Is a $675,000 fine for sharing 31 pirated songs too much?

Joel Tenenbaum is out of options. A Massachusetts District Court judge ruled the $675,000 fine levied against him is indeed appropriate and refused calls for a new jury trial, meaning the former Boston University graduate student will pay a staggering $21,774 for every song he shared over P2P networks.
The case has made its way through the courts over the past five years, with a jury initially finding Tenenbaum guilty of copyright infringement and levying the fine. His lawyers argued the fines were excessive, and the Judge presiding over the case at the time agreed. She lowered the fines to $67,500, or $2,177 per song, which record industry lawyers balked at and appealed to higher courts.
Through these appeals, and a refusal by the Supreme Court to hear the case, the original $675,000 fine was reinstated. Tenenbaum’s final appeal was to request a new jury trial, which was denied by a new judge presiding over the case at the District Court level, effectively ending the case.
(On a side note, it probably didn’t help Tenenbaum that it took him forever to accept responsibility for his own actions, which only seemed to anger the judges even more. Additionally his lawyers seemed to love to grandstand more than actually defend — see this site — but I do digress.)
With no recourse left, Tenenbaum must now pay his fines. But are those fines excessive to a general public that does little (if anything) to stop piracy? You could probably argue that.