Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Will Obama DOJ intervene on side of RIAA? Asks for time to make up its mind in SONY BMG Music Entertainment v. Cloud

In SONY BMG Music Entertainment v. Cloud, a Pennsylvania case in which the RIAA's statutory damages theory -- seeking from 2200 to 450,000 times the amount of actual damages -- is being tested, the United States Department of Justice has filed papers indicating that it is considering intervening in the case to defend the constitutionality of such awards, and requesting an extension of time in which to make the decision.

United States Motion for Extension of Time in Which to Determine if Intervention is Appropriate

[Ed. note. Procedurally, this will test whether President Obama's announced policies against members of his administration participating in matters in which they were previously involved will be applied, since partners from Jenner and Block -- the architects of the RIAA's mass litigation campaign -- now occupy the second and third highest positions in the new administration's Department of Justice. According to the President's announced policies, they should be recused from this case.

Substantively, this will also be an interesting test of whether the Obama administration is going to live up to the President's pledge to stand up for the people, rather than for the big corporations.

This would be a good time to write to Pres. Obama and urge him NOT to intervene. It is time for this madness -- this war against kids and other helpless people -- to end.

Please pass this post along to your friends. -R.B.]

Commentary & discussion:

Copyrights and Campaigns

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


Eric said...

When Exxon spilled a tanker full of oil the SCOTUS ruled that they could only be fined 3x actual for punitive.

Little Ricky downloads a few tracks from Limewire and can be punished at 2000x actual damages.

How does this pass the smell test?

raybeckerman said...

Even closer to home is this one.

When these punks are the defendants they cry a whole different "tune".

Anonymous said...

IMO, they will likely intervene. After all the DOJ is stacked with cretins from the RIAA. The Obama administration has been backtracking since Jan 20th. Why wouldn't they backtrack on this as partial payment for entertainment industry support during the campaign.

Anonymous said...

From http://www.whitehouse.gov/agenda/technology/:

# Protect American Intellectual Property at Home: Update and reform our copyright and patent systems to promote civic discourse, innovation, and investment while ensuring that intellectual property owners are fairly treated.

I guess we'll find out what their definition of fair treatment.
I can't think of anything intelligent to say besides this whole situation is frightening, or even disheartening.
I read story after story and I can't decide whether it's getting better or getting worse.