Thursday, April 03, 2008

Canadian copyright lawyer Howard Knopf reports on Beckerman roasting at Fordham IP Conference

Canadian copyright lawyer and law blogger Howard Knopf gives this report of my appearance at the Fordham IP Law Conference:

Another high point was the appearance of Ray Beckerman, the fearless New York trial lawyer from a small firm who is fighting the RIAA litigation campaign against children, dead grandmothers and 20,000 or so other ordinary victims on many fronts and who has a fabulous blog and data base of info on the RIAA’s litigation. Hugh Hansen gave Ray more than the usual ordeal by fire, which often greets anyone at Fordham who dares to question the establishment point of view. I get it every year. But Hugh does in fact invite strong and outspoken anti-establishment points of view- unlike certain Canadian conference organizers - and I trust that Hugh’s apparent righteous indignation (with more than a little twinkle in his eye) was his way of showing his seal of approval. He only gets this excited when things become electrified and polarized - which he likes to see. Ray stood up very well and then some - and I hope he’ll be back. Here’s Ray’s take on the P2P and related issue sessions. His RIAA opponent, Kenneth Doroshow, took the perfectly absurd position that Jammie Thomas had caused untold millions of dollars of damages, even though there wasn’t a shred of evidence that anyone other than the RIAA investigator had downloaded anything from her - and that $9,250 damages per song was therefore not such a high figure. No wonder people ridicule the RIAA and that the RIAA is giving copyright as we know it a very bad name. Pam Samuelson outlined how the whole statutory damages regime could crumble on a constitutional basis, something I’ve been saying for years. I’m glad I’m in such good company.
Here's Howard's full report on his experience at the March 27th-28th conference.

Commentary & discussion:

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