Understanding CopyrightWhat are the Peer-to-Peer Filesharing Costs?

If content owners pursue a case against a user, the user may face minimum fines of $750 for each file shared. To avoid a lawsuit, violators may settle with the industry, with the minimum settlement generally $3,000. In those few suits that do not reach a settlement, the penalties can be extremely high. In 2009 the RIAA won several law suits against those who illegally downloaded music:

  • In June 2009, there was a judgment of $1.92 million against a woman named Jammie Thomas-Rasset for downloading 24 songs.
  • In July 2009, a $625,000 judgment was decided against a college student, Joel Tenenbaum, for downloading 30 songs.

The RIAA, MPAA and other content owners are specifically targeting unauthorized file sharing on university networks. There has been an increasing level of attention to violators of copyright laws and increasing pressure on universities to take action against copyright violations, especially those attributable to peer-to-peer filesharing.