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Obama DOJ Sides With RIAA Again In Tenenbaum 528

Posted by timothy
from the could-make-a-jaded-man-more-jaded dept.
NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "Despite having had some time to get their act together, Obama's Department of Justice has filed yet another brief defending the RIAA's outlandish statutory damages theory — that someone who downloaded an mp3 with a 99-cent retail value, causing a maximum possible damages of 35 cents, is liable for from $750 to $150,000 for each such file downloaded, in SONY BMG Music Entertainment v. Tenenbaum. The 25- page brief (PDF) continues the DOJ's practice of (a) ignoring the case law which holds that the Supreme Court's due process jurisprudence is applicable to statutory damages, (b) ignoring the law review articles to like effect, (c) ignoring the actual holding of the 1919 case they rely upon, (d) ignoring the fact that the RIAA failed to prove 'distribution' as defined by the Copyright Act, and (e) ignoring the actual wording and reasoning of the Supreme Court in its leading Gore and Campbell decisions. Jon Newton of p2pnet.net attributes the Justice Department's 'oversights' to the 'eye-popping number of people [in its employ] who worked for, and/or are directly connected with, Vivendi Universal, EMI, Warner Music and Sony Music's RIAA.'"
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Obama DOJ Sides With RIAA Again In Tenenbaum

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    And two party system.

  • by bheer (633842) <.rbheer. .at. .gmail.com.> on Wednesday January 20, 2010 @05:08PM (#30837554)

    or not. Obama or not, remember that Hollywood greases Republican and Democrat pockets alike. Many of the big guys at the MPAA and RIAA are Democrats too, which must surely help.

    As long as Hollywood gives politicians glamour by attending fundraisers, and actual cold hard cash, you won't find anyone in the government willing to speak out against Big Content. The only thing that can change this is public opinion.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Plugh (27537)

      Yeah Depublicans! Beat the Remocrats!
      It's all so different when the communists control the USA instead of the fascists.

      I'm not pessimist. I'm an optimist. I am right in the middle of a real change -- a return to small, Constitution-sized government. It's exciting and fascinating to watch it unfold. If you'd like to see it too, click the link in my sig.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by sbeckstead (555647)
        I'm all for the free state project thingy, but could you please choose a state with better weather? I mean the cold cold north east really!
    • Obama or not, remember that Hollywood greases Republican and Democrat pockets alike.

      Given some of the scandals we actually know about, I would guess that they are greasing more than just the *pockets* of the Dems and Repubs.

    • by mangu (126918) on Wednesday January 20, 2010 @05:21PM (#30837746)

      The only thing that can change this is public opinion.

      And public opinion is molded by Big Content. We are fucked.

    • by CrimsonAvenger (580665) on Wednesday January 20, 2010 @05:21PM (#30837760)

      remember that Hollywood greases Republican and Democrat pockets alike.

      Though it should be noted that Hollywood contributes much more to the Democrats than the Republicans.

      76% to Dems in 2010 (so far), 78% to Dems in 2008, not less than 62% in any election cycle in the last two decades.

      So it's insane to assume that a Democratic administration is going to rein in the entertainment industry. It's not likely that a Republican administration will either, but they're more likely to be able to give up the relatively small amount of money they get from Hollywood than the Dems will.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by sznupi (719324)

        I suspect that distinction is largely irrelevant, too. Yes, Hollywood finances Democrats noticeably better. I'm sure you can find an industry treating Republicans similarly better.

        But here's the kicker: all those industries have some overlap when it comes to capital holders, board members or CEOs. It's just that they tunnel lobbying founds in a way that has a chance to appear more, in each case, to those who are tricked into existence of real two party system.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by BobMcD (601576)

        Campaign Finance Reform Idea: No one organization may donate to more than one political candidate at any given time.

        Pick your racehorse, kind of a thing.

    • by Tridus (79566)

      Meet the new government. It's the old one, with different colored lawn signs.

      Because blue is a change over red.

    • by Attila Dimedici (1036002) on Wednesday January 20, 2010 @05:25PM (#30837830)

      or not. Obama or not, remember that Hollywood greases Republican and Democrat pockets alike. .

