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Music The Courts

RIAA's Tenenbaum Verdict Cut From $675k To $67.5k 253

Posted by Soulskill
from the one-order-of-magnitude-closer-to-sanity dept.
NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "In SONY BMG Music Entertainment v. Tenenbaum, the Court has reduced the jury's award from $675,000, or $22,500 per infringed work, to $67,500, or $2,250 per infringed work, on due process grounds, holding that the jury's award was unconstitutionally excessive. In a 64-page decision (PDF), District Judge Nancy Gertner ruled that the Gore, Campbell, and Williams line of cases was applicable to determining the constitutionality of statutory damages awards, that statutory damages must bear a reasonable relationship to the actual damages, and that the usual statutory damages award in even more egregious commercial cases is from 2 to 6 times the actual damages. However, after concluding that the actual damages in this case were ~ $1 per infringed work, she entered a judgment for 2,250 times that amount. Go figure." That $2,250 per infringed work figure should look familiar from Jammie Thomas-Rassett's reduced damages judgment — $54,000 for 24 songs.
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RIAA's Tenenbaum Verdict Cut From $675k To $67.5k

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  • by Zironic (1112127) on Friday July 09, 2010 @04:06PM (#32855214)

    Isn't that still way more then most people can reasonably pay and completely disproportionate to the actual damages caused? He'll probably still have to declare bankruptcy.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by MozeeToby (1163751)

      It's more than most people have liquid but it's certainly not more than most people can reasonably pay. After all, most adults have a house, a car, and if necissary wages for the next 10 years. It's not like they expect you to write out a check the day after the trial is over. Yes, it's still wildly disproportionate, but at least it I am mentally capable of imagining it is an amount the people who wrote the law might have expected; something that I can't say about the original award.

      • by RobertM1968 (951074) on Friday July 09, 2010 @04:59PM (#32855788) Homepage Journal

        It's more than most people have liquid but it's certainly not more than most people can reasonably pay. After all, most adults have a house, a car, and if necissary wages for the next 10 years.

        So, you are saying that because someone is capable of selling their house and car to pay $67,000 for sharing 24 songs, that it is a reasonable expectation?

        It's not like they expect you to write out a check the day after the trial is over.

        Are you sure about that? Most companies I have ever seen (ones far less evil than the RIAA) expect, on determination of a judgment amount, that you will do exactly that or they take other measures to collect said judgment - all while adding exorbitant interest and fees (legal, collection and otherwise) to the amount. As a matter of fact, such practices were part of the reason for the Homestead law in Florida (and similar ones elsewhere) because such "collection" activities often included going after such personal property as one's house and car.

        Yes, it's still wildly disproportionate, but at least it I am mentally capable of imagining it is an amount the people who wrote the law might have expected; something that I can't say about the original award.

        Well, I am sure that the people who lobbied for and/or sponsored those penalties as defined in the law (the RIAA and MPAA and their members) definitely imagined and hoped for such amounts - and obviously more (based on the original judgment amount) when they pushed for this. I suspect that those who wrote the law went in to it fully expecting such amounts as well, fully knowing what the **AA's expectations were on the matter. That has nothing to do with whether either judgment fits the "crime" though. So... I guess I concede that point to you. ;-)

        • by Kjella (173770)

          So, you are saying that because someone is capable of selling their house and car to pay $67,000 for sharing 24 songs, that it is a reasonable expectation?

          You're abusing what the parent said, a person can "reasonably pay" that sum without making unreasonable assumptions like winning the lottery, that doesn't say anything about whether it's a reasonable penalty or not. If it was $675k then any normal person can just declare bankruptcy right away, they'd never manage to pay it back.

          • So, you are saying that because someone is capable of selling their house and car to pay $67,000 for sharing 24 songs, that it is a reasonable expectation?

            You're abusing what the parent said, a person can "reasonably pay" that sum without making unreasonable assumptions like winning the lottery, that doesn't say anything about whether it's a reasonable penalty or not. If it was $675k then any normal person can just declare bankruptcy right away, they'd never manage to pay it back.

            Wrong, I am not in any way abusing that. If selling one's house is the way to "reasonably pay" such a fine, then explain what is reasonable about it?

