The August 23, 2012 decision in Song BMG Music Entertainment v. Tenenbaum, the most recent in this extended litigation, leaves no doubt that individuals who download music and distribute it without proper authorization through peer-to-peer file sharing sites are subject to liability for copyright infringement and payment of substantial statutory damages for doing so. This case began in 2007, when a graduate student, Joel Tenenbaum, was sued by a number of record labels for downloading and distributing 30 songs using file-sharing services like Napster, Morpheus, Kazaa and LimeWire. After a five-day trial in 2009, the jury found Tenenbaum liable for infringing the copyrights in the 30 songs and awarded statutory damages of $22, 500 for each song. After an appeal and remand, the verdict and damages award was allowed to stand, and Mr. Tenenbaum currently owes $675,000 in statutory damages. So how did the jury come up with the $22, 500 as the amount of damages for … [Read more...] about Are You Willing to Pay $22,500 to Download A Song?
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As you may recall, we asked the question in a recent blog post “Are You Willing to Pay $22,500 to Download A Song? ” Well, we now ask “Are you willing to pay $9250 to download a song?”Jammie Thomas-Rasset, the woman who was the focus of the first major file-sharing case to go to trial, was found liable for willful copyright infringement and has been ordered after three jury trials and appeals to pay $9250 for each of the 24 songs she downloaded from the Kazaa service and shared. In reality, Ms. Thomas-Rasset had downloaded over 1000 songs but the plaintiffs selected only 24 on which to base the litigation. Ms. Thomas-Rasset was also enjoined from making any of the plaintiffs’ recordings available for distribution to the public through an online media distribution system.The messages being sent by US courts are clear: Unauthorized downloading of songs, music, films, and other audiovisual works and unauthorized copying from the Internet or other sources of … [Read more...] about An Intellectual Property Law Update: The Cost Of An Illegal Download
Following the lead of other courts addressing statutory penalties for illegal music downloading, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit upheld a $675,000 fine for downloading and distributing 30 songs. Sony BMG Music Entertainment v. Tenenbaum, Case No. 12-2146 (1st Cir., June 25, 2013) (Howard, J.).For over eight years, Tenenbaum ignored the warnings of his father, his college and the music industry and continued to download and distribute thousands of songs he knew were copyrighted. In 2007 five record companies sued Tenenbaum under the Copyright Act for statutory damages and injunctive relief. The record companies only pursued claims for 30 songs, though Tenenbaum admitted at trial he had distributed as many as 5,000 songs. The trial court held as a matter of law that Tenenbaum had violated the Copyright Act and the jury found his violations were willful. The jury awarded $22,500 for each of Tenenbaum’s thirty violations … [Read more...] about Next Time, Buy the CDs, Re: Illegal Music Download
Addressing the issue of the due process clause’s interaction with statutory damages under the Copyright Act, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit ordered a private music downloader to pay $9,250 per downloaded song for a total of $222,000 in statutory damages. Capitol Records, Inc., et al., v. Thomas-Rasset, Case Nos. 11-2820, -2858 (8th Cir., Sept. 11, 2012) (Colloton, J.).In 2005, six recording companies undertook an investigation of suspected infringement of their copyrighted music. The recording studios identified Jammie Thomas-Rasset as an unauthorized downloader utilizing KaZaA to share music. After settlement negotiations failed, the recording companies sued Thomas-Rasset seeking statutory damages and injunctive relief for willful copyright infringement. They alleged that Thomas-Rasset violated their exclusive right to reproduction and distribution under the Copyright Act by impermissibly downloading, distributing and making … [Read more...] about Eighth Circuit Approves Damages Against Individual Music Downloader
An enterprising law firm’s mass pursuit of illegal downloaders may be hitting a roadblock in the form of a Washington, D.C., federal judge.In two different lawsuits, U.S. District Judge Rosemary Collyer has issued an order to show cause why the plaintiffs should be allowed to group together thousands of “John Doe” defendants accused of illegal downloading, the Ars Technica blog Law & Disorder reports.The suits were filed by the U.S. Copyright Group, a company owned by the Virginia-based law firm Dunlap, Grubb & Weaver. The firm offers to represent independent filmmakers for free in suits against illegal downloaders. Then it subpoenas Internet service providers to identify Internet users who illegally downloaded movies made by its filmmaker clients. Those who are identified are threatened with a $150,000 lawsuit unless they agree to a settlement of $1,500 to $2,500.One of the suits before Collyer has 2,000 anonymous defendants and the other has 4,577 … [Read more...] about Judge Questions Mass Joinder of Alleged Illegal ‘John Doe’ Downloaders