      That is patently false. If you look at political donations from Hollywood, it overwhelmingly favors Democrats. If one looks at executives of RIAA and MPAA companies the imbalance is even greater.

      • by vlm (69642) on Wednesday January 20, 2010 @06:13PM (#30838688)

        That is patently false. If you look at political donations from Hollywood, it overwhelmingly favors Democrats. If one looks at executives of RIAA and MPAA companies the imbalance is even greater.

        Pay one cop $1M each month to look the other way. Pay the other cop $2M each month to look the other way. Which cop turns you in? Answer, neither, because both want the money, and killing the goose that lays the golden eggs is no way to make money.

    • by phantomfive (622387) on Wednesday January 20, 2010 @05:32PM (#30837958) Journal
      I feel like the story of the first year of Obama has been the story of 'leadership deferred.' With the healthcare he has more or less let congress try to do their thing; he said, "this is what I want, now figure it out" instead of bringing a workable plan to the table. As a result, the debate has been over something peripheral, the public option, instead of what he really (at least what he claims) to want, which is making healthcare more affordable and available for everyone. There is widespread public support for this second goal (really: even McCain had a healthcare plan), so if he had pushed for what he actually wanted he could have gotten it. Instead we ended up with various Congresspeople fighting over their pet projects. They had no central leader to rally around.

      It will be interesting to see if Obama learns from his mistakes and picks up the leadership. If not, he will accomplish little his remaining three years, and will be replaced (assuming Republicans can come up with a more compelling candidate than Kerry was).
      • by locallyunscene (1000523) on Wednesday January 20, 2010 @06:04PM (#30838528)
        In the specific case of Healthcare I think he was trying to avoid the failures of the 1990's heath care attempt. If he had crafted it and dumped it on congress he would have been criticized for overreaching(the executive branch doesn't make the laws!) and not learning from the Clintons' attempt to craft a health care bill.

        Of course a large group of Americans would rather have no bill pass than one hashed through congress so thoroughly. Obama did the politically safe thing rather than the "right" thing.

        Basically any legislation worth passing would have to be relatively uncompromising. The catch is any legislation that is uncompromising has very little chance of getting passed. If A bill doesn't pass now, I don't think it's possible for one to pass.
        • by phantomfive (622387) on Wednesday January 20, 2010 @06:39PM (#30839088) Journal
          OK, let's talk a bit about how to get legislation passed. There are two basic methods, and one is more powerful than the other. The first one is to slip something into a bill, usually that favors one of your donors, and then hope no one notices until it crosses the presidents desk. This tends to work for things that most people don't care about, because when people don't pay attention, you can do anything.

          The second, more powerful way is to get people interested, build popular support, and then the bill pretty much passes itself, no matter who is opposing it. Not easy to do, but it has power that you have seen in action: remember when Bush went to war in Iraq? He built up support publicly over the year (using various tactics), so by the time he wanted to declare war, nearly 80% of the US public supported him. In that situation, very few people dared oppose him. Congress gave him what he wanted. Even Hillary Clinton voted for it. Do you see how it works? Get people interested, get them supporting you, pass the bill.

          This is the exact opposite of what Obama and congress have done. They had broad public support for healthcare reform. People wanted something done, business wanted something done. In the words of one of my friends, "I just want access to healthcare I can afford." That is the problem people want solved. If the democrats were smart, they would have built on that.

          They didn't do that. Instead they gave the impression to a lot of people that they were more interested in a government takeover of healthcare than they were in making sure people have access to healthcare they can afford. They came out with a convoluted bill that no one understands, and the parts that people do understand don't seem to fix the problem. I won't go over all the problems in the bills in the senate and the house, but no one likes them, not on the right or on the left. Popular support for the healthcare plans in congress is now about as popular as George Bush.

          I'm not going to explain how badly the democratic party has messed up, I will save that for Jon Stewart [thedailyshow.com].
      • by Shivetya (243324) on Wednesday January 20, 2010 @06:56PM (#30839302) Homepage Journal

        No what we got is exactly what we should have expected with someone with his limited experience. Someone with his "school intelligence" that never was tested, tried, and perfected. In other words, we got a directionless administration which was driven by someone who truly thinks they are special. His self references in many speeches makes clear to me he isn't yet figured out he is here to lead, here for us, instead he is there for himself. Its a me complex.

