Asking a music pirate to pay $67,500 for sharing music online is a little too rich for the bootlegger, according to a new appeal filed by his attorney – even though that’s only 10% of the amount he was originally ordered to pay.
Joel Tenenbaum was found liable for copyright infringement for sharing 30 songs online in July 2009, and ordered to pay $675,000 to the record companies that owned the music. A year later, the amount was cut to $67,500, a figure that Tenenbaum’s attorney Charles Neeson still claims is unfair.
Calling the award the result of “a gross distortion of the traditional understanding of copyright law,” Neeson’s appeal goes on to add:
The damages are so disproportionate to the offense because the statute was never meant to apply to not-for-profit individual consumers like Tenenbaum. Statutory damages exist to solve provlems of proving significant harms difficult to quantify — not to authorize in terrorem punishment for ‘venial offensders’ like Tenenbaum.
Meanwhile, the record companies are also appealing the lesser amount, and seeking to reinstate the original $675,000 award. Maybe you should’ve kept your mouth shut, Joel.
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