Saturday, August 01, 2009

Please do NOT contribute any funds to the "Joel Fights Back" campaign #jfb

I received an email which said the following:

Debbie Rosenbaum sent a message to the members of Joel Fights Back Against RIAA.

Subject: Verdict is in ... $675,000

As many of you have already heard, a verdict came in yesterday against Joel for $675,000.

A grassroots campaign was started earlier today by individuals who aspire to help raise money in order for Joel not to have to file for bankruptcy. The idea is that if every file-sharer donated $.99 or the price of a few albums, a resounding message could be sent to the RIAA from the court of public opinion.

Because many people have been asking, we wanted to share the location where money is being collected:;

Constant updates from Joel and his team at;
This email seems to be saying that they are trying to raise money with which to PAY THE RIAA. At first I thought, and was hoping, that maybe I'd misunderstood it, but then I saw this tweet from Debbie Rosenbaum, which removes any doubt:
debbierosenbaum: inspired by the global support coming into @joelfightsback and the grassroots campaign to raise the $675,000 my client @jesusina owes. #JFB

It would be insane for people who are opposed to the RIAA's litigation campaign to take up a collection for the RIAA. Anyone who wants to help fight the RIAA should be contributing money TO THOSE WHO ARE FIGHTING THE RIAA.

The best vehicle would be the FSF's Expert Witness Defense Fund, which has helped to retain technical experts and consultants for the defendants in:

UMG Recordings v. Lindor;
Capitol Records v. Thomas-Rasset; and
UMG Records v. Roy.

The only "message" that would be sent by contributing money to pay to the RIAA is that the RIAA is right to be doing what it is doing.

If you believe that, then be my guest.


Commentary & discussion:

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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


Anonymous said...

No kidding. I mean, he did it. He admitted it right there. The only thing ridiculous about this case is the insane damages awarded. The only way to fight back is for Tenenbaum to file for bankruptcy and shaft the RIAA out of those ridiculous damages, to make even victories in court wildly unprofitable for them.

Every penny given to Tenenbaum is just a penny that the RIAA actually gets to collect, which allows them to continue their campaign against others.

Anonymous said...

Did these guys actually do something in law school, or did they just sleep during it?


Jake Bottero said...

Well, this is what you get when you let a bunch of students defend you.

Igor said...

Agreed. I was astounded to get that message as well.

Justin Olbrantz (Quantam) said...

Do not get.

I was pretty sure Nesson had planned from the beginning to take it to the supreme court, and that he was already in the middle of planning his appeal case.

Are we certain that this isn't a scam?

raybeckerman said...

At first I thought I might be misinterpreting it because it seemed impossible.

But then I saw Debbie Rosenbaum's tweet and several other tweets referring to it.

So no I can't be certain it's not a scam, but it would have required sophisticated multiple hacks.

Anonymous said...

So what, is Nesson giving up on their constitutional challenge? No appeal? They're just going to pay? This sounds utterly idiotic.

Anonymous said...

Do you really think he won´t appea?

Of course.

This will end up in the Supreme Court,the RIAA gets only 120$ of damages and the whole world will be luaghing at them!

Just as much as we in europe are laughing at the damages awarded.

Don´t give any money to the RIAA-Ray you be RIGHT not too!

Robert B. Marks said...

I'm sorry, but I have no sympathy whatsoever for Tenenbaum, and part of my work is writing stories for the local law faculty about professors "standing up for the little guy," as it were.

Tenenbaum lied under oath. He took a judge and jury that quite possibly would have allowed his case to be used as a test case for individual vs. corporate statutory damages, and turned them about as hostile as is possible by admitting he had been playing everybody for chumps, essentially because it seemed like a good idea at the time.

Frankly, a request for other people, after actions that I would argue made the level of damages self-inflicted, to pay those damages for him, seems to me downright sociopathic.

At this point, the best thing to do would be to say "no" to the request and let Tenenbaum suffer the consequences - let public support and assistance go to somebody who really is being victimized, and isn't spending their time perjuring themselves and wasting the court's time.

raybeckerman said...

I think the right thing to do, for people who are opposed to the RIAA's litigation campaign and want to make a financial contribution, is to contribute to the FSF's Expert Witness Defense Fund, which is helping to expose the scientific and evidentiary unreliability of the RIAA's "evidence". See, e.g. "UMG Recordings v. Mavis Roy case settled, with help of expert witness report ripping Jacobson & MediaSentry".

Anonymous said...

@Ray Beckerman

Ist this award constiutional or not in your opinon?

Mr Scheffner refuses to answer it!

raybeckerman said...

In my opinion it is wildly unconstitutional under the Due Process clause and applicable caselaw.

My views on that subject are expressed in my revised amicus curiae brief which I filed in this case on behalf of the Free Software Foundation.

raybeckerman said...

I'm starting to enforce the policy that no anonymous comments will be allowed unless signed off with a "handle".

Joel Tenenbaum said...

Ray, sorry things got confusing between me, you, and Debbie. I've tried to clarify my stance on donations on JFB. I expect no one to cover what I signed up for.

raybeckerman said...

Thanks, Joel.

Nothing to be sorry about.

Best of luck with proceedings to get verdict set aside or reduced.