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The National Law Journal reports that a jury in a high-profile federal copyright infringement trial on Friday ordered a Boston University graduate student to pay $675,000 to several record companies for illegally downloading and distributing 30 of their songs.

Joel Tenenbaum appeared stoic as the jury announced that each of the 30 counts of willful infringement would cost him $22,500. The tab -- while steep -- is far less than the $4.5 million that the companies could have received had the jury imposed the maximum per-song damages allowed under law. Copyright law allows for damages of $750 to $30,000 for each copyright infringement and up to $150,000 for each willful infringement.

Tenenbaum said he was happy the verdict wasn't in the millions and "not displeased with the jury given how the trial went."

In a statement for the plaintiffs' side, the RIAA said the organization "appreciates that Mr. Tenenbaum finally acknowledged that artists and music companies deserve to be paid for their work. ...We only wish he had done so sooner rather than lie about his illegal behavior."



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