Tuesday, August 16, 2005

The Recording Industry vs The People


I am a lawyer in New York City. I am a member of Beldock Levine & Hoffman LLP.

Through the Electronic Frontier Foundation I and my firm have undertaken to represent people in our area who have been sued by the Recording Industry of American (RIAA) for having computers whose internet accounts were used to open up peer-to-peer file sharing accounts.

I find these cases to be oppressive and unfair, as large law firms financed by the recording industry sue ordinary working people for thousands of dollars.

I have set up this blog in order to collect evidence and input about these oppressive lawsuits.

I hope you will find it useful.

Sincerely yours,

-Ray Beckerman

www.blhny.com

13 comments:

icecow said...

Auto makers calculate that a life is worth about 5 million dollars. People shoulder this figure every time they get in their car to go to work.

The RIAA puts a value of $150,000 per an infringement. Therefore, the RIAA puts the value on a human life equal to the infringement of 33.3 songs (or two music CDs).

Geoff said...

Thank you for taking this case on - Its about time someone made a stand against the RIAA's strong arm tactics

Anonymous said...

Thank you and good luck. Don't back down from their scare tactics and propaganda. This is a battle between the man and the consumer, and the consumer has been bending over for far too long.

Steamboat Lion said...

Keep up the good work. I promise that I'll never tell a lawyer joke again!

Dom said...

This is a great thing you are doing Ray. Know that you have widespread support that extends well outside the boundaries of the United States.

Nicolas said...

thank you and good luck. Your battle will be an example for people all over the world. I'm french...
bonne chance...

Sean Hickey said...

I pray that you win this case, as it will kick the legs out from under the RIAA.
When you do win, is there any chance of a class action lawsuit being filed on behalf of the individuals who've already settled with the RIAA?

- Sean

Anonymous said...

Thanks for being the kind of lawyer that defends people over money. There's alot wrong with the US right now, not to say there is a better place. But it takes determination and sacrifice by talents such as your own to make it a better place.

Attila Hooper

Jonathan said...

Best of luck in the case - I support you 100%

hadaso said...

From the court transcript:
MS. SANTANGELO: Okay.
I think my biggest issue is, honestly, not with the record company as much as it is with this company called Kazaa that allowed them to do this in the first place...

And I think that "the biggest issue is with that organization called Congress that have allowed this lawsuit to take place..."

Well, what I think is that the law that set a pricetag of $150,000 per single infringement was meant to apply to commercial mass printing of books without consent of the copyright holder, i.e., for those who try to make a lot of money illegally, and this pricetag should not apply to files made accessible for download through a very narrow uplink connection of a "broadband" connection by individuals who are not asking for money. The amount of damage a single user can cause here is very little, and having thousands of files "available for download" is quite imaterial. Only a very few can be transfered at any time, and each takes a long time to upload because uplink connections are typically quite slow (and since home computers are often turned off, uploads often break). The original law is based on an assumption that the existence of a single printed book is sound enough proof that there was mass infringement involved (printing presses are used to mass produce books). The very high sum set in the law should be enough to understand that the legislator did not mean that the law should apply in a ny case other than when the single infringement proved is obviously part of mass infringement that makes money for the infringer.

Anonymous said...

If the RIAA has not actually physically downloaded one of the offending files, and validated that it is in fact a digital representation of a copyrighted work, how can they assert with absolute confidence that the listed file is actually an infringement? P2P sharing services have to operate either off of the filename or a 'tag' associated with a file, both of which could easily be 'incorrect'. I could readily share a number of garbage files with designators indicating that they were copyrighted work when they obviously were not. Doing so does not make me a copyright infringer (there might be other choice words used by members of the P2P community to describe me, however). It simply seems to me that the plaintiff has to provide more convincing evidence that the files that have been labeled as being copyrighted material are in fact copyrighted material. The cite for the library entering a listing into a catalog shouldn't really apply as a library has a certain obligation/responsibility to provide credible/factual depictions of what they are providing to the public. I can't see that same standard applying to a 'casual' file-sharer on the internet.

Nick HaC said...

Congratulations on your blog. Its great to see someone taking a stand.

Nick HaC
http://nickhac.com

Janine Oleksy said...

I just found out today that I am one of the Several hundred people who are being sued in the RIAA's new law suit. And I can't express how much relief i have found knowing that I'm not alone.
Mr. Beckermen, could you please help me, I am only 22 years old and worring out of my mind that I am being sued.
Janine Oleksy
JAN857@aol.com

Anyone else who feels they might be able to help or is willing to help me become knowledgable on this Topic can email me at the above email address.
Thank you so much!