he said.

The third contention in Tenenbaum's appeal is that $67,500 is simply disproportionate to any damages that his pirating may have caused to the music companies, Harrow said.

Cara Duckworth, am RIAA spokeswoman, expressed confidence in the RIAA's position. "After hearing all the facts of a case, juries are given the authority to send a strong message if they so choose when they find the illegal activity to be particularly egregious and harmful," she said.

"That's what they did here," she said, adding that the jury's decision mirrors Congress' intent to prevent egregious copyright infringement.


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