        So if your expecting the second year to be the equivalent of a MMORPG Miracle Build I think you will be disappointed. He didn't know how to lead, he was used to campaign staffers and sycophants who fell over themselves to do what he asked for, not Washington which marches to its own drummer

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by phantomfive (622387)

          So if your expecting the second year to be the equivalent of a MMORPG Miracle Build I think you will be disappointed.

          That's ok. I don't have much choice at this point but to hope and wait until 2012. I'm a patient man, I can do that.

    • by mcgrew (92797) * on Wednesday January 20, 2010 @05:44PM (#30838186) Homepage Journal

      Hope for the best, prepare for the worst. I hoped Obama would be a good President, I feared he would not. He's just a politician, not the god folks were making him out to be.

      So far I'm starting to lose hope in him; first the "health care reform" that does nothing but line insurance executives' pockets, now Tanenbaum and the RIAA.

      Change, my ass.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by ari_j (90255)
        Vote with your dollars! This year, pay your taxes in hope. And if the IRS comes after you for that, you can pay them in change.
      • by Third Position (1725934) on Wednesday January 20, 2010 @06:32PM (#30838988)
        At a certain point, you have to conclude that presidents are pretty much figureheads. I don't recollect any major policy changes when Clinton took over from Bush Sr., nor when Bush Jr. took over from Clinton, nor when Obama took over from Bush. No matter what they promise, conservative or liberal, Democrat or Republican, the actual policy shifts are marginal, no matter how much they've criticized their predecessor while running for office. This forces me to conclude that either a.) presidents are privy to some information upon coming to office that compels them all to respond in a similar manner, or b.) there's a Man Behind the Curtain that actually calls the shots, and presidents don't have the discretion to act as is commonly thought.
  • Really?! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Uranium-238 (1586465)
    God sake fucking MAFIAA and now it seems the DoJ is also going that way. Wish the US government wasn't so blantantly rife with corruption and bribery
    • "What`s good for Business is good for America" - Calvin Coolidge (attributed)

      • Re:Really?! (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Trailer Trash (60756) on Wednesday January 20, 2010 @06:19PM (#30838792) Homepage

        "What`s good for Business is good for America" - Calvin Coolidge (attributed)

        This is entirely true, yet unrelated to these cases. "Business" in the quote is "business in general", not a very specific industry or group of companies. Favoritism - which is what we're dealing with here - hurts business in general, and is *not* good for America.

  • Really? Seriously? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by wandazulu (265281) on Wednesday January 20, 2010 @05:08PM (#30837562)

    I'm having that "meet the new boss, same as the old boss" moment that I really didn't want to have.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by aztektum (170569)

      I never fully believed it, but for some reason I am rather annoyed that it actually looks that way (over certain things at least). I just went to whitehouse.gov and pasted a link to the /. story along with words of disappointment. Also I may have suggested I'd have been better of writing in Mickey Mouse in 2008 - since, like my hopes for Obama's "change", he too is a figment of my imagination.

    • by dunezone (899268)
      Man: Well, I believe I'll vote for a third-party candidate.
      Kang: Go ahead, throw your vote away.
      ...The next day...
      Marge: I don't understand why we have to build a ray gun to aim at a planet I never even heard of.
      Homer: Don't blame me, I voted for Kodos.
    • by clampolo (1159617) on Wednesday January 20, 2010 @05:26PM (#30837834)

      I'm having that "meet the new boss, same as the old boss" moment that I really didn't want to have.

      Look at all the dirty money he got to fund his campaign with. Goldman Sachs didn't give him all that money because they thought Obama was a reformer.

      I still don't get why it is legal in the US to bribe politicians. In other countries a person giving money to an elected official goes in front of a firing squad.

      • I still don't get why it is legal in the US to bribe politicians.

        It has something to do with Buckley v. Valeo [wikipedia.org] in which the Supreme Court ruled that spending money to influence elections is a form of constitutionally protected free speech. I tend to think of speech as speech which each person can do in a similar way, but when you spend money you can basically make your voice louder than anyone else which seems a bit slanted toward people with money.

