Judge Slashes RIAA's $675,000 File Sharing Award To $67,500

Judge Slashes RIAA's $675,000 File Sharing Award To $67,500

A federal judge yesterday bench slapped the Recording Industry of America, calling a jury’s $675,000 verdict against file sharer Joel Tenenbaum both eye-popping and unconstitutional. The judge struck a strikingly populist tone in reducing the verdict to $67,500, arguing that the same legal reasoning that protects large corporations from excessive punitive damages also protects “ordinary people” like Tenenbaum. [More]

Study Finds Grocery Store Shoppers Are Honest Folk

Study Finds Grocery Store Shoppers Are Honest Folk

The people on that People of Walmart website may wear some ugly t-shirts, but at least they’re honest when it comes to dealing with strangers. According to a new study that looked at how markets, religion, and the size of a community impact concepts of fairness and punishment, Walmart grocery shoppers in Missouri came out on top in terms of treating the other side fairly and punishing selfishness. [More]

30 Songs? That'll Be $675,000

30 Songs? That'll Be $675,000

A Boston jury yesterday ruled that file sharer Joel Tenenbaum would have to pay the Recording Industry of America $675,000 for sharing 30 copyrighted songs. The hefty award was all the more surprising because Tenenbaum was represented by a crack team of legal eagles from Harvard’s law school. The trial didn’t unfold nearly the way they planned…

Another Arbitration Firm Pulls Out Of Credit Card Arbitration

Another Arbitration Firm Pulls Out Of Credit Card Arbitration

Just days after the National Arbitration Forum agreed to stop arbitrating consumer credit card disputes, the American Arbitration Association has decided to do the same. This is good, but passage of the Arbitration Fairness Act is still necessary.

Forced Arbitration: As Fair As A Sucker Punch

Forced Arbitration: As Fair As A Sucker Punch

We at Consumerist really hate mandatory binding arbitration, the faux-legal sucker punch that companies deliver when they screw up and you try to sue, and so should you. We’ve talked about its evils a lot, but no one can describe this legal abomination as well as the victims themselves, so this week we’ll let them speak.

Is It Ever Acceptable Not To Tip At A Restaurant?

Is It Ever Acceptable Not To Tip At A Restaurant?

Society has determined that service at a restaurant is worth between 15%-20% of the final bill, but is it ever acceptable not to tip?

Credit Card Expert Disputes Erroneous Charge, Frustration Ensues

Credit Card Expert Disputes Erroneous Charge, Frustration Ensues

Georgetown law professor and Credit Slips blogger Adam Levitin is having trouble disputing an erroneous $176.96 charge on his Citibank Amex card from PACER, the federal court’s online docket system, which he accesses for free. The professor is a consumer credit expert and should have no problem understanding and fixing the error, right? Fat chance.

Credit Card Victims Muzzled, Ordered To Release Financial Histories Before Sharing Their Experiences

Credit Card Victims Muzzled, Ordered To Release Financial Histories Before Sharing Their Experiences

Four credit card victims were ordered to sign waivers allowing their creditors to release their private financial records to the public before they could testify before the House Financial Services Committee. The consumers had flown in from across the country to share their stories at a hearing on the Credit Card Bill of Rights, but credit card companies insisted—and Republicans and Democrats agreed—that it would only be fair to release documents like credit scores and a list of recent purchases in order to rebut the consumer’s claims. “Fair is fair,” Congressman Spencer Bauchus (R-AL) barked, as he defended the absurd request. Ultimately, the consumers didn’t testify, but one invitee, Steven Autrey, released his prepared statement, which slams creditors for their abusive and predatory business practices.

Class Action Targets Ticket Resellers

Class Action Targets Ticket Resellers

Remember RMG Technologies, the horrible little company that made five-year-olds cry by snatching up all the Hannah Montana tickets? Boaz Lissauer, a New Jesery plastic surgeon, recently sued them and other ticket resellers after paying $195 for nosebleed seats worth $63 to see the Police in Madison Square Garden. Lissauer is now asking a Pittsburgh court for class action status.