            And wrong on the second part as well - you cannot escape a *legal* judgment by declaring bankruptcy. This isn't a debt. It's a court ordered judgment for violating a civil law.

            • > And wrong on the second part as well - you cannot escape a *legal* judgment by declaring bankruptcy. This isn't a debt. It's a court ordered judgment for violating a civil law.

              You are dead wrong about this: http://www.ehow.com/facts_5689609_can-bankruptcy-after-court-judgment_.html [ehow.com]

              Relevant snippet:
              The general rule is that bankruptcy discharges all judgments. However, bankruptcy does not discharge judgments for family support obligations, government-imposed fines or penalties, or taxes.

              ---linuxrocks123

              • by Reziac (43301) *

                But your cite includes this:

                5. If you broke a law and were ordered by the court to pay a fine or penalty, your financial obligation will not be discharged in bankruptcy.

                Doesn't that mean that judgments on behalf of the RIAA, since they're based on "a fine for breaking a law", would NOT be discharged via bankruptcy??

                Regardless, half an average mortgage is hardly reasonable as a penalty for what amounts to digitally shoplifting 2 or 3 CDs. If you were to shoplift the real thing, your penalty would be nowhere

              • No, because the RIAA's suit is civil, not criminal. If a district attorney charged you and found you guilty of criminal copyright infringement, then the debt would not be dischargeable. However, that would be a completely different situation: the standard of proof would be "beyond reasonable doubt" instead of "preponderance of evidence", the statute has a few additional requirements (can't remember what they are right now), and district attorneys generally can't be arsed to sue random people from the Inte

                • Again, the law does not specify the difference. It simply states:

                  11 USC 523 Exceptions to Discharge...

                  (a)(19)(B)(iii) any court or administrative order for any damages, fine, penalty, citation, restitutionary payment, disgorgement payment, attorney fee, cost, or other payment owed by the debtor.

              • > And wrong on the second part as well - you cannot escape a *legal* judgment by declaring bankruptcy. This isn't a debt. It's a court ordered judgment for violating a civil law.

                You are dead wrong about this: http://www.ehow.com/facts_5689609_can-bankruptcy-after-court-judgment_.html [ehow.com]

                Relevant snippet: The general rule is that bankruptcy discharges all judgments. However, bankruptcy does not discharge judgments for family support obligations, government-imposed fines or penalties, or taxes.

                ---linuxrocks123

                Ah... I see.

                Oh, wait, I dont - because even the section that YOU pointed out says YOU are wrong and I am correct (see bolded). Perhaps you should read THIS section, which goes into more detail (ie: the actual LAW regarding it):

                11 USC 523 Exceptions to Discharge...

                (a)(19)(B)(iii) any court or administrative order for any damages, fine, penalty, citation, restitutionary payment, disgorgement payment, attorney fee, cost, or other payment owed by the debtor.

        • by Reziac (43301) *

          I'm wondering when these penalties will become conflated with civil asset forfeiture, allowing the offended agency to simply grab anything of yours that they deem to have "committed an offense" or that might "be at risk". I think this is coming (it is already here in some other venues).

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        > it's certainly not more than most people can reasonably pay
        Perhaps most people in your social circle could pay that, but not most people in America.

        Median income is around $50K/year.

        The average amount of "disposable income" that is saved lately varies between -2% and +2%.

        Paying off $7K/year would require 14% of the median income. I suppose one can survive on that, if one cuts back on luxuries like clothes, meat, and gasoline. And pirates their music.

        • by Kjella (173770)

          The usual rule of thumb is that you can manage 3x your income in debt, and I found that the average US private debt was $55k. Add $67k on top, and you're not cutting luxuries, you're bargain shopping for necessities and get clothes from the salvation army.

      • by Zironic (1112127)

        Last time I saw the numbers I think the median net worth of a Swedish citizen was around $1000. This is because while they do have a car and a house they're both bought with borrowed money leaving them with very little ability to achieve liquidity and why wouldn't they expect you to write out a check the day after the trial is over?

    • by Monkeedude1212 (1560403) on Friday July 09, 2010 @04:12PM (#32855288) Journal

      Isn't that still way more then most people can reasonably pay and completely disproportionate to the actual damages caused? He'll probably still have to declare bankruptcy.

      While completely disproportionate to actual damages, that is easily within a payable range (though not all at once).

