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Downloader’s punishment doesn’t fit crime

August 6, 2009

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I WAS horrified to see that Joel Tenenbaum was sentenced to pay $675,000 to four record labels for downloading and sharing 30 songs (Page A1, Aug. 1). It is not justice for him to pay $22,500 a song to megacorporations.

What ever happened to the punishment fitting the crime? Drunk drivers pay significantly less for each infraction, and they endanger everyone. Tenenbaum is a 25-year-old student who will be forced into bankruptcy because he partook in a practice that was, and still is, widely done.

It seems the record companies are hoping to recoup every nickel they’ve lost in the last decade from one person. Something much more fair would have been to force him to pay the full album price for each song he downloaded. Perhaps that would have persuaded people to actually buy albums. Instead, huge greedy corporations get richer, and one student and music lover is bankrupted, and the justice system looks bereft of common sense. How ridiculous.

Ian B. Murphy
Brighton

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