A Boston judge has reduced a fine for downloading against a university student by a factor of 10, caling it "unconstitutionally excessive".
Joel Tenenbaum was ordered to pay four record companies $675,000 (£450,000) last year after being found guilty of sharing 30 songs. US District Court Judge Nancy Gertner has now cut the amount to $67,500 (£45,075).
"I conclude that the jury's award of $675,000 in statutory damages for Tenenbaum's infringement of 30 copyrighted works is unconstitutionally excessive," she wrote.
"This award is far greater than necessary to serve the government's legitimate interests in compensating copyright owners and deterring infringement. In fact, it bears no meaningful relationship to these objectives. "
The judge found that the award violated the defendant's constitutional rights owing to its huge size, and cut it in line with other recent cases.
"With this decision, the court has substituted its judgement for that of 10 jurors as well as Congress," said the Recording Industry Association of America in a statement.
"The judge appropriately recognised the egregious conduct of the defendant, including lying to the court about his behaviour, but then erroneously dismisses the profound economic and artistic harm caused when hundreds of songs are illegally distributed for free to millions of strangers on file-sharing networks.
"We disagree with the court's reasoning and analysis, and we will contest this ruling."
Molybdenum ditelluride is a two-dimensional material that can be easily stacked into multiple layers to create a memory cell
New light-guiding nanoscale device can control and monitor a nanoparticle trapped in a laser beam with high sensitivity
Optical traps are scientific instruments in which a focused laser beam is used to exert an attractive or repulsive force on a microscopic object to hold it in place
Scientists estimate that the exoplanet has already lost up to 35 per cent of its mass over its lifetime
The observations were made using the Atacama Array in the Chilean desert