American court says $675,000 for sharing 30 songs illegally is fair
Ryan Martin / 5 years ago
Whether we like it or not, downloading and sharing files you aren’t allowed to share and download is illegal. You have to pay for music, films and games unless specifically stated otherwise. Yet engaging in such activities is not a major crime, in fact technically its only a civil issue not a criminal one. This didn’t stop an American court thinking it was “fair” to fine one man a staggering $675,000 for downloading and sharing illegally 30 music tracks.
The Joel Tenenbaum case has been around for years and it’s probably going to drag on a while longer. It’s been in front of several courts, but the latest trial, in a district court, upheld the initial damage awards, $675,000 for 30 songs shared by an individual in an obviously non-commercial manner.
Punishing illegal downloading shouldn’t be demonised, it should be encouraged, but everything should be put into scale. The media industry should tackle the problem as a whole, not use a handful of individuals as scapegoats for the actions of millions. The main reason for illegal downloading seems to escape the majority of the media industry – most people would pay if prices and the service offered was better and fairer.
One thing is for certain, this court case will only alienate many more consumers and drive the illegally downloading habit even deeper into consumer society.