Jul 10, 2010

Statutory Damages Flexible: Tenenbaum Case Updated


Represented by Professor Charles Nesson, Joel Tenenbaum pulled one back in his P2P downloading case, in which he was sentenced $675,000 dollars statutory damages to the copyright owners.

I was sitting in the hearing when Charlie presented his move of either placing a new trial or granting a remittitur. Briefly, Charlie's argument is: 675,000 dollars is unconstitutionally high, and therefore instructing the jury that maximum amount should be a mistrial.

After five months awaiting, Judge Nancy Gertner agreed Joel's motion of remittitur by reducing the damages Joel owes to $67,500 - one-tenth of the original one. In her ruling, she wrote:


Reducing the jury’s $675,000 award also sends another no less important message: The Due Process Clause does not merely protect large corporations, like BMW and State Farm, from grossly excessive punitive awards. It also protects ordinary people like Joel Tenenbaum.

Still, for each song, Joel has to pay $2,250 (USD), and if my memory serves, upon what is the appropriate amount of damages, "30 Dollars", Charlie said after the hearing.



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