Recording Industry Association of America: “Squeeze More Blood Out of That Turnip”
Between 1999 and 2007, Joel Tenenbaum committed some of the most heinous bloodthirsty crimes in American history. Are you sitting down? He illegally downloaded and shared thirty songs online.
He originally received a $675,000 fine. Let’s see now, I’m no math whiz but I think that’s over $20,000 per song. Take that, you Brute! Poor little record companies.
And now Judge Nancy Gertner has reduced his verdict from $675,000 to $67,500. She said the reduced fine:
“Not only adequately compensates the plaintiffs for the relatively minor harm that Tenenbaum caused them; it sends a strong message that those who exploit peer-to-peer networks to unlawfully download and distribute copyrighted works run the risk of incurring substantial damages awards. There is no question that this reduced award is still severe, even harsh.”
However, it wasn’t harsh or severe enough for the RIAA, who threw a hissyfit and announced that they would appeal this decision. In an official statement, the RIAA whined: “With this decision, the court has substituted its judgment for that of 10 jurors as well as Congress.”
Or maybe, unlike Congress, Judge Nancy Gertner isn’t owned and operated by the deep-pocketed RIAA.
Gertner said her decision was consistent with recent court decisions that have reduced excessive jury awards:
“For many years, businesses complained that punitive damages imposed by juries were out of control, were unpredictable, and imposed crippling financial costs on companies. In a number of cases, the federal courts have sided with these businesses, ruling that excessive punitive damages awards violated the companies' right to due process of law. These decisions have underscored the fact that the constitution protects not only criminal defendants from the imposition of 'cruel and unusual punishments,' but also civil defendants facing arbitrarily high punitive awards.”
The RIAA is sort of a reverse image of Exxon, BP and the tobacco industry. Those companies will keep on appealing and appealing and appealing their verdicts, until a multi-million dollar fine gets reduced to pocket change. Either that, or the plaintiffs have finally all died of old age.
In the RIAA’s version, they turn their trillion-dollar guns on one individual, with the determination to totally ruin this person come Hell or High Water. Even if they never collect the amount they wanted, their victim will spend his life savings (and that of his great-grandchildren) on legal costs.
Boycott those cocksuckers.