      It's less than a house, and there are people who can afford two of those. If they make him do monthly installments over 6 years he should be able to pull it off.

      • Re: (Score:2, Offtopic)

        Ouch, I was just answering the question. I wasn't siding with them or anything.

      • by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Friday July 09, 2010 @05:41PM (#32856148) Homepage Journal

        While completely disproportionate to actual damages, that is easily within a payable range (though not all at once).

        Is this the new standard for corporate extortion? "It's completely disproportionate, but if he's willing to give up his life and future he can pay it".

        It's bad enough that the system in the US (and most western countries) has become a simple matter of re-distributing wealth from the working class to the ownership class, but this is simply economic terrorism. Create a penalty that is so disproportionate that it frightens anyone who might consider not giving money to the corporation. Make it so that people are afraid to post their own original work to YouTube because the RIAA is likely to send a C&D letter "just in case". Send C&D letters when people use Creative Commons to make sure they learn who's boss. Make everyone pay and pay until they're willing to open their wallets, just to be left alone. Have the corporate media repeat the notion that anyone who believes in the public domain, anyone who might consider alternatives to old-fashioned copyrights is labeled a "pirate" or "anti-copyright radical".

        Make public libraries emblematic of "big government" and "socialism" so that municipalities who withdraw funding for those libraries seem patriotic. Equate regulation of business with tyranny.

        The new corporatism is much, much more dangerous to our society than terrorism.

        • This "justice" doesn't accomplish anything. The courts really should consider whether a particular verdict will strengthen society, and this one most emphatically does not. This verdict, if it stands, will only break an ordinary citizen who did nothing heinous, or even really naughty. It won't stop piracy, and it won't help the industry. It makes the government look bad, and increases suspicions of corruption and cronyism.

          This copying is something anyone could have done without thinking anything of it

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by WillDraven (760005)

          The new corporatism is much, much more dangerous to our society than terrorism.

          Not only that, but one could make the argument that it breeds actual terrorism. As we have learned in the middle east, if you ruin enough peoples lives eventually some of them will decide to come and TAKE yours.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by adolf (21054)

        My first house was $65,000, 3 bedrooms, 1,200 square feet, nicely finished.

        My current house was $55,000, 5 bedrooms, 2,200 square feet, not quite done yet.

        Perhaps you live somewhere that housing expenses (and median income) is greater, but I would not have been able to pay either of them off in six years.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      >>>completely disproportionate to the actual damages caused

      It appears the judge determined actual damages to be $2250 / 6 == $375 per song (minimum). Maybe she's taking into account prosecution costs (lawyers, security specialists to track the downloader, programmers, et cetera)
      .

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by NecroPuppy (222648)

        It's a 750 dollar minimum with, as I recall, a few criteria that can allow for triple damages, such as willfull infringement.

        So really, that is, by law, the miminum he could have been hit for.

        Ultimately, if the RIAA decides to go back on the "sue-em-all" bandwagon, they'll just start raising the number of songs. Instead of going after someone for 24 songs, they'll instead go after them for 100 songs.

        • by shutdown -p now (807394) on Friday July 09, 2010 @09:29PM (#32857546) Journal

          It's a 750 dollar minimum with, as I recall, a few criteria that can allow for triple damages, such as willfull infringement.

          The lower bound is the same - $750 - regardless of whether the infringement was willful or not. However, the upper bound changes from $30k to $150k in the case of willful infringement.

          However, it's interesting to read the actual reasoning by which the judge arrived to the given figure (which is $750 x 3). Seriously, RTFA!

          For the reasons I discuss below, I reduce the jury’s award to $2,250 per infringed work, three times the statutory minimum, for a total award of $67,500. Significantly, this amount is more than I might have awarded in my independent judgment. But the task of determining the appropriate damages award in this case fell to the jury, not the Court. I have merely reduced the award to the greatest amount that the constitution will permit given the facts of this case.

          There is no question that this reduced award is still severe, even harsh. It 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. Tenenbaum’s behavior, after all, was hardly exemplary. The jury found that he not only violated the law, but did so willfully.

          Reducing the jury’s $675,000 award, however, 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.

