Tenenbaum Liable for Copyright Infringement

Update [31 July 6:50PM]: $22,500 per work; $675,000 total. More than I expected. Props to Wendy Seltzer and Mark Lemley for the update. Link is to Ben Sheffner’s write-up in Ars Technica…

The judge in the copyright infringement lawsuit against Joel Tenenbaum has issued a directed verdict on the issue of infringement liability. The only remaining issue for the trial is that of damages. I predict Joel is going to get whacked: he admitted to lying in a deposition, and suggested that “burglars” might have downloaded the songs to his computer. (Increasingly tech-literate, those burglars!) The jury in the Thomas-Rasset case seemed to think that her somewhat incredible story counted against her in terms of damages, and it may be the same here.

On the other hand, Tenenbaum’s defense team has substantial ammunition on its side regarding damages. Pam Samuelson’s paper makes a compelling case that the Copyright Act’s damages scheme should not only be interpreted differently by courts, but may in fact be constitutional. This could well be the most important aspect of this case.

Stay tuned – via Ben Sheffner and Brent Whelan. Predictions on the size of damages welcomed in the comments.

One Response to “Tenenbaum Liable for Copyright Infringement”

  1. [...] you know, Joel Tenenbaum lost against the RIAA and is now on the hook for $675,000, pending a hearing on the constitutionality of those damages. Several lawyers I’ve talked [...]