A judge has awarded the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) $675,000 in the Sony v. Tenenbaum filing sharing case, in which 25-year old Joel Tenenbaum was convicted of downloading MP3s from the file-sharing site Kazaa while in college.
While the substantial reward could discourage a few future file-sharers from downloading music illegally, we think it’s unlikely it will encourage the RIAA to bring more suits — given comments made by the lobbying group in Aug. 2008, when it told Congress it would not pursue any new cases.
While some reports claimed it had brought new cases to court as recently as April, 2009, we contacted the RIAA this morning and it said that these cases were continuations of old “John Doe” cases in which the identity of the actual person downloading the files could not be determined, and that no new cases had been made since the fall of 2008 or would be made in the future.
The award could have been as high as $4.5 million, far higher than a previous judgement of $1.92 million against file-swapper Jammie Thomas-Rasset of Minnesota made last month.
Tenenbaum was not saddled with such a heavy judgement, but the $675,000 penalty does amount to $22,500 per song. Of course, given that he is only 25, chances are the RIAA will have a very hard time collecting. Here is the RIAA’s statement about the verdict:
“We are grateful for the jury’s service and their recognition of the impact of illegal downloading on the music community. We appreciate that Mr. Tenenbaum finally acknowledged that artists and music companies deserve to be paid for their work. From the beginning, that’s what this case has been about. We only wish he had done so sooner rather than lie about his illegal behaviour.”
NOW WATCH: Tech Insider videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.