Yesterday marked the end of Joel Tenenbaum’s court battle with the RIAA over 31 songs he illegally distributed on Kazaa. A federal judge denied his latest appeal, and now he’s on the hook for $675,000. That’s nearly $22,000 per song, plus some wholesale character assassination that has now been sealed with judge’s rubber stamp.
Fantastic. Yet again the RIAA proves that it’s not about recuperating costs or any kind of logical repercussions for “theft”, it’s about revenge. Plain and simple, they’re mad that people found a way around the exorbitant cost of CDs and they’re striking back as hard and horribly as they can, ruining lives over petty theft. As one person who commented on the article pointed out, the kid would’ve been better off if he’d stolen a laptop, let alone the physical CDs themselves. Yes, he shouldn’t have distributed the media illegally on the internet, but good gosh, his life is going to be spent trying to pay these fines for a bad decision he made as a teenager. There should be consequences for his actions, but not to this extreme. The fact that they are trying to say he should be thankful for such a low fee is insane - the maximum fine he could potentially have received was $4.65 million. For 31 songs. And that is somehow a punishment that fits the crime?