Friday, September 03, 2010

Dept of Justice Joins in and files Appeal in SONY v Tenenbaum

In SONY BMG Music Entertainment v. Tenenbaum, the US Department of Justice, which intervened in the proceedings below, has filed a notice of appeal.

Notice of Appeal by DOJ

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...

There's an extra ".pdf" on the end of the link.


mathinker said...

Hi Ray, there seems to be some kind of problem with the link to the PDF of the appeal.

raybeckerman said...

Thanks, Kip. Very much appreciated.

Justin Olbrantz (Quantam) said...

Shortest legal document ever?

Do we know what exactly they are appealing, or do we get to take educated guesses?

Anonymous said...

So, we get to see what how the DOJ intends to defend the present statutory damages law as completely constitutional, I presume? Any guesses on this one, Ray?


Travis said...

Do they not need some kind of reason to appeal or is this document just saying "We plan to appeal" and at some point down the road they will give the reasons?

raybeckerman said...

Typically, notices of appeal are short. They do not require any enumeration of the reasons for the appeal. They are filed to preserve the right to appeal.

No, I can't guess what they will do, but with the RIAA's lawyers running the Department of Justice, I would not be surprised to see them take an outlandish position defending the RIAA to the mat.

All I can say is that the more outlandish and aggressive their briefs, the more absurd they will appear, not only to us, but to the judges reading the briefs.

There's nothing in Judge Gertner's decision that they have any legitimate basis for complaining about, so it will be interesting to see what they do.

It may well be that they just want to stay in the mix, and preserve their right to enunciate some kind of position.

The only person with any basis for complaining about Judge Gertner's decision is Joel Tenenbaum, since, despite the judge's scholarly and correct discussion of the leading authorities, she then jumped off the cliff by concluding that

(a) the actual damages are $1 per file, when they're really closer to 5 cents, and

(b) an award of 2250 times the actual damages is constitutional, when that is way outside the norms established by the Supreme Court, on a constitutional law theory, and by a number of lower court cases, on a copyright law theory.

The award she allowed is probably about 45,000 times the actual damages, and is at about 6400 times the actual damages if you equate the maximum possible actual damages with the real actual damages.

So neither the RIAA nor the DOJ have anything to complain about.

Meanwhile, why is the DOJ even taking sides in this purely private dispute? What kind of country do we live in?

Anonymous said...

" Meanwhile, why is the DOJ even taking sides in this purely private dispute? What kind of country do we live in? "

A very thinly disguised oligarchy ?