Judgment and Injunction in Sony v. Tenenbaum
The court's injunction is a bit narrower than that requested by the plaintiffs; it omits, on First Amendment grounds, the labels' entreaty that Tenenbaum be enjoined from "promot[ing] ... using the Internet or any online media distribution system to infringe copyright." Here's the court's order explaining the scope of the injunction.
The court also issued a 38-page order elaborating on and confirming its decision, issued on the eve of trial, rejecting Tenenbaum's proposed fair use defense. I'll have much more analysis of the order later, but here are some of the highlights. The court:
- Blasted the defense, led by Harvard Law School Professor Charles Nesson, for running a "truly chaotic defense" that raised fair use late and failed to cite relevant case law and evidence;
- Criticized the defense for "mounting a broadside attack that would excuse all file sharing for private enjoyment" rather than making a narrow, fact-specific argument that took into account the facts of this case;
- Cited Nesson's own amicus brief in a related case where he called the fair use arguments regarding uploading files "very weak";
- Rejected nearly all of the defense's substantive arguments related to fair use, including the additional, extra-statutory factors it suggested, such as "assumption of risk" and the plaintiffs' marketing tactics that allegedly encouraged infringement.
- Suggested, in dicta, that it may have been fair use to use peer-to-peer to obtain songs before they were made available legally through iTunes or similar legal services;
- "[U]rge[d] -- no implore[d] -- Congress to amend the [copyright] statute to reflect the realities of file sharing" because of the "astronomical penalties for an activity whose implications [teenagers and students] may not have fully understood."