$675,000 Music Piracy Fine

The math is pretty simple: Buying a song off iTunes costs around $0.99, while downloading one illegally could cost around $21,800. CNET reports that a federal court in Massachusetts this week upheld a jury verdict against former Boston University student Joel Tenenbaum, who “was accused of illegally downloading 31 songs from a fire-sharing Web site and distributing them” despite repeated warnings that he stop doing so. U.S. District Court Judge Rya W. Zobel said that because Tenenbaum had knowingly and repeatedly ignored cease-and-desist orders, the $675,000 in damages awarded to the recording companies by a jury is entirely appropriate.