The Not-So-Royal Tenenbaum… RIAA Wins Another One

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Major labels scored another victory in court this week, one that could cost the defendant millions in damages.

Judge Nancy Gertner issued a directed order early this morning on Sony v. Tenenbaum, though exact damages are yet to be determined.

Joel Tenenbaum could theoretically be saddled with a $4.5 million fine, another nosebleed result that would probably never be collected. Instead, the RIAA walks away with a huge victory in ego terms, especially considering the high-profile defense team made up of a Harvard University Law School professor and students.  “Although we could not win this case, we are proud to have highlighted the abuses and the inefficiency with which the music industry burdens the court system,” a limping Debbie Rosenbaum of the defense team said.

But some important decisions remain for the jury.  In testimony, Tenenbaum admitted to downloading the songs in question, resolving a major component of the trial and reversing an earlier denial.  That shows guilt, though issues of willful infringement and an appropriate penalty must be determined.  If too high, and the RIAA faces another public relations blow, and another questionable win.