Constitutional Law

1st Circuit Reinstates Original $675K Award Against Grad Student in Music Download Case


Disappointed both with the original $675,000 federal jury verdict against him in a music downloading case and the “equally as insane” $67,500 to which a trial judge subsequently reduced the verdict, citing constitutional concerns, a Boston University graduate student appealed.

But there was bad news for him on Friday: Saying that the trial judge had erred by deciding constitutional issues before addressing common law questions, the Boston-based 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reinstated the original $675,000 verdict, according to the Law & Disorder blog of Ars Technica and the Associated Press.

It appears that U.S. District Judge Nancy Gertner could still reach the same result, but would have to take a different route to get there. The appeals court also comments that “this case raises concerns about application of the Copyright Act which Congress may wish to examine,” without saying exactly what issues those are.

Leagle provides a copy of the Friday opinion (PDF).

Earlier coverage:

ABAJournal.com: “Judge Slashes ‘Excessive’ $675K Award in Music Download Case to $67.5K”

ABAJournal.com: “Music Downloader Appeals $67.5K Award, Calls It ‘Equally as Insane’ as Earlier $675K Verdict”

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