How Much Does Illegally Downloading 30 Songs Cost?

According to a federal jury in Boston, $675,000.

The Associated Press reported yesterday that Joel Tenenbaum, a Boston University student originally from Providence, RI, was ordered to pay between $750 and $30,000 per song for the 30 downloads, resulting in the $675,000 fine. Mr. Tenenbaum should be grateful though, as federal copyright law allows for up to a $150,000 fine per occurrence of infringement in this case. Had that been the case, the fine could have been as much as $4.5 million.

Compared with Jammie Thomas-Rasset, a Minnesota woman fined $1.9 million in June for downloading 24 songs, Joel Tenenbaum got off easy. In Thomas-Rasset’s case, she was originally fined a total of $220,000. Upon appeal, the jury awarded the music industry association, RIAA, the much larger fine of $1.9 million.

Of the 30,000 copyright infringement lawsuits brought by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), only these two cases have gone to trial according to the Associated Press.