The RIAA’s Newest Big-Money Playlist: Who Knew That Sharing A Limp Bizkit Song Could Be So Expensive?

noah | August 5, 2009 5:00 pm

Last week, a jury ordered Boston University physics student Joel Tenenbaum to pay the Recording Industry Association of America $675,000 for sharing 30 songs via KaZaA. That’s $22,500 a song, a figure that the jury decided on because they deduced that Tenenbaum’s copyright infringement had been willful—a finding that they came to in part because Tenenbaum adopted a “fair use” defense for his actions, saying in a FAQ that he thinks “Art is meant to be shared.” Tenenbaum and his legal team are preparing to appeal to the trial judge for a lower settlement—and if it’s not reached, he’ll head over to the courtroom where bankruptcy cases are settled—but for now, let’s all see what 30 songs Tenenbaum figured were OK for sharing with the old-cruddy-software-using masses. Aerosmith, “Pink” Aerosmith, “Water Song/Janie’s Got A Gun” Beastie Boys, “(You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party)” Beck, “Loser” blink-182, “Adam’s Song” Deftones, “Be Quiet And Drive” Eminem, “Cleaning Out My Closet” Eminem, “Drug Ballad” Eminem, “My Name Is” Fugees, “Killing Me Softly” Goo Goo Dolls, “Iris” Green Day, “Minority” Green Day, “Nice Guys Finish Last” Green Day, “When I Come Around” Incubus, ”New Skin” Incubus, “Pardon Me” Limp Bizkit, “Leech” Limp Bizkit, “Rearranged” Linkin Park, “Crawling” Monster Magnet, “Look To Your Orb For The Warning” Nine Inch Nails, “The Perfect Drug” Nirvana, “Come As You Are” Nirvana, “Heart-Shaped Box” OutKast, “Rosa Parks” OutKast, “Wheelz Of Steel” Rage Against The Machine, “Guerrilla Radio” Ramones, “The KKK Took My Baby Away” Red Hot Chili Peppers, “By The Way” Red Hot Chili Peppers, “Californication” Red Hot Chili Peppers, “My Friends” It’s worth noting that this infringement took place in 2003, and according to Tenenbaum’s side of the story he was asked to settle for $3,500 back then; only when the case started getting to court did the settlement amount snowball. I honestly don’t know what to think about his whole “David fighting the corporate Goliath” argument because I believe that artists should be paid, yet I know that the ways of the major-label system make that ideal a hell of a lot more difficult than it really should be. (And I think his “fair use” argument is a bunch of BS that was probably the result of reading some John Perry Barlow screed while up late worrying about the ramifications of his case.) This is the sort of ethical entanglement that makes people enter lives of crime because “whatever, it’s all corrupt anyway,” isn’t it? Joel Fights Back [Official site] [Playlist via Scribd; Scribd]