AfterDawn: Tech news

DOJ may go to court in defense of RIAA lawsuit

Written by Rich Fiscus (Google+) @ 17 Feb 2009 13:32 User comments (10)

DOJ may go to court in defense of RIAA lawsuit The US Department of Justice may be getting ready to back the RIAA in one of their P2P lawsuits. At issue is a challenge to the constitutionality of a single provision of US copyright law which mandates minimum damages of $750 per work (1 song or album), or as much as $150,000 per work if the infringer knows what he's doing is illegal.
The challenge was filed in the case of Sony BMG v Denise Cloud as part of a motion made by the defendant's lawyer to dismiss the lawsuit. The Attorney General's office subsequently filed a notice with the court announcing they may wish to defend the damages. They are planning to let the court know what their decision is by March 25.

This is far from the first time the subject has come up, but no judge has ever had to rule on it. Just last month Charles Nesson, the Harvard University law professor assisting the defense in another RIAA lawsuit, told Afterdawn the amount mandated by law is "so grossly out of proportion that it violates the due process clause."

What is different now is the presence at the DOJ of lawyers who have been crucial cogs in the RIAA's lawsuit machine. Litigators who were instrumental in the Grokster case and the initial wave of lawsuits against P2P users have been appointed to top spots in the Justice Department by President Obama.

This is our first chance to see how these appointements will affect public policy.

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10 user comments

117.2.2009 14:47

This is not criminal, the DOJ should not touch it with a ten foot poll.

217.2.2009 15:40

Way To Go Osama...er Obama.

317.2.2009 19:54
kubapolak
Inactive

Originally posted by ivymike:
Way To Go Osama...er Obama.
good one :)

417.2.2009 20:04

Let me ask a question , what if i were downloading via P2P my own back catalogue . For example old eps 45`s Albums etc.
Surely I have already paid the royalty

517.2.2009 20:40

Originally posted by robalgar:
Let me ask a question , what if i were downloading via P2P my own back catalogue . For example old eps 45`s Albums etc.
Surely I have already paid the royalty

The problem is that copyright laws are so backward now-a-days that according to the FBI any unauthorized reproduction of any movie, music, or game on any media is illegal, and they can count it as a felony. And as for the fact that the issue is not involving a crime but rather a litigation for the punishment of a crime, the DOJ can twist it anyway they wish unfortunately.

617.2.2009 23:24

Originally posted by ivymike:
Way To Go Osama...er Obama.
While I don't think Obama should be associated (even as a joke) with Osama, I don't like that he appointed known anti-p2per's (legal or not!) to the "top spots" in the Justice Department.

I also believe the DoJ shouldn't stick their fingers in P2P lawsuits from the RIAA.

If the P2P activity in question concerned the U.S.'s national security (such as the sharing of classified documents etc.) then they probably have the right to get involved but since it is just some guy being sued for uploading a few songs they should stay far away in my opinion.

Peace

717.2.2009 23:58

WOW, DOJ shouldn't be able to side with anyone, there a piece of the high branch.

this is beyond edited by ddp up, this is not cool. whats next DOD siding with the asshats.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 18 Feb 2009 @ 0:26

818.2.2009 14:24

So now we have Homeland Security arresting 15 yr olds downloading porn vids of other 15 yr olds, and now this.

Wonderful.

919.2.2009 9:21

Good job Obama. Now we'll have the government sticking their noses into something else and wasting money. Good thing he won't win another term because there is no way we'll be out of this mess in four years.

1027.2.2009 14:56

Well Pop, when has fair EVER fit in to politics? The RIAA, M$ and other anti-piracy groups paid HEAVILY into his campain. I am sure they are going to KICK-ASS!

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