        I think national funding of each campaign would be more fair. Same amount of money, no "donations" allowed. I'm sure th

        • by Beardo the Bearded (321478) on Wednesday January 20, 2010 @06:30PM (#30838958)

          Hi there, I'm from Canada. You might remember us from previous political threads such as "Canada's healthcare isn't that bad." and "Dude, 1812 was almost 200 years ago. We have nukes now."

          We have national funding for our political parties. In order to prevent, let's say, the "BSTFF (Beardo Should Totally get Federal Funding)" party from forming and pocketing a whack o' cash, you get a certain amount from every vote that's cast your way. I'm not going to bother looking it up, but it's about $1.50 per vote. So if you get a million votes, you'd get $1.5M. We had 13.8 million voters last election. 37%, or just over 5 million, voted for the Conservative party. (So that's about $7.5 million from Elections Canada.)

          We also have campaign contributions and you can claim those on your income taxes. However, there are limits and those are enforced via jail time. Rather than cut-and-paste, here they are. [elections.ca] In short, you can only contribute $1,100 per year and companies / corporations / trade unions / etc cannot make them.

          Now, this is where it gets interesting, is that we have spending limits on campaigns. Third-party limits are just under $200k total, across all electoral districts. It's just under $4k for each district. The parties themselves can spend a total of about $20 million for the bigger parties. http://www.sfu.ca/~aheard/elections/laws.html [www.sfu.ca]

          That's not all. Each party has a certain amount of media time alloted to it. It works out to 396 minutes per broadcaster in total, with allocations given out based on some formula locked in Ottawa somewhere.
          http://www.sfu.ca/~aheard/elections/laws.html [www.sfu.ca]

          All in all, our system works out reasonably well as long as you've got people in Parliament who are willing to work together. We don't right now, so government shut itself down for 2 months.

          • by imunfair (877689) on Wednesday January 20, 2010 @08:25PM (#30840424) Homepage

            Actually I think the lawmakers shutting down is an indicator of government working as it should.

            Theoretically you should have two opposing views on any issue, so you'd only get a majority vote approving something that was actually necessary/worthwhile. Obviously the parties are way too friendly in the US - they seem to constantly be passing new useless laws and pork projects. Normally this sort of behavior would be an indication that we need to oust them and get fresh meat in the system, but lately the American people have been extremely apathetic. Bread and circuses.

            Another idea that might help are expiring laws by default... Something like:
            - All laws expire after 5 (or 10) years if not renewed
            - Laws can be made permanent on the third renewal if they are passed with an overwhelming majority (90%?)

            That would allow 15 years to prove a law is actually valuable and necessary, and remove the effort of trying to get the votes to take bad laws off the books.

    • No kidding. But thinking constructively, and not just about this particular case but the many others like it in diverse fields, what we need is a broad approach to the underlying problem, which is the way that industries manage to pack the regulatory agencies that oversee them with their own sympathizers. This probably has a lot less to do with whomever is occupying the Oval Office at the moment than with the sucking chest wound in our democracy that is the US Congress. One of the hazards of being a rich co

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by FiloEleven (602040)

        The way around it is public pressure. If enough people stopped only saying "something needs to change" and started calling their congressmen, they will be forced to listen. This is working for Ron Paul's Audit the Fed bill (317 cosponsors in the House, 31 in the Senate) and it will work for anything that has the broad support of citizens. All that has to happen is for enough people to say, "I do not like this policy, and if you continue to follow it I will give my vote to someone else."

        The key is to put

    • by jollyreaper (513215) on Wednesday January 20, 2010 @05:41PM (#30838142)

      I'm having that "meet the new boss, same as the old boss" moment that I really didn't want to have.

      I wasn't expecting to agree with everything Obama did, that would be simplistic. I just wasn't expecting to find so little to agree with. The same agenda advanced under Bush is advanced under Obama. And it's kind of clear that this isn't Obama's agenda, possessive, implying ownership, any more than it was Bush's -- they're the pitchmen.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 20, 2010 @06:06PM (#30838552)

      You actually believed all that crap they feed democrat voters before the election??? Jebus. Seriously?!?!

