Friday, March 20, 2009

Amicus brief defending due process defense to statutory damages filed in SONY BMG Music Entertainment v. Tenenbaum, by Free Software Foundation

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

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Keywords: lawyer digital copyright law online internet law legal download upload peer to peer p2p file sharing filesharing music movies indie independent label freeculture creative commons pop/rock artists riaa independent mp3 cd favorite songs intellectual property portable music player

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Why does this man expect the RIAA Plaintiffs to oppose allowing this brief to be filed?

{The Common Man Speaking}

Anonymous said...

Thank Goodness for people like those who run the EFF!

Hopefully this judge will see the light of what is being asked for in damages and laugh in the RIAA's face over the absurdity of this.

I don't know, maybe I'm a dreamer that in the end the good guy always comes out on top, but if this judge has even a shred of common sense he will take this amicus to heart and apply it to this case.

Man, would this set a precedent if he did.

Ray Beckerman said...

I agree with you about the EFF but this brief has nothing to do with the EFF. It was filed by the Free Software Foundation. So you should be saying "Thank Goodness for people like those who run the FSF!"

Anonymous said...

Sorry about that. Was doing a lot of reading on these RIAA punks and got my good guys mixed up.

My apologies if anyone took offense.

Alter_Fritz said...

@anonymous
while you are at it, apologize to "the judge" too.
The judge (Nancy G.) in this case is a "she".

http://www.fjc.gov/servlet/tGetInfo?jid=837
http://www.p2pnet.net/images/gertner3.jpg

*SCNR*

Alter_Fritz said...

TCMS asked "why".


Maybe because you read in the Motion paper that the plaintiffs counsel indeed object to the filing of it? ;-)


2. We have consulted with counsel for plaintiffs and counsel for defendant as to whether they object.
3. Counsel for defendant consents.
4. Counsel for plaintiffs oppose the filing.


*again SCNR*

derivative said...

And thank goodness for you connecting with the FSF.

Nicely written -- succinct and cogent.