Supreme Court won't reduce student's music download fine

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joel tenenbaum Supreme Court won't reduce student's music download fine

Joel Tenenbaum in 2009 (AP Photo)

(AP) – The Supreme Court has refused to hear a Boston University student’s constitutional challenge to a $675,000 penalty for illegally downloading and sharing 30 songs on the Internet, but his lawyer says there’s still a chance the amount could be reduced.

A jury in 2009 ordered Joel Tenenbaum, of Providence, R.I., to pay. A federal judge called the penalty constitutionally excessive, but the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated it at the request of the Recording Industry Association of America.

Tenenbaum’s attorney, Harvard law professor Charles Nesson, said he’s disappointed the high court won’t hear the case. But he said the 1st Circuit instructed a judge to consider reducing the award without deciding any constitutional challenge.

Nesson said Tenenbaum is just entering the job market and can’t pay the penalty.

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