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Tenenbaum To SCOTUS: Let's Get This Debate Rolling

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  • by Hatta (162192) on Thursday May 17, 2012 @05:56PM (#40034417) Journal

    Short summary. Is there anything you'd like to add? How good of a test case is Tenenbaum?

    • Re:So NYCL... (Score:5, Informative)

      by cpu6502 (1960974) on Thursday May 17, 2012 @06:08PM (#40034583)

      "Tenenbaum's team arguing that the statutory damages for non-commercial use is clearly a major Constitutional issue, and by forcing it through the remittitur process, all the courts are doing is pressuring people like Tenenbaum to settle, rather than ever allowing it to be judged on constitutionality. And that has consequences -- namely in enabling copyright trolls to shake people down, without ever allowing them to challenge the constitutionality of massive statutory damages.

      "I actually think this is a much more persuasive argument than I've seen from Team Tenenbaum in the past, but it seems unlikely that the Supreme Court will actually take the case on. I hope I'm wrong (and then, if I am wrong on that, I hope I'm wrong in my guess as to how it will come out, because this version of the Supreme Court doesn't appear to understand the issues around copyright law)..... It's an interesting argument to get around the lack of a circuit split (conflicting rulings in different circuits, which is one of the key reasons why the Supreme Court agrees to hear certain cases)."

      If I got a letter from RIAA or MPAA demanding $5000 I'd just throw it in the trash.

      It's doubtful they'd come after me, and if they did, then I'd enjoy fighting them in court. And if I wound-up losing and owing $1.5 million (two songs infringed upon), I'd consider that a life sentence. That's worse than the punishment for murder.

      • Re:So NYCL... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Kjella (173770) on Thursday May 17, 2012 @06:23PM (#40034791) Homepage

        And if I wound-up losing and owing $1.5 million (two songs infringed upon), I'd consider that a life sentence.

        No no, you see there's a generous cap on maximum damages so you'd only owe $300k, to get as much as $1.5 million you must be a big time infringer sharing at least 10 files or a little less than an album.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Coming from a history of 70s rock.. wouldn't something like Quadrophenia or Tommy be one work. As long as I distributed it as one big chunk. In fact, would not the individual songs be excerpts for critical comment ?

          Weren't composers all up in arms about iTunes, etc. "destroying the unity of the work" by selling albums piecemeal?

          If I distribute all movements of a recorded symphony (e.g. all 4 parts of Beethoven's 9th) is the RIAA going to come after me for 4 infringements or 1?

          I guess it depends on what c

      • by hot soldering iron (800102) on Thursday May 17, 2012 @06:55PM (#40035119)

        So.... You'd get off with a lighter sentence if you went and killed the RIAA attorneys? I like your thinking, and I'll gladly kick in a buck for your legal defense fund.

      • by N1AK (864906)

        If I got a letter from RIAA or MPAA demanding $5000 I'd just throw it in the trash. It's doubtful they'd come after me, and if they did, then I'd enjoy fighting them in court. And if I wound-up losing and owing $1.5 million (two songs infringed upon), I'd consider that a life sentence. That's worse than the punishment for murder.

        Oh come on. If the punishment was that bad why would you throw the letter away without seeking legal advice. Either you like acting irrationally or that position makes no sense. Se

        • by cpu6502 (1960974)

          For the same reason I'd throw a letter from Nigeria demanding $5000 in the trash. I don't respond to extortion.

      • by molog (110171)

        And if I wound-up losing and owing $1.5 million (two songs infringed upon), I'd consider that a life sentence. That's worse than the punishment for murder.

        Why would it be a life sentence. There is this thing called bankruptcy. It can wipe even this judgement away.

    • How good of a test case is Tenenbaum?

      Considering Tenenbaum's lawyer has already faced sanctions and had to pay fees for the other side, probably not a great one.

    • Re:So NYCL... (Score:5, Informative)

      by Ihmhi (1206036) <i_have_mental_health_issues@yahoo.com> on Thursday May 17, 2012 @09:20PM (#40036541)

      I haven't seen NYCL (NewYorkCountryLawyer [slashdot.org], for the uninformed) in a while and I do terribly miss him. He's one of the nicer things about Slashdot. But, it looks like he started posting again in the last few days! Hello NYCL!

