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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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  • by Lead Butthead ( 321013 ) on Friday May 22, 2009 @06:14PM (#28059977) Journal

    Make sure their lawyers are disbarred too.

  • by Mathinker ( 909784 ) on Friday May 22, 2009 @06:25PM (#28060085) Journal

    When seen in the context of an administration which is stuffing the Department of Justice with lawyers with strong ties to the entertainment industries, your post is even bleaker....

  • by QuantumG ( 50515 ) * <> on Friday May 22, 2009 @06:34PM (#28060181) Homepage Journal

    Oh dear god, kindly fuck off.

    Copyright is an amoral law that concentrates power over culture into the hands of profiteering publishers.

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

    by sys.stdout.write ( 1551563 ) on Friday May 22, 2009 @06:39PM (#28060211)
    Charlie Nesson has lost his mind. I support the movement, but claiming that file sharing is protected under "fair use" is a horrible legal argument..
  • by RCC42 ( 1457439 ) on Friday May 22, 2009 @06:43PM (#28060253)

    But lost behind it all is the primary problem — "Thou shalt not steal". Because, if the 10 Commandments were a "living and breathing document []", the "Thou shalt not copy content without owner's permission" would've been found in it long ago.

    The Ten Commandments != The Constitution

  • by Monkeedude1212 ( 1560403 ) on Friday May 22, 2009 @06:50PM (#28060337) Journal
    You don't lose anything if I steal your credit card information either. The idea is that you'll lose money over it.
  • by meringuoid ( 568297 ) on Friday May 22, 2009 @06:58PM (#28060415)
    You don't lose anything if I steal your credit card information either.

    No, that's quite true. If you copy my credit card information and do nothing at all with it, I don't lose anything. If on the other hand you copy my credit card information, then impersonate me and start buying things with it, then it costs me money. COSTS me money. As in, I have to pay the bills for your spending.

    The only sense in which the victims of copyright infringement lose money is that they don't get money they might otherwise have had. That's a very different thing from taking away money which they actually did have.

  • by florescent_beige ( 608235 ) on Friday May 22, 2009 @07:05PM (#28060463) Journal

    But lost behind it all is the primary problem â" "Thou shalt not steal".

    The primary problem is not that people are stealing, the primary problem is that people don't think they are stealing.

    And the primary question is: is the problem a problem with the moral health of people, or is the problem a problem with the entertainment industry's business model?

    Are people as a collective allowed to decide what is publicly transferable? I would say, yeah. That's a bummer for those who profit when copies of works are scarce in the economic sense but then again times change. And the Ten Commandments don't contain any guarantees from God about the minimum level of profitability of the music business.

    Of course one should always obey the laws of the land. Except when one shouldn't. For example, civil disobedience in protest of the arbitrary and disproportionate victimization of ordinary people by powerful elites has always gotten sympathetic treatment in the history books.

    On this one, I predict the history books will portray the industry as a callous group who tried to enforce their will on the populace by making people terrified of their wrath.

  • by DarkOx ( 621550 ) on Friday May 22, 2009 @07:07PM (#28060475) Journal

    IANAL, but consider this.

    Doing this kind of work requires you invest tons of hours and probably a bit of money in expenses for which there is a high likelihood you can never recoup. Like any other investment the greater the risk the greater the rewards must be to attract anyone. Lawyers who do this sort of work are investing with time and materials that they could have been using to do work that was more likely or even certain to pay off.

    Its often not something you can do on the side either. You are up against of team of lawyers with corporate backing, If you half ass it you probably don't stand a chance. How big a cut of something like this would it take for you to risk quiting your day job for? with odd that are probably quite long?


    Now consider you are a member of the represented class you have been abused by the RIAA directly. You fought them and lost, or settled and paid up. You though you were out your 100K settlement or damages. Now someone comes along and puts the smack down on the thugs you could not defeat or did not think it was even to your interest to try and fight. They also manage to return 70% of your losses to you. I suspect most people would be great full to get 70K refunded to them of 100K they thought they'd lost forever.

    I don't find the lawyer's take on these types of things all that outrageous when you look at it objectively.

  • by QuantumG ( 50515 ) * <> on Friday May 22, 2009 @07:12PM (#28060537) Homepage Journal

    "Corporation: An ingenious device for obtaining personal profit without individual responsibility."
          - Ambrose Bierce

  • by Mr2001 ( 90979 ) on Friday May 22, 2009 @07:14PM (#28060557) Homepage Journal

    Yes, because it's all about the publishers. No artist could possibly want to sell their work. They'd much rather pack your bags at the grocery store and then go home to make music, video games, movies and books for you in the evening because they like you so much.

    Yes, because that's the only alternative. No artist could possibly make money from their work if they didn't have a government-granted license to restrict other people's speech. They'd rather give up and go work at grocery stores than adopt a sensible business model that isn't threatened by technology.

  • Nonsense! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Weaselmancer ( 533834 ) on Friday May 22, 2009 @07:23PM (#28060639)

    Do you turn your back on NYCL so quickly

    Who says we have to have just one hero? All we've done here is to go from Superman to The Justice League.

    So, more heroes please! Keep 'em coming!

  • by Weaselmancer ( 533834 ) on Friday May 22, 2009 @07:25PM (#28060653)

    This entire fiasco is full of horrible legal arguments. John Doe bulk filesuits, extortion, racketeering, the notion that you are your IP, settlement letters before suit is name it.

    Having it close on a horrible argument would be poetic at this point.

  • by Mr2001 ( 90979 ) on Friday May 22, 2009 @07:28PM (#28060687) Homepage Journal

    Remember that Slashdot is very pro-Linux and pro-GPL, so there's an attitude of providing things for free. The thing is, the GPL relies on copyright to exist. It's actually a copyright and usage license, even though Slashdot often posts stories about how evil copyright laws and EULAs are.

    The primary benefit of the GPL, according to many of us, is that it turns copyright against itself, restoring the freedoms that copyright took away in the first place.

    In a world with no copyright, there wouldn't be nearly as much need for the GPL: we'd all be free to distribute software, patches, and reverse engineered source code. If you release a proprietary fork of Linux and refuse to give out the source code, that's OK, we'll just disassemble it and incorporate your changes into our open-source branch.

    And, of course, there are the stories of "stolen" GPL code, even though we constantly hear that "piracy isn't theft."

    I agree that it's a poor choice of words, but "stealing" GPL code is actually closer to theft than copying commercial works is. It deprives end users of the source code and the distribution rights that they rightfully should have.

    It's pointless to point out these kinds of hypocrisies, because the mod system is so easily gamed to drown those kinds of criticisms out.

    You mean, the people who point out flaws in your arguments get modded up, while your flawed arguments get modded down? Gee, what a terribly broken system.

  • Re:Go, Kiwi, Go! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by BCW2 ( 168187 ) on Friday May 22, 2009 @07:31PM (#28060731) Journal
    He is just striking back "in kind". His claim is no more ridiculous than any and all claims made by the RIAA.

    Imagine chest pains in certain board rooms at the thought that this could be ruled on against them. Just the thought, kind of like how their victims have felt.
  • by JStegmaier ( 1051176 ) on Friday May 22, 2009 @07:58PM (#28060971)

    a legitimate reason why bootlegging on the internet is A-OK while bootlegging on a street corner is not and never has been.

    The fact that one is for-profit and the other is not seems like a legitimate reason to me.

Logic is the chastity belt of the mind!