Tuesday, August 4, 2009

"Sing a little song for me"??

While there is a lot of news to talk about, I want to talk about the outrageous jury decision in the Joel Tenenbaum case. If you have not read the story, Tenenbaum was fined in civil court, $675,000 for downloading and sharing 30 songs over the Internet. While I believe in the absolute right of individuals and corporations to protect their copyright, I believe that the punishment must fit the crime.

How the hell can Tenenbaum be liable for $675,000 worth of damage by downloading 30 songs? Can you envision some 75 year old grandma sitting on the jury and subjecting this graduate student from Boston University to a life-long debt? What the hell is wrong with these people? Are recording artists starving to death?

Tenenbaum was wrong and violated copyright law, but the penalty should fit the crime. If I were on the jury, I would have awarded $30 for the violation, court costs and legal fees for the plaintiffs. The total fine should approximate $5000. This action reminds me that spilling coffee on my lap can be very lucrative. The music executives pursuing this case are disgusting.

If I were Joel Tenenbaum, I would follow through with his plans to file bankruptcy, but I would not stop here. I would connect with individuals that were similarly charged and I would lay the groundwork for a boycott of the music industry that would send a chilling message to stop the "bull shit". Do you realize how connected the high school and college community is? A planned boycott that would send the message to industry to, "stop the shit", would go viral in days. I would suggest boycotting all music purchases for 2 months (November and December). I would then outline my concerns that the music industry must address before the next year. If the industry did not adapt to the changing world, I would press the boycott the following year.

Joel Tenenbaum did not do $675,000 worth of damage to the music industry. The music industry is doing $670,000 worth of damage to Joel Tenenbaum. A controlled boycott that did not put the retailers out of business is a sound strategy for making music executives sweat over their next payment on their 65 foot yacht.

College students - It's time to step up and fight the corporate greed! You need to understand the power that is within your hands.


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