      You really think the millionaire Democrats aren't just condescending to you when they fly in on their private jets and tell blue collar stories over a philly cheese steak (with swiss cheese no less)?

      Sucker.

  • Or . . . (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 20, 2010 @05:09PM (#30837574)

    Or maybe is has something to do with the fact that his party receives significant contributions from the entertainment industry.

  • by GPLDAN (732269) on Wednesday January 20, 2010 @05:10PM (#30837584)
    Obama taught, was editor of the Harvard Law Review, and graduated top of his class.


    How he can abide this DOJ finding is really unknowable, outside of politics. It is behavior and outcomes like this that cost his party Mass. last night, and may well cost him his re-election bid in 2012. Pollingplace.com showed that last night in Mass., 37% of voters that voted for this independent that won, did so in protest of Democrats favoring Wall Street in the bailout.

    The lesson is simple: Either the DOJ and the Obama administration stop taking sides against Main Street and for the big corporate interest, or they will keep losing.
    • by GPLDAN (732269)
      Correction: Pollingreport.com
    • The problem is, whoever you vote for is really in with the big boys.

      If they are not, we see constant news coverage of what goofballs they are because thew news media are all owned by large corporations these days.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      Obama taught, was editor of the Harvard Law Review, and graduated top of his class. .

      Upon what do you base the assertion that he graduated "top of his class"? I was unaware of any of his college transcripts being released to date.

  • Travesty (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 20, 2010 @05:10PM (#30837588)
    A travesty of justice. Libraries routinely lend out copies of books, music and videos for free. I guess librarians will be the next victim of the RIAA.
  • Crap (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 20, 2010 @05:12PM (#30837610)

    I don't get it. Who were we supposed to vote for?

    Only Obama and McCain had any real chance of winning (sorry guys, the Green Party and Libertarians have been, and always will be, fringe groups run by potheads with a pro-drug agenda) and it was beyond obvious that McCain was willing to run this country into the ground for the sake of the almighty dollar. So I picked Obama, mainly because I love America and want the best for this country. But has he delivered?

    Patent reform? No.
    Environmental protection? No.
    Taxing the middle class when he said the rich would finally be made to pay their taxes? Hell no.
    Stopping the war? No.
    Stopping the MPAA/RIAA from walking all over American citizens? Nope.

    It's frustrating because I want Obama to be great and he is ending up being another Jimmy Carter. A nice guy, and a hell of a diplomat, but completely inept and useless at running the country. I cannot possibly explain how sad this makes me.

    Clearly the RIAA is at fault here, and Obama's DOJ is doing as the RIAA instructed them to do. Shameful.

    • Re:Crap (Score:4, Insightful)

      by clampolo (1159617) on Wednesday January 20, 2010 @05:31PM (#30837942)

      Only Obama and McCain had any real chance of winning

      They did a study once that a person is more likely to die on the way to the polls than having any meaningful effect on the election. So saying that someone wasted a vote by voting their conscience is nonsense.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by wizardforce (1005805)

      It's better to vote your conscience and lose than to vote for "the lesser evil" and be stuck with evil. Whenever someone says that they won't vote for a third party because they have "no chance of winning," remember that Mccain didn't either.

  • by nenya (557317) on Wednesday January 20, 2010 @05:14PM (#30837640) Homepage
    This is the President's job folks: to defend the laws passed by Congress and signed into law by a sitting President. It's implied by the Oath of Office [wikipedia.org]. Presidents ignoring laws they don't like by refusing to defend them in court--which is what the DOJ is doing here--would be a pretty flagrant violation of the obligations of the executive.

    This is not the first time and will not be the last that a President, through his officers, defends a law he isn't thrilled about. Just because DOJ lawyers show up with a brief in support of a law does not mean that the President--or even the DOJ lawyers, for crying out loud--believe either 1) that the law is worth defending, or 2) the validity of their own arguments. They're just doing their jobs.
    • by koan (80826)

      "they're just doing their jobs" Nuremberg...

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Culture20 (968837)

      This is the President's job folks: to defend the laws passed by Congress

      The requirement to defend the Constitution comes first. Unreasonable fines or punishment or something?

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Knara (9377)

        The DOJ defends the laws. The courts decide on Constitutionality.

