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Old 9 Jan 2010, 01:16 PM   #1
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Default Student Fined $675,000 in RIAA Case Set To Appeal

Joel Tenenbaum, the PhD student fined $675,000 for illegally sharing 30 songs is set to appeal on the grounds that the fine is unconstitutional. He is also claiming that because DRM-free songs weren't available back at the time of his infringement, downloading illegal songs was the only way to the songs he wanted in exactly the format he wanted.

Legal experts say neither argument is likely to succeed, as the unconstitutional defence has never stood up in court. While blaming the lack of DRM songs online ignores the fact that unencrypted CDs were available, which Mr Tenenbaum could have purchased and ripped legally as CDs do not have DRM and so he would not fall foul of the anti-circumvention provisions in the DMCA. Tenenbaum is correct in that studios failed to provide a legal, DRM-free (and thus interoperable) digital version of songs, although switching to piracy as a result seems like an extreme solution to this problem.

The most favourable outcome for Joel Tenenbaum would then be a reduction of the damages from $22,500 per song to something more manageable like $750 per song, the minimum in damages.

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Old 10 Jan 2010, 05:13 AM   #2
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I subscribe to Napster and have the $15 every 3 month package that gives me 15 downloads during that period (don't use them and they don't carry over .. you lose them). One important feature for me with this package is that Napster lets you listen to the entire song... not an obnoxiously small, cheap 30 second clip, that is worthless most of the time.
However, there are still artists that, due to contractual agreement I assume, still only give you a 30 second clip... even with the Napster package I have. Not many that way, but there are some.
This morning I ran across a song I really liked on Pandora, went into Napster to listen again and probably purchase.. and here was one of those 'you can only listen to 30 seconds' artists.
Now, I go to YouTube and there's the song in entirety that I can listen to as much and often as I want. And we all know there's a ton of those music videos and home uploads available.
So why isn't YouTube managing this, or being called to task? Occassionally, you will see one that announces 'this video has been removed because of copyright concerns', but not very often.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining, but for an industry that's hell bent on stopping piracy, this seems like a pretty out-in-the-open offender.
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