Friday, December 28, 2007

RIAA-fighting Maine law professor speaks out

In a fascinating interview with Jon Newton of p2pnet, Prof. Deirdre Smith of the University of Maine Law School's Cumberland Legal Aid Clinic, which is the first law school legal clinic in the U.S. to have taken on the RIAA, says that "our students are enthusiastic about being directly connected to a case with a national scope and significance".

She went on to say that the case (Arista v. Does 1-27 (Portland, ME)) is probably one of the first intellectual property cases the clinic has ever taken on, and that if it proceeds further, she expects to also "draw on the considerable expertise in IP among members of our faculty and the Maine Center for Law and Innovation, another program of the Law School".

[Ed. Note: Congratulations to the University of Maine School of Law for giving its law students the opportunity for hands-on experience fighting the RIAA's effort to rewrite copyright law. -R.B.]

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3 comments:

Ray Beckerman said...

Anonymous Anon#1, I rejected your comment. She didn't say the defendants were enthusiastic about being sued, she said the law students were enthusiastic about defending them.

Anon #1 said...

My bad! Although I read the article itself as well, I was confused by your summary where you said "our students are enthusiastic..." I think of students as the ones being sued. I probably would have been less confused had it said, "our law students are enthusiastic..."

Personally, I find nothing in these lawsuits for anyone to be enthusiastic over, given the way they're designed to go out and damage lives when the "actual damages" caused by any individual person are, at most, pennies. And I hope that the law students are being presented with these cases as examples of bad law practice, and selling out your integrity for money on the Plaintiff's side, which no lawyer should ever do.

I would hope other university legal aid centers would pick up the ball on this one, and am disappointed that none other already had to this point.

>Anon #1

Ray Beckerman said...

Anonymous anon#1, you make no sense to me at all.

It is great that they are enthusiastic about fighting the bad guys, about sticking up for what is right, about giving the RIAA attack dogs a black eye. Are you under the impression that the outstanding student attorneys who wrote that superb brief need to be lectured or need to be "presented with" anything? They are the ones doing the "presenting". They've presented the RIAA running dogs with a real problem.