        I realize that "emotional appeals" and what not are en vogue lately when it comes to politics, though I dunno what exactly people think it helps.

        It'd be far worse if the DOJ started picking and choosing which laws they wanted to enforce/defend.

        • It'd be far worse if the DOJ started picking and choosing which laws they wanted to enforce/defend.

          You misunderstand what the Constitution is. It is a law. And it is the highest law, in the sense that any law which conflicts with it is invalid. The Supreme Court is the interpreter of the laws, and has determined that the Constitution does not permit damage awards which are 'disproportioned' to the actual damage sustained. The DOJ, as attorneys, swore an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States, as did the President, as did the Supreme Court justices.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        This is the President's job folks: to defend the laws passed by Congress

        The requirement to defend the Constitution comes first.

        Exactly, Culture20. The Constitution is our highest law, and the Supreme Court has made it clear that the 5th Amendment does not tolerate excessive 'punitive awards'.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Hopefully they remember $750 to $150,000 per song when they go to court in Canada over the 300,000 songs they did not pay the artists for.

    That'll be $225,000,000 to $45,000,000,000. ($225 million to $45 billion)

    And since they were selling the songs, I'd suspect it should be the high end of that scale.

  • by Knara (9377) on Wednesday January 20, 2010 @05:17PM (#30837698)

    People, the DOJ's job is to defend the laws as standing as passed. They would not be doing their jobs if they said, "nah, you're right, this law should be overturned."

    Lrn2USLegalSystem and US Government, please.

    • by locallyunscene (1000523) on Wednesday January 20, 2010 @05:28PM (#30837892)
      That's not really an excuse. Didn't Obama publically state that he wouldn't be spending Federal Funds to go after state licensed medical marijuana growers? That sounds a a lot like not defending the laws as passed.

      I'll cut Obama slack when he has to choose the lesser of two evils. This is not one of those cases.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      People, the DOJ's job is to defend the laws as standing as passed.

      Yes. PS The Constitution of the United States happens to be one of our laws. In fact, it's our highest law. Any "law" which conflicts with it is invalid.

      They would not be doing their jobs if they said, "nah, you're right, this law should be overturned."

      Yes they would be doing their jobs. By ignoring the Constitution, they are failing to do their jobs. The United States Supreme Court has spoken loudly and clearly that punitive awards of this nature violate the Constitution.

  • by exabrial (818005) on Wednesday January 20, 2010 @05:18PM (#30837714)
    The media fell in love with Obama during his election campaign. Don't think they won't come asking for favors later, and don't be surprised at the response. My new voting strategy: Find out who Tom Cruise is voting for. Vote for the other guy.
    • You're just learning this lesson now? I don't claim affiliation to either of the big parties, but I saw through this guy right before he announced he was running. The whole 2008 election was ridiculous and completely run by news organizations. Obama should not be sitting where he is now, and quite frankly, he, like a lot of people in office (Pelosi), should be run out of office. The only reason any of them are in office is due to the backlash against GW Bush. I'm really tired of voting against someone,

  • Jon Newton of p2pnet.net attributes the Justice Department's 'oversights' to the 'eye-popping number of people [in its employ] who worked for, and/or are directly connected with, Vivendi Universal, EMI, Warner Music and Sony Music's RIAA.'

    "I believe in coincidences. Coincidences happen every day. But I don't trust coincidences."
    --Garak, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine "Cardassians"

  • by acoustix (123925) on Wednesday January 20, 2010 @05:27PM (#30837854) Homepage

    Lawyers run the DOJ. Lawyers run Congress. Of course they want to be able to sue for large amounts.

    Off topic perhaps, but this is why we won't see meaningful tort reform in the near future.

  • Hello?... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Genda (560240) <[mariet] [at] [got.net]> on Wednesday January 20, 2010 @05:28PM (#30837878) Journal

    Folks, what part of "The RIAA is in your pocket, and in your life" are you not getting? For the love of Pete, the Vice President is a media hit-man... what do they have to do before it's clear, carve their initials in your forehead? There is no law, no juris-prudence, no honest, decent, or rational bit of thinking that the RIAA won't pave over, pay to have overturned, ignored, or publicly gutted, to protect their charges' strangle hold on media. Once they are finished with this little piece of business, they can move to the next piece. Make all use public or private payable, maybe they can even get a tax passed on the presumed number of people at anytime who my be humming a tune to themselves. That and make all new music created from that day forward, which is not owned by an affiliate of the RIAA illegal to listen to. They want a monopoly on sound, and they want to own your ears, and they want to utterly destroy anybody who get's in the way of what they want. CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW...

