Joel Fights Back

Joel Tenenbaum, a Boston University Graduate Student, has been ordered to pay four record labels a total of $675,000 for sharing thirty songs over the Internet using Kazaa.

The NY Daily News reports:

A Boston federal court jury took just three hours to agree that Tenenbaum “willfully” infringed on the copyrights of 30 songs, including Nirvana’s “Comes [sic] As You Are” and Nine Inch Nails’ “The Perfect Drug.”

Despite the fact that 30 songs is a drop in the ocean when it comes to the rate of illegal downloading worldwide, and the artists in question themselves advocate illegal downloading, is this anything more than another desperate attempt to cling on to record company power?  Tenenbaum used Kazaa to share his stolen songs – why are they not being prosecuted (along with the several other filesharing services mentioned in the court case) instead of Tenenbaum if this is such a terrible act? Why go for a student with no money to begin with?  Is this a way of trying to dissuade “da kids” who use peer-to-peer programs so much?

Joel has chosen to appeal his verdict, refusing online donations to help pay off his debt.  You can read more about it at Joel Fights Back.

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