Now Playing: Professor fights back at song-swapping lawsuits
Hello Z3 Readers
Todays reading is all about a Harvard Law School professor who is fighting back against the Digital Theft Deterrence and Copyright Damages Improvement Act of 1999
This sucessful professor, (Nesson) who is the founder of Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet and Society, said in an interview that his goal is to "turn the courts away from allowing themselves to be used like a low-grade collection agency." He also argues that the digital theft law passed in 1999 is unconstitutional.
The full article is here:
Professor fires back at song-swapping lawsuits
BOSTON - The music industry's courtroom campaign against people who share songs online is coming under counterattack.
A Harvard Law School professor has launched a constitutional assault against a federal copyright law at the heart of the industry's aggressive strategy, which has wrung payments from thousands of song-swappers since 2003.
The professor, Charles Nesson, has come to the defense of a Boston University graduate student targeted in one of the music industry's lawsuits. By taking on the case, Nesson hopes to challenge the basis for the suit, and all others like it.
Nesson argues that the Digital Theft Deterrence and Copyright Damages Improvement Act of 1999 is unconstitutional because it effectively lets a private group — the Recording Industry Association of America, or RIAA — carry out civil enforcement of a criminal law. He also says the music industry group abused the legal process by brandishing the prospects of lengthy and costly lawsuits in an effort to intimidate people into settling cases out of court.
Nesson, the founder of Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet and Society, said in an interview that his goal is to "turn the courts away from allowing themselves to be used like a low-grade collection agency."
Nesson is best known for defending the man who leaked the Pentagon Papers and for consulting on the case against chemical companies that was depicted in the film "A Civil Action." His challenge against the music labels, made in U.S. District Court in Boston, is one of the most determined attempts to derail the industry's flurry of litigation.
The initiative has generated more than 30,000 complaints against people accused of sharing songs online. Only one case has gone to trial; nearly everyone else settled out of court to avoid damages and limit the attorney fees and legal costs that escalate over time.
Z3 Readers can keep reading this here: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/27756456/