Boston University grad student Joel Tenenbaum had his court order to pay $675,000 damages to the big RIAA recording labels cut by 90 percent to a sum of $67,500. Now the First Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the original P2P lawsuit decision, sending Tenenbaum's fines back to the original $675,000.
Why? The court said that U.S. District Court judge Nancy Gertner's ruling that the amount was "unconstitutionally excessive" was not viable. Joel Tenenbaum downloaded 30 songs and shared them on a P2P file sharing network between 1999 and 2007. So the fines go back to the original, and unpayable amount of $2,250 per song to $22,500 per song.
This case calls into question how to apply the Digital Theft Deterrence Act of 1999 and how big the fines for using P2P file sharing for downloading music can be.