          In other words, she started from the figure provided by the jury, and then tried to reduce it as much as possible. She seems to be doing this specifically by looking at numerous other cases in which punitive damages were awarded to arrive at the reasonable absolute figure, as well as a reasonable ratio of punitive amount to compensation for the plaintiff:

          Notice of section 504(c)’s extraordinarily broad statutory damages ranges, standing alone, does not in any meaningful sense constitute “fair notice” of the liability that an individual might face for file-sharing. In a case of willful infringement such as this one, the maximum damages per infringed work -- $150,000 -- are 200 times greater than the statutory minimum of $750. Since the jury found that Tenenbaum willfully infringed thirty copyrights, its award could have ranged from a low of $22,500 to a high of $4,500,000. For anyone who is not a multi-millionaire, such “notice” is hardly more illuminating than the notice that BMW and State Farm had that their fraudulent conduct might lead to the imposition of a punitive damages award ranging from $0 to infinity.

          Since section 504(c) failed to provide Tenenbaum with fair notice of the liability he could incur for filesharing, it is imperative that I review other copyright cases to determine whether the jury’s $675,000 award here fell within a discernible pattern of awards of which Tenenbaum could have taken note, or was instead an unforeseeable outlier. ...

          I conclude that an award of $2,250 per song, three times the statutory minimum, is the outer limit of what a jury could reasonably (and constitutionally) impose in this case

          Then the explanation as to why the 3x multiplier over the minimal amount of $750: ... there is a long tradition in the law of allowing treble damages for willful misconduct. ... Given the record before me, I conclude that the most reasoned approach is to reduce the jury’s award to three times the statutory minimum. Although this decision will not be entirely satisfactory to some, it at least has the virtue of finding some basis in the long history of courts and legislators sancti

    • by rsilvergun (571051) on Friday July 09, 2010 @04:36PM (#32855538)
      you can't any more, not for something like this. They'll garnish his wages.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        Assuming he can find a job:

        "Hello. I'm a lawyer, studied for 6 years inc ollege plus law school, and oh yeah I have a court record that forces me to pay $70,000."

        "Ummmm.... that's... interesting. Well we'll go through the rest of this daylong interview since you're here, but to be honest I've already wrote Reject on your resume."

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      Read the decision. The judge agrees with you. She finds the original award unconstitutionally excessive, and thus has grounds to reduce it; however, she still must still respect the findings of the jury, who were "going for broke" in her words. In this case, determining the size of the award fell to the jury, not the court. There's only so much she could do.

      Actually there's probably only so much the jury could do as well, given that Tenenbaum not only admitted to years of copyright infringement, but a
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Joe Snipe (224958)

      One thing to keep in mind: The RIAA cannot afford to keep trying these cases if they keep getting such paltry sums. The lawyers alone are expecting to earn more than that.

  • So (Score:5, Insightful)

    by afidel (530433) on Friday July 09, 2010 @04:12PM (#32855284)
    We have tort reform which limits doctors liability when they screw up someones life, we have oil company liability limited to $75M, but if you trade some bits you are responsible for a months takehome pay for an average US family, sounds about right.
    • Look where oil company liability got BP.....
  • go figure? (Score:5, Informative)

    by nomadic (141991) <nomadicworldNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Friday July 09, 2010 @04:15PM (#32855320) Homepage

    Go figure.

    Or read the opinion, which will obviate the need for figuring. She explains her justification for the damages figure (3 times the statutory minimum) quite thoroughly. She also points out that, like Thomas in the Jammie Thomas-Rasset case, the defendant willfully violated the law then lied under oath to try to escape it, which seems to inform her decision that some sort of serious punishment is justified.

    • Come on, 2250 times the actual damages for copying music. Here the court (and the law I might add) is out of balance. The law should treat each case on merits and what damages there actually were, having the punishment fit the crime. Our system of justice is not supose to treat people as examples, without regard to what the effect of the judgement is going to be on the individual, the punishment to the individual needs to fit the crime, Here it does not. Corporate profits have trumped our laws and our p

      • 2250 times what exactly? The price of an mp3 or the value of unlimited international distribution rights?
      • Re:go figure? (Score:4, Interesting)

        by NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) <ray.beckermanlegal@com> on Friday July 09, 2010 @04:55PM (#32855746) Homepage Journal

        Come on, 2250 times the actual damages for copying music. Here the court (and the law I might add) is out of balance. The law should treat each case on merits and what damages there actually were, having the punishment fit the crime. Our system of justice is not supose to treat people as examples, without regard to what the effect of the judgement is going to be on the individual, the punishment to the individual needs to fit the crime, Here it does not. Corporate profits have trumped our laws and our politics. We need a change.