      • I haven't seen NYCL (NewYorkCountryLawyer, for the uninformed) in a while and I do terribly miss him. He's one of the nicer things about Slashdot. But, it looks like he started posting again in the last few days! Hello NYCL!

        Thank you Ihmhi

        Yeah I really have been remiss, will try to do better :)

        I miss you guys (and by guys I mean gals too)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 17, 2012 @06:09PM (#40034595)

    Oh, it's not that Tenenbaum :(

  • Can somebody please translate this summary to English.
    • by Beardo the Bearded (321478) on Thursday May 17, 2012 @06:32PM (#40034891)

      Okay, this guy Tenenbaum, let's call him Mr. T for short, was sharing files. Sony sued him and won a fuckton of cash from him, more than he'll earn in his lifetime.

      The argument put forth by Mr. T is that those are fair punishments if the infringer is a business, and that's when those laws were drafted. They didn't think that an individual would be on the business end of commercial copyright theft. (Which by definition they cannot be, since they aren't a commercial entity)

      So Mr. T's argument is: come on, now it's $1 a song for an MP3. It's cruel and unusual punishment (thus the constitutionality of it) to subject someone to a lifetime of indebtured service for stealing something that's worth $1. If he stole 500 pies and then burned down the bakery with five people inside, he'd be out of prison in 10 years. For taking a photo of those pies and putting them up on his website so other people could see what those pies looked like, he's being put to financial death.

      • by Rogerborg (306625) on Thursday May 17, 2012 @06:44PM (#40035007) Homepage
        Well, that's his argument now. Remember, it started out as "Nuh huh, didn't", until it became painfully obvious that uh huh, did. Joel has had exactly the level of representation that he's paid for - none. His, uh, "legal representatives" have successfully defended him from a few thousand dollar settlement all the way into eternal servitude.

        Given an appeal to SCOTUS, they might manage to get him renditioned to Guantanamo, although on the bright side, it won't have cost him a cent in legal fees to get there, and they'll get some totally awesome anecdotes to deliver in their Law 101 lectures.

        • It doesn't matter if he did or did not at this point. Once he's found guilty of doing it, then it's a fact that he did do it, reality be damned. In the one law course I took as an Engineer, we talked about this. Let's say I commit a crime while wearing a red shirt. If all the witnesses said I was wearing a blue shirt and I was convicted, then as far as the law was concerned, that red shirt is, in fact, blue.

          Now, legal weirdness notwithstanding, he's got a good point. A $3/4 million dollar fine is all w

          • But the problem is that he isn't being charged with "stealing" in the idea that he took something worth $1. It's that he gave that $1 item away for free a multitude of times.

            So it isn't the 1 song he downloaded, but the song that he gave away a multitude of times.

            At least, that is my understanding. They don't go after the downloader, they go after the seeder.
            • by whoever57 (658626)

              So it isn't the 1 song he downloaded, but the song that he gave away a multitude of times.

              What evidence that he gave it away more than once (or even once) was presented to the court?

              • So it isn't the 1 song he downloaded, but the song that he gave away a multitude of times.

                What evidence that he gave it away more than once (or even once) was presented to the court?

                His own statements of admission.

                Are you saying that Tenenbaum shouldn't be liable for infringement, but that both he and Neeson should instead face criminal trials for perjury?

                ... that's a novel "defense".

            • by sjames (1099)

              So just exactly how many times do they claim he gave it away? In order for the $675,000 to not be excessive, he would have to have given away 337,500 instances of songs the plaintiff has exclusive rights to (about a TB of data).

              On a typical broadband connection, that would mean keeping his upstream at 100% utilization 24/7 for over half a year (without being cut off as an abuser) or for much longer if he actually wanted to use the connection himself.

