I was reading an interview conducted by Jon Newton of p2pnet, in which he was asking questions of the SONY BMG Music Entertainment v. Tenenbaum litigation team.
This question, and the extremely disappointing answers it elicited, jumped out at me:
p2pnet: Will you be taking on other cases?Complete interview
Matt: We [a]ren’t sure whether we’ll take on any other cases. For now we’re focusing on defending Joel to the best of our abilities, which will set precedent that will help others.
Debbie: We have been approached by a variety of people who are desperate for representation against the RIAA; surely, there is no shortage of individuals who need legal help and cannot afford it. Unfortunately, we’re a team of only 6 law students who have classes and other full time commitments. Because this case has attracted so much media attention, we hope that we’re helping to set a positive precedent that will directly help all those who we can not personally serve. While we have received some heat from advocates for not taking on more clients, we just don’t have the manpower or bandwidth to take on anymore at this time. We hope that by making a big splash and by defending Joel to the best of our abilities, we’re serving far more than a single client.
[Ed. note. I am appalled. There are hundreds of other people out there, many of them totally innocent, who have no legal representation at all; there are scores of lawyers out there who have made enormous financial sacrifices to try to help some of these people; and Harvard Law School and the Berkman Center for "Internet and Society" -- who waited more than 5 years to represent a single defendant, and then only at the request of the presiding judge -- can't do better than that? The RIAA lawyers are probably relieved to know that Harvard Law School's "clinical" programs are not available to any other of the good people who can't get legal representation in Massachusetts, but if I were a student at Harvard Law I would be feeling both frustrated and humiliated, right about now. Here they are handed a golden opportunity to do that which most of us went to law school to do, and their school is just passing it by. Sad. -R.B.]
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