It's been a good summer for the major labels' litigators in their battle against individuals charged with copyright infringement.
In June, a Minnesota jury awarded the four majors $1.9 million in damages, finding that single mom Jammie Thomas-Rasset had used the peer-to-peer file-sharing network Kazaa to illegally download and share 24 songs.
And at the end of July, a federal jury in Boston ordered college student Joel Tenenbaum to pay the majors $675,000 for sharing 30 songs, after hearing evidence that he used at least six different P2P networks for nearly a decade, continuing to infringe even after receiving multiple warnings.
But with the defendants challenging the damage awards and likely appealing the verdicts, these cases are far from over. And the courts will now have to confront a difficult and unresolved question in copyright law: Can awards in cases like this be so big that they violate the U.S. Constitution's guarantee of due process?
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