“And one of the most painful must be professor Charles Nesson (right) of Harvard Law School. Harvard is the one senior US teaching institution the Big 4 have been unable (afraid?) to touch in their twisted campaign to reduce every American university to the status of marketing-unit-cum-copyright-cop, and every American student to servile consumer of corporate ‘product,’ and only corporate ‘product’.
“Nesson has moved from outspoken critic of the guilty to active defender of the innocent,” we added.
Now, notes Techdirt, “It looks like the RIAA failed in its efforts to tiptoe around the legal bees’ nest of Harvard Law.”
‘Crack team of CyberOne students’
Nesson has, “gone to bat for an RIAA defendant in Boston, entering a case in which he will be taking the RIAA on directly, squaring off against Timothy Reynolds, Eve Burton, and Laurie Rust, the same Denver, Colorado, lawyers trying to dismiss UMG Recordings v Lindor in Brooklyn,” said Recording Industry vs The People‘s Ray Beckerman.
“The Massachusetts case is SONY BMG Music v. Tenenbaum, one of the hundreds of cases consolidated in Boston under the caption London-Sire v. Does 1-4.
“On Mr. Tenenbaum’s behalf, Prof. Nesson has filed an amended counterclaim, interposing counterclaims against the plaintiff record companies and against the RIAA itself, for both federal and state abuse of process.”
Not only but also Nesson, assisted by law students Shubham Mukherjee and Nnamdi Okike, demanded a protective order with respect to the RIAA’s request for a hard drive examination, and opposed the RIAA’s motion to dismiss counterclaims.
He and a, “crack team of CyberOne students is in the process of defending Joel Tenenbaum,” says Harvard’s CyberOne: Law in the Court of Public Opinion blog, going on »»»
The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) is in the process of bringing to bear upon the defendant, Joel Tenenbaum, the full might of its lobbying influence and litigating power. Joel Tenenbaum was a teenager at the time of the alleged copyright infringements, in every way representative of his born-digital generation.
The plaintiffs and the RIAA are seeking to punish him beyond any rational measure of the damage he allegedly caused.
They do this, not for the purpose of recovering compensation for actual damage caused by Joel`s individual action, nor for the primary purpose of deterring him from further copyright infringement, but for the ulterior purpose of creating an urban legend so frightening to children using computers, and so frightening to parents and teachers of students using computers, that they will somehow reverse the tide of the digital future.
The plaintiffs in the suit and the RIAA are abusing law and this court`s civil process. Because Joel Tenenbaum allegedly downloaded seven songs from a file-sharing network comprised of millions of his peers doing likewise, the plaintiffs have already imposed upon him process filling a docket sheet running back over years.
In fact, as Nesson says in an argument highlighted by Techdirt, the RIAA itself should be punished for its, “abuses of the law”.
‘The RIAA intimidates and steamrolls’
Say Nesson and his assistants in their defense of their counterclaim against the RIAA and the music companies that back it, “In essence, Plaintiffs are using the prosecution of Joel Tenenbaum to extort other accused infringers: the accused are told to either pay the settlement, or else be exposed to the protracted litigation and potentially astronomical damages that Joel now faces.”
They go on »»»
The intimidation tactics are working: of the 30,000 accusations the RIAA has leveled against individuals, only a single defendant has made her case in front of a judge and jury… (that sole defendant is now awaiting a new trial).
They’re referring to the Jammie Thomas farce in which judge Michael Davis, who presided, has now ruled that it be heard again.
Nesseon, et al, add »»»
The RIAA intimidates and steamrolls accused infringers into settling before they have their day in court and before the courts can weigh the merits of their defenses. The inherent dangers in allowing a single interest group, desperate in the face of technological change, led by a voracious, cohesive, extraordinarily well-funded and deeply experienced legal team doing battle with pro se defendants, armed with a statute written by them and lobbied and quietly passed through a compliant congress, to march defendants through the federal courts to make examples out of them should lead this Court to say “stop.”
Stay tuned, as ever.
p2pnet – Harvard`s Charles Nesson battles the RIAA, October 28, 2008
Techdirt – Big Guns Come Out In Effort To Show RIAA’s Lawsuits Are Unconstitutional, October 30, 2008
Recording Industry vs The People – Prof. Nesson of Harvard Law School takes on the RIAA in court in SONY v. Tenenbaum, October 28, 2008
Jammie Thomas farce – RIAA vs Jammie Thomas: new trial, September 24, 2008
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