Thursday, March 26, 2009

Obama administration sides with RIAA in P2P suit

Declan McCullagh tells us that the Obama administration has sided with the RIAA in the Joel Tenenbaum P2P lawsuit:
"The Obama administration has sided with the recording industry in a copyright lawsuit against an alleged peer-to-peer pirate, a move that echoes arguments previously made by the Bush administration.

A legal brief filed Sunday in a case that the Recording Industry Association of America is pursuing in Massachusetts argues that federal copyright law is not so overly broad and its penalties not so unduly severe that they count as "punitive." Current law allows a copyright holder to receive up to $150,000 in damages per violation...

The Massachusetts case could prove to be an important one. A group of Harvard law school students, with the help of Harvard law Professor Charles Nesson, is providing defendant Joel Tenenbaum with an aggressive legal defense. They aim to convince the courts that the law the RIAA relies on is so Draconian it amounts to "essentially a criminal statute" and is therefore unconstitutional; that it grants too much authority to copyright holders; and that it violates due process rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution."

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