December 8th, 2009, 19:01 PM
Judge Expresses Concerns Over RIAA File-Sharing Penalties
A federal judge in Boston formally approved a $675,000 RIAA fine against a Boston University student for illegally sharing 30 songs online, but the judge also took the opportunity to speak out against the fine. According to Computer World, U.S. District Court Judge Nancy Gertner said she had "very, very" deep concerns about the "astronomical penalties" that the music industries has levied against file-sharers.
In total, Joel Tenenbaum must pay out $112,500 to Sony BMG Music Entertainment for five songs, $250,000 to Warner Bros. Records . for ten songs, $45,000 to Arista Records for two songs and $292,500 to Universal Music Group for 13 more songs.
Gertner said she would have considered Tenebaum's argument of 'fair use' in the case, but the manner in which his counsel presented the argument made it difficult for her to do so. A hearing on the constitutionality of the size of the fine is scheduled for January 5, 2010. Tenenbaum has previously said he would be forced to declare bankruptcy if he is required to pay the entire fine.