Judge Slashes Damages In Music Download Case

Law360, New York (July 9, 2010, 7:04 PM EDT) -- A federal judge has decimated a $675,000 jury verdict against a then-undergraduate who illegally shared music, calling the damages won by Sony BMG Music Entertainment and several other record companies “unconstitutionally excessive.”

The U.S. Congress likely did not intend for the relatively high penalties allowed by the copyright laws to be turned on college students who made no money by their infringement, Judge Nancy Gertner of the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts said in an opinion issued Friday.

Her decision leaves defendant Joel...
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