Tenenbaum's appeal asks the appellate court to consider whether the Copyright Act is an appropriate statute to use in infringement cases involving individuals. The statute provides for penalties of up to $150,000 per violation and was originally conceived as a deterrent against commercial infringers.
Tenenbaum's appeal also challenges the judge's instructions to the jury in the last trial. Harrow said the judge did not adequately inform the jury about its obligation to only consider the facts of Tenenbaum's infringement and not about music piracy in general, he said.
The third contention in Tenenbaum's appeal is that $67,500 is simply disproportionate to any damages that his pirating may have caused to the music companies, Harrow said.
Cara Duckworth, a spokeswoman for the RIAA, today expressed confidence in the RIAAs position. "After hearing all the facts of a case, juries are given the authority to send a strong message if they so choose when they find the illegal activity to be particularly egregious and harmful," she said.
"That's what they did here," she said, adding that the jury's decision mirrors Congress' intent to prevent egregious copyright infringement.
Jaikumar Vijayan covers data security and privacy issues, financial services security and e-voting for Computerworld. Follow Jaikumar on Twitter at @jaivijayan or subscribe to Jaikumar's RSS feed . His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org .
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