Monday, August 10, 2009

NY Times: 'eccentric scholar’s devotion to a soaring vision blinded him to legal realities'

The Times weighs in. And puts Tenenbaum and Nesson front and center:

I'd say we're about :13:27 in to this story's life. And when the clock strikes :15:00, Nesson goes back to his tenured position at Harvard Law School, his students can continue to talk about what "fun" it was to "to test the limits of legal norms," and Tenenbaum will remain 25 years old, and $675,000 in debt.


  1. As someone who was involved with the failed McCain campaign, it seems you also fail to see the political trends. Republicans fighting noncommercial filesharing remind me of the actions of a previous Republican -- Herbert Hoover. After the stock market crashed in 1929 he raised taxes and supported the raised tariffs. How many Republicans support increased taxes and increased tariffs now?

    Similarly, in the future it will become clear that supporting the porn industry is not in the interest of the Republican party. Tennenbaum may only last 15 minutes, but noncommercial filesharing will live on. Republicans can grasp this this issue and benefit from the "rugged individualism" ideal, or let government-supported monopolies continue to drag them down.

  2. @karateka:

    Please enlighten me about how Republicans support the porn industry. Thanks.

  3. @karateka

    If you think copyright policy is a liberal v. conservative or republican v. democrat issue, you are completely misinformed. I happen to be a bleeding heart liberal but am also in favor of strong intellectual property protection because I come from a creative industry. (on a side note, the reason why academics, despite being arguably part of a creative industry, are so copyleft is because their success is based on their work being widely consumed regardless of financial renumeration).

    But to say that it is Republicans who are fighting noncommercial file-sharing is just absurd. For example, the initiator of the RIAA's aggressive technology litigation was pre-2003 head Hilary Rosen - a huge democrat. Also, the Obama justice department filed a brief in SUPPORT of the constitutionality of the statutory damages provisions of the Copyright Act.

    So how you can say this is a Republican issue boggles my mind.

  4. Obviously, this commenter just decided to go off on Republicans without doing any research. I also happen to be a democrat in favor of IP protection and note that the absolute strongest pro-IP senators are almost all democrats--partially perhaps because of how broadly the entertainment industry supports democrats. President Obama himself has seen fit to hire a number of former RIAA litigators for top spots in Justice. So, making this out to be a democrat vs. republican issue is ridiculous. The parties are clearly united in fighting filesharing with the democrats leading the way.

  5. Anonymous - Your misunderstanding basically has proven my point. My main point is this: it is in the interest of the Republican Party to support noncommercial filesharing.

    Now, when you look at what has actually happened, the Republican party has supported the RIAA/MPAA/Porn industry. In doing so, they have voted against the interests of the under-40 demographic, the techno-savvy, and tech companies. They have done all this while going against core philosophies of the Republican party and thousands of years of religous and academic traditions. This is an issue where the Republicans could take a stand that would reverberate with demographics that leaned much more left than average last election.

    The reason I bring up the Republican issue on this blog is because Ben says he worked on McCains campaign. While he supports the RIAA/MPAA/Porn industries, they support the Democrats by an overwhelming majority. It is in the interests of the Republican party to fight against copyright tyranny, as it is the interests of liberty itself.

  6. I'm still waiting to hear what the Republican Party (or I) has to do with the porn industry...

  7. The connection between copyright tyranny and the porn industry is really pretty straightforward - they have copyrights, and want to enforce them. Search the results on

    However, tying in the porn industry provides a nice piece of shock value to self-described conservatives, as they find out they are on the same side as the porn industry. It was rather fun to point this out to an iPod-wearing volunteer at the booth of my current congressmen at a local 4th of July celebration.

  8. @karateka:

    Your argument is like saying Democrats support child molesters. After all, Democrats support universal health care, and a universal health care system would provide health care to everyone -- including child molesters. This is all beyond silly.

  9. Haha, this is fun. Hey, anyone who eats meat, are you aware that you're in favor of infanticide and cannibalism? Also, if you drive a car then you're on the same side as drug dealers.

  10. I'll try a hand at this one:

    Democrats have supported every major piece of copyright legislation from the 1909 Act onward. Therefore, because FOX News likes to enforce its copyrights, the Democrats likewise support its right-wing, conservative agenda.

    Hey, this is fun!


Comments here are moderated. I appreciate substantive comments, whether or not they agree with what I've written. Stay on topic, and be civil. Comments that contain name-calling, personal attacks, or the like will be rejected. If you want to rant about how evil the RIAA and MPAA are, and how entertainment companies' employees and attorneys are bad people, there are plenty of other places for you to go.