really right on funny comment at the bottom

October 31, 2008
Harvard Law Professor Takes New Tack Against RIAA
(from the chronical of higher education

A law professor at Harvard University has filed a counterclaim against the Recording Industry Association of America, arguing that a statute it is using to sue Joel Tenenbaum, a student at Boston University, is unconstitutional, Computerworld reports.

The RIAA had sued Mr. Tenenbaum for violating the Digital Theft Deterrence and Copyright Damages Improvement Act of 1999 — by allegedly copying and distributing copyrighted songs. But according to the law professor, Charles Nesson, that criminal statute cannot be applied to a civil case in federal court.

Mr. Nesson is challenging both the RIAA’s use of the law and the law itself. It gives the RIAA prosecutorial authority and “unbridled discretion” to sue millions of people, he argues, according to Computerworld.

This challenge to the RIAA, the magazine says, is broader than many recent ones that focus on the group’s means of gathering evidence against alleged pirates. —Sara Lipka
Posted on Friday October 31, 2008 | Permalink |

Comments

1.

Thanks, Joel, for encouraging students to commit theft. That’s why you became a lawyer, right? To help criminals. Your parents, grandparents, and great grandparents would be so proud of you. We all are.

— gl Nov 1, 07:26 PM #
2.

Thanks Joel for helping to reign in unregulated vigilanteism. To #1 you know they (a private, un-licensed, un-badged, un-warranted corporation) can search your computer without your knowledge and use any suspicion they might have to slap a huge lawsuit on you which you will be encouraged to settle (for $2000) or risk going to court and incurring lawyer fees far in excess of that. They, in essence, blackmail the accused (without ever having to prove anything) into forking over $2000. I’m opposed to theft and I think that file sharing is deeply problematic but I find the RIAA’s methods to be more so.

— J Nov 1, 08:38 PM #
3.

You’re right, gl. These are the types of crimes we need to worry about. Let’s make sure this kid is fined $25,000 per song, much of which will go to attorneys’ fees and the recording corporation (which is starving for money, I’m sure).

Our society is so horrendously overregulated that I find myself actually NOT caring about these so-called “crimes.” Even if it were my intellectual property—my dissertation, for example—I don’t think I’d care. Let’s focus on some real issues. People are hungry, losing their homes, in real trouble. What a waste of time, money, and resources.

— Julia Nov 1, 10:26 PM #
4.

He’s not a lawyer you douche. He’s just some kid who was caught DL-ing music. How are you blaming him for anything?

— Sam Nov 1, 10:59 PM #

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