        I don't think this result was consistent with existing law. The judge conceded that under existing law a copyright infringement statutory damages claim should not exceed 2 to 6 times the actual damages. Had she applied that principle to her overly generous appraisal of the actual damages as being $1 per infringed work, and had she decided to "throw the book" at Mr. Tenenbaum and award 6 times the actual damages, the total judgment would be $180.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by nomadic (141991)
          Where was this in the opinion? I see where she says "Nevertheless, the awards in such cases are generally no more than "two to six times the license fees defendants 'saved' by not obeying the Copyright Act"--a ratio of statutory to actual damages far lower than the ratio present in this case" (pages 40-41) where she'd discussing the disparity between public performance cases and this one, but I do not see where she concludes as a matter of law the statute only permits that range for the instant case, just
        • by Krahar (1655029)
          The judge is not making a judgement on the appropriate amount, the judge is making a judgement on what is permissible under the constitution. That's completely different, in that the constitution only outlaws amounts that are... I don't remember the wording. Something to the effect of "completely insane". So the judge determined that 2250$ is just a tiny bit short of "completely insane", being merely "pretty fucking insane" and hence constitutional. That sounds about right to me, actually. The judge did not
          • by mangu (126918)

            the constitution only outlaws amounts that are... I don't remember the wording. Something to the effect of "completely insane"

            No, the constitution outlaws amounts that are, in the exact wording [cornell.edu], "excessive". Pick any dictionary [google.com] to know what "excessive" means.

        • But isn't the ruling about calculating statutory rather than actual damages?

    • >>>the defendant willfully violated the law then lied under oath to try to escape it

      When did this happen? If the actual damages are $1 or $2 per song, and the statutory minimum is $750, then I would have assigned that. If 4-6 times is the norm in civil cases, then paying 325-700 times the actual damages would already be punishment enough for perjury
      .

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Hatta (162192)

      Or read the opinion, which will obviate the need for figuring. She explains her justification for the damages figure (3 times the statutory minimum) quite thoroughly

      When statutory damages are 750 times actual damages, the statutory damages are clearly unconstitutional. There's no explaining that.

      If the defendant provably lied under oath, prosecute them for perjury. Tacking damages onto another judgment is wrong.

      • Re:go figure? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) <ray.beckermanlegal@com> on Friday July 09, 2010 @05:19PM (#32855960) Homepage Journal

        When statutory damages are 750 times actual damages, the statutory damages are clearly unconstitutional. There's no explaining that.

        No there is no explaining it. The decision never makes a rational transition to its conclusion.

        1.Law: statutory damages should be 2 to 6 times actual damage
        2.Actual damage found to be $1
        3. ??????????
        4. $2,250 profits for RIAA.

        I for one welcome the administration of justice by our corporatist overlords.

        • by Krahar (1655029)
          The judge does not have authority to set the amount - the jury did that. The judge has only the authority to restrict the amount to the maximum that the constitution will stand for in any way. Obviously that can be much more than an amount that might be reasonable. She points out several times that the amount is more than she might have awarded if she had the authority to dictate the amount.
        • by Kjella (173770)

          Actually, I think the logic is quite plain. From page 38:

          The plain language of 17 U.S.C. 504(c) authorized the jury's award in this
          case. I must give effect to this clear statutory language, at least to the extent that the jury's
          award does not run afoul of the Due Process Clause. See Caminetti v. United States, 242 U.S.
          470, 485, 490 (1917) ("[I]f [a statute's language] is plain, and if the law is within the
          constitutional authority of the lawmaking body which passed it, the sole function of the courts is
          to enforce it according to its terms," unless doing so would "lead[] to absurd or wholly
          impracticable consequences.").

          The other part is in the conclusion on page 54:

          Chief Judge Davis notes, there is a long tradition in the law of allowing treble damages for
          willful misconduct.

