Dozens of students from local law schools crowded the First US Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston today to hear the arguments in a file sharing lawsuit brought by the recording industry, the first case of its kind to reach the federal appellate level.
Lawyers for Boston University graduate student Joel Tenenbaum – including a Harvard Law student -- asked the court to reduce a $67,500 judgment against Tenenbaum for sharing 30 songs on the Internet.
Lawyers for the Recording Industry Association of America, meanwhile, asked the court to increase the judgment.
Last summer, US District Court Judge Nancy Gertner reduced the judgment to $67,500 from a jury decision of $675,000.
Lawyers for the recording industry argued that the jury’s verdict should stand, that it was appropriate for willful copyright infringement.
Harvard law professor Charles Nesson and student Jason Harrow argued, however, that a law against copyright infringement in the recording industry was never meant to target consumers. And, even if it did, the $67,500 is too severe.
The court took the matter under advisement. It is the first time a case has reached the appeals court level since the recording industry started filing lawsuits for illegal file sharing in 2003.
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