  • Hope my @ss. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by oDDmON oUT (231200) on Wednesday January 20, 2010 @05:28PM (#30837890)

    I smelled this coming when he sided with the Telcos on the wiretapping.
    I knew we were in for it when he kept Gitmo going.
    ACTA secrecy pretty much cemented my opinion.
    This is just icing on the cake.

    And yes ladies and gentlemens, I voted for him...hoping he wouldn't be what he's showing himself to be...just another crooked pol, interested in being elected and nailing a sweet deal speaking deal once he's thrown out on his ear.

    meh.

  • by westlake (615356) on Wednesday January 20, 2010 @06:00PM (#30838458)

    That someone who downloaded an mp3 with a 99-cent retail value, causing a maximum possible damages of 35 cents

    The essence of P2P is file sharing.

    Meaning that uploads - unlicensed and unlimited redistribution - is always in the picture. Which is why statutory damages is always in the picture.

    The defendant knows, of course, that he was never entitled to free copies of his mp3 downloads - and unless he - and his lawyer - are idiots - the last thing he wants to see entered into evidence is a full accounting of every infringing mp3 he possesses.

    The downloader collects files like a cheap woolen suit collects lint.

    Willful and reckless disregard of the law makes a very good case for the imposition of punitive or statutory damages.

    The geek knows how the game is played.

    The trial judge and jury know how the game is played. That is why the outrage when these cases come up on appeal is never quite convincing.
             

  • by joeyblades (785896) on Wednesday January 20, 2010 @06:17PM (#30838754)

    ...RIAA's outlandish statutory damages theory -- that someone who downloaded an mp3 with a 99-cent retail value, causing a maximum possible damages of 35 cents, is liable for from $750 to $150,000 for each such file downloaded...

    This completely misunderstands the issue. It's not about downloading, it's about sharing. The 'alleged' damages are not the value of the files Tenenbaum GOT but the value lost when he SHARED (both directly and indirectly). The RIAA would never get anywhere fast attacking the individual downloads, but the uploads have an exponential effect making the damages monsterous and frightening. The RIAA plan is to stop the sharing and the downloads will take care of themselves...

  • by FiloEleven (602040) on Wednesday January 20, 2010 @06:39PM (#30839076)

    I told you so.

    Not that McCain would have been any better.

    Stop voting for the state-approved candidates.
    Stop relying on a party to do your homework for you.
    Stop believing that either of the main ones has your interests in mind.

  • by kwandar (733439) on Wednesday January 20, 2010 @06:46PM (#30839176)

    If legally permitted (I'm Canadian) I'll donate $100 to the Democratic Party if they appoint NewYorkCountyLawyer to head up the Department of Justice. These stupid US laws/cases end up biting us here eventually; better to stop them at the source. Now if a thousand people on Slashdot do the same (and it wouldn't at all surprise me if far more would) that is $100,000.

    How much did the RIAA and its minions donate? Looks like under $100K to manage to get their appointees in place. Our money should be as good or better than the RIAAs?

    I want an appointee who actually works for the public, I'll put my hard money on the line to that end, and in return want NewYorkCountyLawyer as Attorney General of the United States. That is how the system works, right? Make donations, get the appointees and agendas you want?

  • by ljw1004 (764174) on Wednesday January 20, 2010 @09:05PM (#30840814)

    The DOJ brief only ever talks about "downloading and distribute", or (page 15) just "distributing" on its own.

    The brief said that when you offer a song for distribution, it's hard to know how many people you've distributed it to. The number might be enormous. And so you're penalized between $750 and $30,000 for distributing it to this unknown number of people.

    As to the penalty for downloading on its own, without distribution? -- NO ONE KNOWS. I don't think this issue has ever come to court. I can't imagine that it ever could come to court. The DOJ has not touched upon it.

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