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We endeavor in this month’s column to shed some light upon two recent jury verdicts in Minnesota and Massachusetts that have generated considerable heat at the intersection of copyright and the Internet. Unfortunately for the peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing defendants, different “peers” sat on the federal district court juries that awarded the record company plaintiffs statutory damages of $1.92 million and $675,000 for willful infringement of multiple sound recording copyrights. The size of these verdicts, the impecunious status of the defendants (a single mother and a student), and the “non-commercial” nature of their activities, have generated substantial controversy.

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