              This all assumes that the label would make $0.50 on the so

              • by bws111 (1216812)

                The problem with all of your calculations is that they are based off the wrong thing. You (and a lot of other people) assume that the 'damage' is a copy of a song. It isn't. The thing that copyright law gives you is exclusive control of your work. THAT is the damage - loss of exclusive control. Since it is impossible to calculate the value of exclusive control, a value was set by statute. So really, the question for a court would be whether or not the amount set by statute is a reasonable amount for t

                • by sjames (1099)

                  Nonsense. The only value the exclusivity has is that it gives you the ability to make people pay you for something they could otherwise just take for free. That is worth exactly what you could get people to pay you for it.

                  Why is that house valued at $10M? Because that's what comparable houses are selling for. (you are correct that it has nothing to do with what the defendant can actually afford).

                  So what is an instance of giving someone a copy of a song actually worth? Lets look at how much an instance of th

                  • by bws111 (1216812)

                    They are not paying for the defendants gain, they are paying for the plaintiffs loss. When you torched that house you didn't gain anything either.

                    Neither you nor anyone else has any idea what the exclusive control would have been worth had they maintained it. It is impossible to know. That is why a value is set by statute. The idea that it would only be $1 is laughable at best.

                    I'm sure that you would be just as generous with people taking away your exclusive control of things, right? I mean, if I were

                    • by sjames (1099)

                      Yes, but your loss is intimately tied to potential gain when courts make value determinations. The value per song is whatever the proper rightsholder customarily charges for that copy, in this case less than $1 per copy. They routinely sell that to iTunes and other distributors. If they lost an exclusivity, it was when they started selling the right to make single copies on a per-copy basis to distributors.

                      As for the house option, I can assure you the courts would NOT assign a value of 700 times the entire

                    • by bws111 (1216812)

                      Your response to the personal house question shows you still don't get it. It does not matter what your wishes are or were, I have taken your exclusive control away. According to your theory, since you were not going to rent out your house anyway the damages should be exactly zero. You are the one claiming exclusive control has no value in itself, and that is just plain wrong.

                      However, since you want to pretend that there is a difference because of 'emotions', let's try this. You run a car rental serv

                    • by sjames (1099)

                      Go read it again. My customary use matters very much to the courts. I actually argued that the analogy is only valid if the label had no intention of distributing the song at all (patently untrue, they only exist to distribute songs).

                      We are not discussing criminal charges here, this is a civil case. If you took my rental car out for 2 days and brought it back undamaged, I probably WOULD only get 2 days rent plus a single digit multiplier (if that) as damages. The criminal charges would be irrelevant to the

                    • by reiisi (1211052)

                      That would assume the rental agency didn't have the car from the time the thief took it to the time it was returned.

                      Let's try a different analogy. Person A visits your rental lot and and checks out the driver's seat of a car. Let's say he rips the seatcover somehow. Whether there was intent or not, is the damage to the seatcover going to exceed the cost of the car? Should the law allow your lawyer to send letters threatening you with a bankrupting suit unless you're willing to cough up the price of a hundre

                • Look it up. Nowhere in the US Constitution is the phrase "exclusive control" used.

                  Temporary "exclusive right" to a work, yes.

                  Right to a house involves being able to use it for shelter when you want to. Allows you demand another person to leave.

                  Does not involve using it to manufacture nerve gas with the windows open, for instance.

                  Right to a song? Given the pre-amble and various elements of the Constitution itself, rights to a song should not include the right to extort huge sums of money from an individual w

            • It's that he gave that $1 item away for free a multitude of times.

              This should help his case, if anything. If he had setup a music downloading site a-la iTunes store, and had taken this music and SOLD it repeatedly without the proper authorization steps, then the fine would be just. As it stands, he did not sell the items, and it is entirely unfair that they charge him an amount based on profit margins from music stores and copyright licensing fees for multimillion dollar companies.

              What is so wrong with, say, $100 a song you shared illegally? I think that would be sufficie

              • It's that he gave that $1 item away for free a multitude of times.

                This should help his case, if anything. If he had setup a music downloading site a-la iTunes store, and had taken this music and SOLD it repeatedly without the proper authorization steps, then the fine would be just. As it stands, he did not sell the items, and it is entirely unfair that they charge him an amount based on profit margins from music stores and copyright licensing fees for multimillion dollar companies.

