Joel Tenenbaum, a 25 year old grad student at Boston University, has been told to pay damages of $675,000 to four record companies for sharing music on the internet. During the case, Tenenbaum was found guilty of downloading / sharing 22 songs via Kazaa in 2004. That's a sizable $22,500 for each illegally shared track.
A possible misquote has caused some confusion and upheaval in the music industry. TorrentFreak reported that the spokesperson for the RIAA, Jonathan Lamy, had said “DRM is dead” in reference to the Digital Rights Management that the RIAA had previously supported in an upcoming article for SCMagazine.
A court has ruled that Jammie Thomas-Rasset, a 32-year-old mother of four, must pay $1.92 million in damages to record companies for illegally downloading 24 tracks off of file-sharing services like Kazaa. This amounts to $80,000 per song. This is one of the last few lawsuits in the courts pertaining to illegal downloads, as the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) has said they will discontinue the suits in favor of working with ISPs to stop illegal downloads.
Legislators in Minnesota are considering taxing digital downloads in their state. This new proposal has been labeled the “iTunes Tax”, and it would require that all downloadable content, whether it is a single song, a video or a ring tone, would have a sales tax added on which the state would collect.
To remain competitive when up against Apple, both Walmart and Amazon have restructured their music downloads to incorporate tiered pricing. Apple’s restructuring, to include MP3s for 69 cents, 99 cents or $1.29 songs occurred on April 7th.