Judge Cuts File-Sharing Damages 90%

In a major setback for the recording industry, a Boston judge slashed by 90 percent a $675,000 damages award that a Boston University graduate student had been ordered to pay to four record labels for illegally downloading 30 songs and sharing them online. U.S. District Court Judge Nancy Gertner ruled that the amount a federal jury ordered Joel Tenenbaum to pay last July was "unconstitutionally excessive" in light of what she described as the modest harm caused to the record labels.