I have a deal for you. How would you like me to sell you 31 songs you can distribute and use to your heart’s content? I’ll give you a great deal, how about $675,000? Not a good deal, you say? Well that’s exactly what Joel Tenenbaum is now paying.
A federal court in Massachusetts was tasked with deciding whether or not Joel’s existing court awarding of $675,00 against him should be held up or not. They decided that the large sum was fair and didn’t reduce it.
Recently Tenenbaum was charged with illegally downloading and distributing 31 songs, infringing on the legal rights of the RIAA. Sounds like a heck of a lot of money just for a few songs. While I’m mixed about the ruling, there is a good chance that we aren’t hearing the whole story.
While the RIAA has went after personal downloaders in cases before, usually its over sums that are much larger than 31 songs. It’s possible that they just decided to focus on 31 high-hitting, popular songs and that there were really more downloaded and uploaded by Joel Tenenbaum.
While not that many illegal downloaders will ever end up getting caught up in such a suite, is it even worth the risk when you consider that 31 songs would have just you roughly $31, give or take?[ source ]