Friday, July 31, 2009

Jury instructions in SONY v. Tenenbaum

In SONY BMG Music Entertainment v. Tenenbaum the jury instructions have been filed.

The jury was instructed that they could award from $750 to $150,000 per "act of infringement" (not per work as the law requires). The jury was given no guidance as to what would constitute an infringement of the "distribution" right.

Jury instructions

[Ed. note. This trial was a complete waste. The jury is being instructed to return a huge verdict, and it appears that none of the actual issues which were inherent in this case have even been touched upon. Very sad. -R.B.]

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


Alter_Fritz said...

In my opinion the most saddened(sp?) part is the work that the judge had done in this trial!

I was under the expression from my readings of her earlier actions and entries in this big consolidated cases pack that she was a judge that had understood the issues and the law at hand.

the other judges that where too incompetent to rule where at least so honest to say that they did not understood the stuff and refused to rule because of that.
What Judge Gertner did here seems worse! Jury instructions that allegedly do not reflect what the copyrightlaw demands and a Rule 50 ruling that allegedly runs totally contrary to the issue of "admitting liability".
I'm disapointed. :-(

raybeckerman said...

Judge Gertner did a lot of bad stuff here. But I'm not totally surprised, although I admit to being disappointed.

If you look at her body of work over 6 years, she is the best friend the RIAA ever had.

She's now given them something more to crow about, and the rest of us will have to pick up the pieces, reminding judges in other jurisdictions that this case did not involve ANY of the non-frivolous arguments which COULD have been made, because neither the defendant's "legal team" nor the judge noticed they existed.

Judge Gertner's cajoling Prof. Nesson to take on this case -- a case in which the defendant had already admitted doing everything he'd been accused of doing, and more -- is curious indeed, since (a) once Prof. Nesson entered the case, she treated him like dirt, showing no deference to the fact that he's a professor rather than a practitioner, or the fact that he's a 70 year old man assisted only by law students, (b) she went out of her way to humiliate him, rather than guide him towards doing what he ought to have been doing, (c) she went out of her way to encourage him in his flights of fancy, and (d) she cut him no slack at all on time periods and missed deadlines although it would have been well within the sound exercise of judicial discretion to have done so.

One must ask onesself: "since she has consolidated every single case in Massachusetts before herself, and therefore knows all of the cases, why did she pick this case -- one in which defendant admitted file sharing -- as the one worthy of having "appointed" pro bono counsel?"

Judge Gertner has now sent a message to any lawyer thinking of taking on a Massachusetts RIAA defense case : "Don't even think about it, because you will not only have the RIAA to fight, you will have me."

She has never stopped entering default judgments against other defendants, by the way... even during the trial.

Justin Olbrantz (Quantam) said...

Per act of infringement? Wouldn't that leave fair room for appeal on that instruction alone (not to mention the various other things that could be appealed)?