                But, for better or for worse, the copyright statute makes no distinction between those who infringe copyright for funsies and those who do it for commercial profit, except in the area of criminal liability. Tenenbaum didn't sell the music, so he won't go to jail... but he doesn't magically get to avoid all of the infringement damages as a result.

                And, again, for better or for worse, the Supreme Court doesn't get to change that... Congress can change the statute to exempt infringement-for-funsies or reduce t

                • by Eskarel (565631)

                  The Supreme court can't, as such, change it, they can say "These fines are cruel and unusual punishment and therefor in violation of the constitution" though. This of course doesn't replace the fines, but it does remove the existing ones. Congress would then have to actually get together and set a new amount, likely following guidance from the SC decision.

                  Now the likelihood of this happening is not exactly high. The current SC has voted very heavily in favor of both corporations and conservative ideals. Abo

                  • That's part of the problem.

                    Patents and copyrights did not violate the Constitution before the invention of "intellectual property".

                    These were temporary liens on the market commons relative to creative works.

                    Now they are title to other people's thoughts, because of a semantic shift in the application of law.

                    Reality and the law are way out of sync. If the RIAA and MPAA and patent trolls don't quit, patents are going to be replaced with the GPL, and copyrights are going to be reduced to five years, no extensio

                    • by Eskarel (565631)

                      I agree with you there(though I probably have a different solution), but the point of it is that this case is a bit of a long shot even if you had a very different supreme court than we currently do.

                      That said, as I've stated, it's a long shot with pretty much no down side for the people involved. Arguing in front of the SC is a career win for the lawyers and even if they came back with some massively pro copyright ruling it wouldn't increase the fine. We could potentially end up with such a ruling which wo

        • Joel has had exactly the level of representation that he's paid for - none.

          Because in the US legal system, the rich are innocent, and the poor are guilty. You would save a lot of time if everyone just emailed bank statements to the courts and then no one would have to waste their time in a courtroom.

      • The argument put forth by Mr. T is that those are fair punishments if the infringer is a business, and that's when those laws were drafted. They didn't think that an individual would be on the business end of commercial copyright theft. (Which by definition they cannot be, since they aren't a commercial entity)

        The problem with that argument is that the copyright act was updated 14 years ago, with provisions included specifically to address copyright infringement in the internet era - the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. So, any argument that the copyright act is simply too out of date and they never considered file sharing is doomed at the outset.

        So Mr. T's argument is: come on, now it's $1 a song for an MP3. It's cruel and unusual punishment (thus the constitutionality of it) to subject someone to a lifetime of indebtured service for stealing something that's worth $1. If he stole 500 pies and then burned down the bakery with five people inside, he'd be out of prison in 10 years. For taking a photo of those pies and putting them up on his website so other people could see what those pies looked like, he's being put to financial death.

        And unfortunately, that argument misses half of the infringement. You're right, Mr. T could have downloaded a track for $1. But he also was uploading copies... How much is a distribution license? Do you think that Apple, for example, pays a single dollar, once, in exchange for getting to distribute millions of copies of the latest pop song? Heck no... Distribution licenses are usually based on royalty percentages with established distributors, or flat fees (potentially plus a lower royalty) for unestablished distributors where the royalties may be questionable. If Mr. T approached Capitol Records and said "I'd like a license to distribute ten thousand copies of this song," do you think they would say "sure, that'll be $1", or would they more likely say something like, "sure, that'll be $100,000"?

        For example, Michael Jackson bought the distribution rights to a bunch of Beatles songs - specifically, 4,000 songs at $47.5 million, or about $12k per song... Much more than $1.

        So, any argument that Mr. T's damages should be only $1 is also doomed to fail.

        Fortunately, there's another argument, but it's one that only a judge or an amici would raise since neither Tenenbaum nor the RIAA would like it (which may be an indicator that it's correct)... Specifically, it has to do with the "willful" infringement standard which expands the damage range from $750-30,000 per work to "up to $150,000". The RIAA has argued in the past that "willful" means "known or should have known the song was copyrighted" (which is why they slap a copyright label on everything)... but that effectively removes the regular damage range, and it also disregards some of the specific legislative history of the act and congressional reports. However, no defendant - including Tenenbaum - has ever tried to argue that, no, they should only be liable for up to $30k, because that's still way too high for them. They're too busy arguing the doomed "it should only be $1," so they miss this point: the "willful" standard was intended to be a "malicious" infringement standard, for either commercial profit or to commercially destroy the publisher by giving away their works.

