TODAY'S PAPER
85° Good Evening
85° Good Evening
EntertainmentMusic

Fine shaved in illegal music downloading case

BOSTON - A federal judge has drastically trimmed a $675,000 verdict against a Boston University graduate student who was found guilty of illegally downloading and sharing songs online.

Judge Nancy Gertner on Friday cut a jury's damage award against Joel Tenenbaum of Providence, R.I., to $67,500, saying it was "unconstitutionally excessive" and "wholly out of proportion."

Tenenbaum was sued by music companies who said he violated copyright rules. He admitted downloading songs between 1999 and 2007. The jury found him guilty and assessed the damage award last July.

His lawyers appealed, calling the award "severe" and "oppressive." Gertner said the reduced penalty is still severe enough to deter illegal file-sharing and adequately compensate the companies.

A spokeswoman for the plaintiffs did not immediately return calls for comment.

Tenenbaum said Friday he was happy Gertner recognized the award is unconstitutional. - AP

Exclusive subscription offer

Newsday covers the stories that matter most to Long Islanders. We dig deep to uncover the facts, hold the powerful in check and keep a watchful eye on Long Island.

Your digital subscription, starting at $1, supports local journalism vital to the community.

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Comments

We're revamping our Comments section. Learn more and share your input.

More Entertainment