Federal Judge Cuts Joel Tenenbaum’s Fine To $67K, Calling It Excessive

    Last summer, folk hero and horrible music downloader Joel Tenenbaum was found guilty of copyright infringement and ordered to pay a fine of $675,000 after he downloaded 30 songs from Kazaa. The fine seemed pretty damn excessive, and apparently, a federal judge agrees, reducing Tenenbaum’s fine to a mere $67,500, writing:

    “Reducing the jury’s $675,000 award,” she wrote, “also sends another no less important message: The Due Process Clause does not merely protect large corporations, like BMW and State Farm, from grossly excessive punitive awards. It also protects ordinary people like Joel Tenenbaum.”

    This follows the slashing of coypright charges against Jammie Thomas, whose original fine was $1.92 million and was brought down to $54,000 earlier this year. This really doesn’t say much vis a vis the RIAA not having power, but it might put an end to the whole grossly over-fining people like crazy thing. [Daily Swarm]