        And this is actually quite important... juries select damages near the geometric mean of a range, unless there's egregious behavior that pisses them off. If you give a jury an instruction that they should find damages between $750-150000, they'll end up picking something in the $30k-40k range. If you tell them they should find damages between $750-30000, they'll end up picking something in the $7k-10k range. It's pure psychology - if you go from $750 to $1500, you've doubled the fee... but if you go from $149250 to $150000, you've barely changed it, even though it's the same difference. So, juries pick round numbers, a

        • by whoever57 (658626)

          And unfortunately, that argument misses half of the infringement. You're right, Mr. T could have downloaded a track for $1. But he also was uploading copies.

          You suppose that he uploaded it multiple times. What evidence exists to prove this? Without such evidence, the uploading damages should be zero.

          • And unfortunately, that argument misses half of the infringement. You're right, Mr. T could have downloaded a track for $1. But he also was uploading copies.

            You suppose that he uploaded it multiple times. What evidence exists to prove this? Without such evidence, the uploading damages should be zero.

            He admitted it. And in fact, Neeson did it again during the trial, placing all of the songs on a website for free download. A confession is sufficient evidence. The only issue at trial was damages, and thus, the only issue that can be up before the Supreme Court is damages.

            • As I understand it, he didn't charge to download these copied files on his end. This should mean he is not subject to the corporate music store licensing, but he should be held accountable by the Copyright notice that is at the beginning of every movie saying "Hey! $10,000 fine and up to 5 years in the slammer!".

              I know if I were given the option of a few years in white-collar jail and a $10k fine versus ~$700k in fines I would take the first option.

              • As I understand it, he didn't charge to download these copied files on his end. This should mean he is not subject to the corporate music store licensing, but he should be held accountable by the Copyright notice that is at the beginning of every movie saying "Hey! $10,000 fine and up to 5 years in the slammer!".

                That's a great theory... Why don't you look in the copyright act [cornell.edu] and find where there's support for that theory that he's not subject to licensing fees since he didn't charge? We'll wait.

                • That's a great theory... Why don't you look in the copyright act and find where there's support for that theory that he's not subject to licensing fees since he didn't charge? We'll wait.

                  You mean this part?

                  to distribute copies or phonorecords of the copyrighted work to the public by sale or other transfer of ownership, or by rental, lease, or lending 17. USC 106(3);

              • by Cigarra (652458)
                No matter how white collar your prison, they will still rape you in it. Just saying.
            • by whoever57 (658626)

              He admitted it.

              As far as I can tell, he admitted to uploading, but not how many times each file was uploaded. I really doubt that the record shows anything related his uploading his activity except for his admission of an indeterminate number of uploads.

              And in fact, Neeson did it again during the trial, placing all of the songs on a website for free download

              How are the actions of his lawyer related to his liability?

              • He admitted it.

                As far as I can tell, he admitted to uploading, but not how many times each file was uploaded. I really doubt that the record shows anything related his uploading his activity except for his admission of an indeterminate number of uploads.

                Ah, sorry, didn't realize that's the part you were quibbling with - not whether he uploaded, but how many times. The latter is irrelevant - a single act of uploading gets the same statutory damages as ten thousand, because damages are per work infringed, not per copy.

              • by bws111 (1216812)

                It does not matter how many times he uploaded. What a lot of people (including you) don't seem to understand is that the damage is not loss of a single copy or a single sale, it is loss of the exclusive right to distribute. Since it is impossible to determine the value of that right, an amount was set by statute.

                • by whoever57 (658626)

                  What a lot of people (including you) don't seem to understand is that the damage is not loss of a single copy or a single sale, it is loss of the exclusive right to distribute. Since it is impossible to determine the value of that right, an amount was set by statute.

