Friday, July 09, 2010

Judge slams, slashes "unconstitutional" $675,000 P2P award

Judge slams, slashes "unconstitutional" $675,000 P2P award
By Nate Anderson
Ars Technica
July 9, 2010

Judge Nancy Gertner knows that Joel Tenenbaum did it. Tenenbaum, the second US target of the RIAA's five-year litigation campaign to complete a trial, eventually admitted his music-sharing liability on the stand—and Judge Gertner issued a directed verdict against him. But when the jury returned a $675,000 damage award, they went too far. Way too far.

In fact, according to Gertner, they trampled the Constitution's "Due Process" clause. In a ruling today, the judge slashed the $675,000 award by a factor of 10, to $67,500.

If it sounds like a familiar result, it should. In Minnesota, Judge Michael Davis used a different legal approach called remittitur to lower Jammie Thomas-Rasset's liability from $1.9 million to $2,250 per song. That amount is three times higher than the $750 minimum for statutory damages, and Judge Gertner has accepted both Judge Davis' number and his reasoning when issuing her own opinion...

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