A federal appeals court has reinstated a $675,000 judgment against a Boston University student who illegally downloaded and shared songs on the Internet.
In 2009, a jury in Boston awarded $675,000 to the Recording Industry Association of America, representing four record labels, in a lawsuit filed against Joel Tenenbaum.
A judge later reduced the award to $67,500, finding the original penalty "unconstitutionally excessive."
In his appeal, Tenenbaum sought to overturn the penalty. But the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated the full award in a ruling Friday.
Tenenbaum's lawyers argue that federal copyright laws and the Digital Theft Deterrence Act were not meant to target consumers. Lawyers representing the recording industry argue that the economic impact of illegal downloading is much greater than the sharing of one song.