                  He did not rip the CD and make the first upload, thus, he was not the person who was responsible for the loss of the exclusive right. Once that first upload was done, the exclusive right was lost. On the other hand, if he wasn't the first pers

        • Non-exclusive distribution is what Tenenbaum did. That is worth a lot less than exclusive distribution. You do the exact same thing, but because you are paying someone to promise that they won't let your competitors have a fair go at the market, the price is higher. Actually, there no longer is any realistic option for "exclusive distribution" anymore, since digital copies are everywhere, so what is the actual value of an agreement the seller can not possibly uphold?

          Right, how can someone ever explain thi
        • by cdrguru (88047)

          I would offer that music piracy today is indeed willful with the clear intent to commercially destroy the publisher by giving away their works. Nearly everyone that is on the "production" side in music and movie piracy is very much interested in the destruction of the publishers by removing any revenue they might get.

          It brings us all one step closer to the Roddenberry dream of the Star Trek Economy... or at least that is the thinking behind a lot of this. First you destroy any value non-material goods mig

          • by Coren22 (1625475)

            There are scientific studies that demonstrate piracy leading to higher sales, so trying to say we want to destroy them is rather absurd when many pirates buy many things they pirate.

    • by medv4380 (1604309) on Thursday May 17, 2012 @06:36PM (#40034927)
      The guy submit a request to have the US Supreme Court review a case involving copyright infringement on the basis that it violates the Excessive Fines Clause. Which is at least a reasonable argument, and if accepted would put the RIAA and others under a spotlight that could damage all future cases. However, it is unlikely they will accept it.
    • by Trepidity (597) <.delirium-slashdot. .at. .hackish.org.> on Thursday May 17, 2012 @06:39PM (#40034961)

      1. For a while now, many people have viewed he per-infringement statutory damages as pretty ridiculous, since you can end up owing like, $10 million in damages for sharing a folder of mp3s, which does not seem anywhere near any actual damage caused.

      2. The U.S. Supreme Court in the past has held that, for punitive damages, an award of more than about 4x actual damages, and definitely anything in excess of 10x actual damages, is unconstitutional.

      3. Commentators have urged courts to combine #1 and #2 above by extending the holding to statutory damages: i.e. that statutory damages cannot exceed some reasonable multiplier over actual damages.

      4. In the case at issue, Sony BMG v. Tenenbaum, a court did precisely that. A jury returned a $675,000 statutory damages verdict, and the defendant moved to have it reduced as unconstitutionally out of line with actual damages. The court accepted that argument, and reduced it to $67,500.

      5. That decision was subsequently set aside, by an Appeals Court, on some obscure statutory grounds I'm not entirely familiar with, and returned to the District Court for a new trial. Tenenbaum is appealing that ruling to the Supreme Court, asking for the Appeals Court to be overturned, and the District Court's constitutional ruling on excessive damages to be reinstated.

      6. More generally, many commentators see this case as a particularly good opportunity for the Supreme Court to speak definitively on the question, hopefully extending the punitive damages rule to statutory damages.

    • by NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) <ray.beckermanlegal@com> on Thursday May 17, 2012 @06:51PM (#40035085) Homepage Journal

      Can somebody please translate this summary to English.

      Dear Supreme Court:
      When an mp3 file sells at retail for 99 cents, and the record company is out about 5 cents from an unauthorized download, it's beyond the pale to allow me to be penalized more than a few dollars for it, especially since I was not making any money on it, I was just listening to the music.
      So please rule on this issue to take the insanity out of present day copyright law.
      Thank you
      Your friend
      Joel Tenenbaum (& his lawyer Prof. Charlie Nesson)

      • It isn't the downloaded, but the seeding that get's one in trouble. It isn't that he downloaded two songs, but that he seeded two songs to a mutuality of people and each person is a new case of infringement.
      • by westlake (615356)

        Dear Supreme Court:

        When an mp3 file sells at retail for 99 cents, and the record company is out about 5 cents from an unauthorized download, it's beyond the pale to allow me to be penalized more than a few dollars for it, especially since I was not making any money on it, I was just listening to the music.

        You were also re-distributing the files wholesale to the P2P nets.

