Saturday, August 1, 2009

Joel Tenenbaum Loses RIAA Gets $625,000

Since fair use could not be argued in the case, even Harvard Law Professor Charles Nesson couldn´t defend against it. Joel testified to using P2P applications for illegal downloading and file sharing and now has to pay damages to the RIAA. Ars Technica has been covering the case and Nesson´s defence case and has the result of the case here.
Although I don´t condone illegal behaviour, RIAAs tactics of forcing individuals to pay disproportionate damages and bankrupting individuals, when the record companies have themselves failed to adapt their business models to take advantage of a new medium, I find unacceptable. In a recent post I commented on how people are using music downloads to discover new music and buy CDs, so the damages that are being claimed are not justifiable with their arguments of lost record sales. Although I remember the ¨piracy is killing music¨ campaigns of the 80s, I somehow don´t remember the humble cassette tape, the related fair-use rules and the individuals that used them being witch hunted in quite the same way. It is a shame that Nesson was not given the chance to present some refreshing arguments and bring the whole electronic media debate to a court of law.