Washington - The Obama Justice Dept. has submitted a filing defending a $675,000 damages award for copyright infringement on a file-sharing network, the Copyrights and Campaigns blog reported. Joel Tenenbaum was found guilty of sharing 30 songs on Kazaa, and ordered to pay the record labels damages of $22,500 per song. He has since asked the court to either reduce the damages or grant him a new trial, arguing the damages amount is unconstitutional.
In its filing, the Justice Dept. argues that Tenenbaum's actions caused "great public harm."
"In establishing the range [of copyright damage amounts: $750 to $150,000 per infringement], Congress took into account the need to deter the millions of users of new media from infringing copyrights in an environment where many violators believe they will go unnoticed," reads the DOJ filing.
"The harms Congress sought to address, moreover, are not negated merely because an infringer does not seek commercial gain. Accordingly, the statutory range specified by Congress for a copyright infringement satisfies due process."
I hope this ruling deters others from continuing to use illegal means of downloading music. Wow, $22,500 per song. That would definitely help me support my wife and son!