        Would you rather be charged 5 cents --- or, more plausibly, 45 cents each --- for every pirated mp3 file that could be traced back to your computer? Through a watermark or other means?

        Think about it.

        uTorrent has been downloaded 17 million times through Download.com alone.

        • by Anonymous Coward
          So, if on those two files, he had a ratio of 100 (which would be exceptionally high), he should be billed $0.45 per upload or a total of $90? Uh, okay, I guess I could live with that.
          • by westlake (615356)

            So, if on those two files, he had a ratio of 100 (which would be exceptionally high), he should be billed $0.45 per upload or a total of $90? Uh, okay, I guess I could live with that.

            His shared files go into the shared file folders of those who downloaded from him.

            There is nothing to surprise anyone in this: when Kazaa was in its prime you could see dozens if not hundreds of sources for the same file.

      • Dear Supreme Court:
        When an mp3 file sells at retail for 99 cents, and the record company is out about 5 cents from an unauthorized download, it's beyond the pale to allow me to be penalized more than a few dollars for it, especially since I was not making any money on it, I was just listening to the music.
        So please rule on this issue to take the insanity out of present day copyright law.
        Thank you
        Your friend
        Joel Tenenbaum (& his lawyer Prof. Charlie Nesson)

        Dear Mr. Tenebaum and Counselor Neeson,
        That would be a very reasonable point, if all you had ever done was download the song and "just listen to it."
        But instead, you distributed the song to thousands of people. We asked Capitol Records if a distribution license was also only 99 cents, and their accountant collapsed. When he recovered, he asked if we had meant 99 thousand dollars.
        So, can you clarify whether we're supposed to be ruling on the mere "just downloading and listening" that you claimed, or on th

        • by walshy007 (906710)

          But instead, you distributed the song to thousands of people.

          You seed every download until you hit the thousands of uploads mark? Must have a lot of upload capacity. Even small downloads won't hit that because the smaller the download the more seeders there tends to be so less likelihood of your machine distributing.

          • But instead, you distributed the song to thousands of people.

            You seed every download until you hit the thousands of uploads mark? Must have a lot of upload capacity. Even small downloads won't hit that because the smaller the download the more seeders there tends to be so less likelihood of your machine distributing.

            Dear Mr. Tenebaum and Counselor Neeson,
            So you're admitting you distributed the file, rather than merely "just downloading and listening" as you originally suggested, but instead are merely quibbling over the number of recipients? Why exactly are you wasting our time if you can't even get the facts of your own case straight?
            Sincerely,
            The Supremes

        • Dear Prof. Nesson, and Mr. Tenenbaum

          In order to have a distribution under copyright law there has to be a sale, or other transfer of ownership, or a rental, lease, or lending, to the public, none of which occurred here, so that's not an issue.

          But thanks for asking.

          Love

          The Supremes

          Send our regards to Theaetetus
          • Dear Prof. Nesson, and Mr. Tenenbaum

            In order to have a distribution under copyright law there has to be a sale, or other transfer of ownership, or a rental, lease, or lending, to the public, none of which occurred here, so that's not an issue.

            But thanks for asking.

            Love

            The Supremes

            Send our regards to Theaetetus

            Dear Supreme Court,

            As much as it pains us, considering that it destroys our last hope for salvation, in the interests of fulfilling our duty of candor, we must respectfully point out that you may be confusing "distribution" with "publication," which is defined as you note (and includes the term "distribution" within its definition, creating a circular definition in your reading). "Distribution" is not as limited as you state. As noted by the D. Minn. court in Capitol v. Thomas, "distribution" is not synon

    • by nick357 (108909)

      Can somebody please translate this summary to English.

      Sure!

      I used the services of Google translate to change that unreadable gibberish into something much more understandable:

      Provides a summary of responses to support requests, and Joel Tnanbhum ", in an attempt to court the thorny issue of damages in copyright law micropayment and MP3 files, Sony Music Entertainment, BMG Tnanbhum contrast, the U.S. Supreme Court notify".

      In keeping with the spirit of Slashdot, for those interested in the technical details, I moved it from its original gibberish to Latin to Ar

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