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The Courts Government The Almighty Buck News

Nesson & Camara Increase Attack Against RIAA 193

eldavojohn writes "We talked about Charlie Nesson of Harvard Law School before, and it may not have been known to you, but he is backing former student and Jammie Thomas' new lawyer, K.A.D. Camara. Ars is reporting that Nesson is upping the charges against the RIAA. Not only is file-sharing fair use, but the $100,000,000 the RIAA has collected through fear is due back to those wrongly accused. He's also increasing the number of fronts he's fighting. On Camara's website, he indicates that in another case, Brittany English (pro bono), they 'are asking the courts to declare that statutory damages like these — 150,000:1 — are unconstitutional and that the RIAA's campaign to extract settlements from individuals by the threat of such unconstitutional damages is itself unlawful, enjoin the RIAA's unlawful campaign, and order the RIAA to return the $100M+ that it obtained as a result of its unlawful campaign.'"
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Nesson & Camara Increase Attack Against RIAA

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  • Go, Kiwi, Go! (Score:5, Informative)

    by mangu ( 126918 ) on Friday May 22, 2009 @06:06PM (#28059909)

    After reading on Slashdot about this guy and reading more on the internet, I've become his fan. I wish him well.

  • by florescent_beige ( 608235 ) on Friday May 22, 2009 @06:27PM (#28060107) Journal

    Make sure their lawyers are disbarred too.

    Especially the five that now hold senior positions at the Department of Justice.

  • by reddburn ( 1109121 ) <redburn1@ g m a> on Friday May 22, 2009 @08:29PM (#28061251)

    Oh dear god, kindly fuck off. Copyright is an amoral law that concentrates power over culture into the hands of profiteering publishers.

    Copyright is based on precedent, one that originally promoted original art. Once upon a time, anyone with a printing press could take someone's work and make a book. Authors were getting screwed, particularly overseas authors: American publishers were printing Dickens without paying royalties and British houses were doing likewise to Melville (one reason he died a pauper - he was vastly more popular in Britain, but never saw a cent for his books printed there). Establishing Copyright and an international treaty made it possible for artists to make a buck. Like any law, it needs retooling, but to dismiss the concept of copyright as amoral is puerile.

  • I support the movement, but claiming that file sharing is protected under "fair use" is a horrible legal argument.

    Actually the way you, and perhaps they, have expressed the issue is overly simplistic. "File sharing" is a broad term. There are many factual scenarios under its penumbra. Some of those scenarios would constitute fair use, some would not, and some would fall into a gray area to which we do not know the answer. There has been NO litigation of the "fair use" defense in the RIAA v. Individual cases, except for a single 2003 case in which the only question was whether running off unauthorized copies of unauthorized copies on a p2p file sharing network, and placing those in permanent hard copies on the defendant's computer, was a "fair use". The Court held that it was not. But there are many other possible fact patterns, none of which have presented themselves yet in a litigation context.

    Meanwhile the constitutionality defense -- that the RIAA's theory of statutory damages fails to pass constitutional muster under the Due Process Clause due to the disproportionality to actual damages -- is certain to succeed, in my professional opinion, once the issue ripens.

  • Re:Go, Kiwi, Go! (Score:2, Informative)

    by dcollins117 ( 1267462 ) on Friday May 22, 2009 @11:17PM (#28062753)
    Erm, it's just spelled "root". Just use your l33t h4xx0r skills and visit Or do I need to post a link?
  • by Bigjeff5 ( 1143585 ) on Saturday May 23, 2009 @12:00AM (#28063111)

    Actually, last year Nesson had the opportunity to shut the copyright nonsense down and dropped the ball. He basically refused to argue the practical merits of the case, sticking only to principles. The SCOTUS was tossing him softballs to allow him to show, basically, that the argument he wanted to argue was important enough that they should decide the constitutionality of it.

    What he failed to consider was that, despite granting him the hearing (which was an extreme longshot in itself), and practically begging him to give them a reason to decide the case in his favor, the SCOTUS will NOT decide constitutionality unless it is absolutely necessary. They need to be convinced that individuals and society at large are actually harmed, not just theoretically. In the end, they tossed the case on completely different grounds, and didn't address Nesson's argument at all.

    I doubt he'd make the same mistake twice, but hopefully Camera will make the case more effectively than Nesson did.

    BTW, Nesson is frickin brilliant, and he was RIGHT in his arguments, he just has little to no experience actually litigating a case, and because of that failed misserably.

BLISS is ignorance.