In SONY BMG Music Entertainment v. Tenenbaum, in Boston, the Free Software Foundation has moved for permission to file an amicus curiae brief defending the defendant's due process defense to the RIAA's claim for statutory damages.
The same issue was litigated in UMG Recordings v. Lindor, where defendant argued that even the RIAA's minimum statutory damages theory, seeking $750 per song file, was unconstitutional. The RIAA challenged the legal sufficiency of that defense, and the Court rejected the RIAA's argument, holding that "[P]laintiffs can cite to no case foreclosing the applicability of the due process clause to the aggregation of minimum statutory damages proscribed under the Copyright Act. On the other hand, Lindor cites to case law and to law review articles suggesting that, in a proper case, a court may extend its current due process jurisprudence prohibiting grossly excessive punitive jury awards to prohibit the award of statutory damages mandated under the Copyright Act if they are grossly in excess of the actual damages suffered....."
See law review article: "Grossly Excessive Penalties in the Battle Against Illegal File-Sharing: The Troubling Effects of Aggregating Minimum Statutory Damages for Copyright Infringement" By J. Cam Barker, 83 Texas L. Rev. 525 (2004)[Copyright Texas Law Review Association 2004][Reprinted with permission]*
Motion for leave to file amicus curiae brief
Proposed amicus curiae brief
Commentary & discussion:
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