          Basically the damages was reduced to the lowest possible limit without saying the statute itself is unconstitutional, just that parts of the range are unconstitutional given the case. If you look at the case law cited, it almost exclusively deals with cases where the damages have been wide open, and the jury returned crazy damages but that's on the jury's hands. If you go below $750, then it's the law its

        • by Reziac (43301) *

          I mentioned above that I think this sort of judgment is headed in the direction of becoming a form of civil asset forfeiture (with all the abuses and corruption inherent therein), and that we can expect it to become blatantly so in the future. Your thoughts?

  • Infinite Resources (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DIplomatic (1759914) on Friday July 09, 2010 @04:33PM (#32855504) Journal
    The real problem here is that computer data (here referring to song files) is the only truly infinite resource that has ever existed on the planet. A digital copy of a CD could be copied an infinite number of times without any loss of quality. How do you regulate that? It would be like if you had a device that cloned Ferraris and with the push of a button you created a dozen perfect Ferraris out of thin air for you and all of your friends. The guy who owns a Ferrari dealership is going to be pissed, but you didn't do anything to him. You didn't take anything from him. You can't erase file-sharing from the planet. The technology exists, so there must now be a new model of business and new rules by which to regulate it.
    • by Culture20 (968837)

      The real problem here is that computer data (here referring to song files) is the only truly infinite resource that has ever existed on the planet. A digital copy of a CD could be copied an infinite number of times without any loss of quality. How do you regulate that?

      Forget regulating it. Abuse it. Copy some data so many times that you owe the RIAA a Googolplex times the total value of the world's money. Prove the point that data has little to no value on its own by the absurdity of the scenario.

  • by Hognoxious (631665)

    O Tenenbaum, o Tenenbaum,
    Reduce the dam-a-ges we pay!

    O Tenenbaum, o Tenebaum,
    Reduce them further ev'ry day!

    As exponential they decayrz,
    We download emmpeethrees and wayrz.[1]

    Though lawyers bill and AA's whine -
    Go shove it where the sun don't shine!

    [1] yeah, this is bad, though Rush got away with worse.

    If you don't like it, you can substitute:

    Reduce our liabilatee
    - though it's not really libertee [2]

    [2] And if you don't like that, you can fuck off.

  • When UMG was sued for copyright infringement, the punitive damages were reduced from 10x actual damages to 2x actual damages.

    But when it is suing some kid for copyright infringement, it's allowed to collect 2250x actual damages.*

    Doesn't sound like equal justice to me.

    * Even Judge Gertner's $1 actual damages figure is wildly overstated. 70 cents lost revenue minus 35 cents saved expenses = lost profit of 35 cents, IF you wanted to assume that every unuathorized download represents a lost sale, which it certainly does not. Most likely the real actual damages is 5 or 10 cents on an mp3 download.
    • Even Judge Gertner's $1 actual damages figure is wildly overstated. 70 cents lost revenue minus 35 cents saved expenses = lost profit of 35 cents, IF you wanted to assume that every unuathorized download represents a lost sale, which it certainly does not. Most likely the real actual damages is 5 or 10 cents on an mp3 download.

      You could make an argument that this could actually be several times higher, given the uploading done by many peer-to-peer applications. If you even upload a small bit to another person, they can then upload it to some more -- averaging this out over the entire lifespan of a torrent could enable a few more people to download it. Meaning, I dunno, maybe $5 tops per song, unless you seeded to a real high ratio.

    • I've been telling people for over a decade that the actual value of a downloaded mp3 is something in the area of 4 cents, and I've almost always gotten deeply incredulous responses--even from supposed nerds!

      It's gratifying that someone as useful as yourself has come to a similar sort of calculation :-)

      Please keep up the good work!
  • by stimpleton (732392) on Friday July 09, 2010 @05:27PM (#32856046)
    I live outside of the US. Lets say, as in the summary, I was fined US$1 per infringed work then:

    Currently, I pay NZ$1.50 per iTunes song.

    At its worst exchange rate a couple years back it was NZ$2.12 per song(I didnt purchase many at that time).

    If I had taken these songs instead, extradited to the US, fined, I would have to pay, lets see....US$340. Potentially less than the legitimate purchase price.

    PS: I take no moral stand, I work, have limited time outside work hours, and take the shortest path for various things even if it means paying.

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