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Supreme Court won't reduce music downloading sentence

Boston U. student to pay $675,000 for 30 downloaded, shared songs

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court won’t reduce the $675,000 verdict against a Boston University student who illegally downloaded 30 songs and shared them on the Internet.

The high court on Monday refused to hear an appeal from Joel Tenenbaum, of Providence, R.I., who was successfully sued by the Recording Industry Association of America for illegally sharing music on peer-to-peer networks. In 2009, a jury ordered Tenenbaum to pay $675,000, or $22,500 for each song he illegally downloaded and shared.

A federal judge called that unconstitutionally excessive, but the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated the penalty at the request of Sony BMG Music Entertainment, Warner Brothers Records Inc. and other record labels represented by the RIAA.

Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Stephen Breyer did not participate in this decision.

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