Transfer Pricing Associates

Joel Taunenbaum receives fine of $675,000

post Monday October 15, 2012


A judge in the United States fined the 25 year old Joel Tenenbaum $675,000 for having downloaded 31 songs off a download website.

The case goes back to 2003, when the back then 16 year old Joel, received  warning letter for having downloaded 7 songs illegally. They demanded a payment of $5,520 however Joel offered $500 in exchange as he could only afford to pay that much. His offer was rejected and was brought to trial in 2007.
When the case was re-opened, Tenenbaum argued that there was a clear case of abuse of federal power and that the jury’s decision was unconstitutional.

The federal judge who was overseeing the case agreed that the amount to be paid was excessive, yet when Tenenbaum’s lawyer asked for a fine reduction, the inquiry was denied. Rya Zobel, the judge appointed also rejected Tenenbaum’s request to a new trial with jury to consider evidence of his actions.

Joel admitted to having downloaded 800 songs to date. He has been charged with downloading and distributing music illegally for two years despite multiple warnings.

In the US, fines for infringement of author rights can reach $150,000 per infringement. Thus if it were multiplied by the number of songs that Joel allegedly downloaded to date, he would have had to pay $120,000,000. Hence the judge assures that they have been lenient with final verdict.

The music industry is satisfied with the verdict.

Various individuals have offered donations to help pay Tenenbaum’s fine, however he has rejected them all. Perhaps such a hefty amount will discourage others from downloading music.


Image source: Free Digital Photos

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