There will probably be more from Allan shortly (hmmm…that seems vague). In the meantime (which is a good song by Spacehog–go ahead, indulge: Song/video), I’ll post this short note on the heels of another massive verdict in the ongoing litigation against illegal file sharing. Here’s the quick story taken from Ars Technica:
After just 3 hours of deliberation, the jury in the RIAA vs. Joel Tenebaum has ordered the student to pay $675,000 in damages or $22,500 for each of the 30 songs that he downloaded.
When asked about the size verdict, Tenenbaum’s attorney and Harvard Law School professor Charles Nesson told Ars that “it’s a bankrupting award.” Nesson believed that the outcome might have been different if he had been allowed to argue Fair Use. “We were not allowed to speak to fairness,” he told Ars. “I thought we had pretty damn good arguments on Fair Use.”
Tenebaum said that we would probably declare bankrupcy if the award were not overturned.
Combine this with the $1 million + verdict against the single mom from Minnesota and it’s pretty easy to see who has got both the law and the powerful lawyers on their side. Joel got some Harvard law professor to represent him. Please. Lord, what fools these mortals be.(B.S.)
Yet in this brave new world of internet bravado, a mere public flogging or two (although well within their rights) is not going to endear the record industry to it’s consumers nor is it going to derail the juggernaut that is illegal file sharing. So what’s the point? IMO it’s to prove a point. A point that has dogged the record industry for the past 10 years. One that’s been been challenged by a new distribution method and a generation of users who assume music is free. It’s not. Not quite yet anyway.
Here’s my advice to anyone who gets a file sharing ticket while speeding around the internet. Pay it. Going to court is a bad idea.
On another note, here’s a link to one of the funniest articles I’ve read in a long time. This came out last week, but it should be added to the dictionary as the example listed under “irony.” Enjoy: Limewire Pizza Party.