Sunday, May 31, 2009

RIAA GC: Nesson seeks to 'gut the copyright laws,' stage 'three-ring circus,' foment 'revolution'

Ars Technica, which recently gave space to Harvard Law School professor Charles Nesson to take on the record labels' litigation campaign against individual peer-to-peer users, has now done the same for RIAA general counsel Steven Marks. Marks uses most of his piece to describe the general state of the music industry and its transition to Web-based distribution, but does also directly address Nesson's defense of accused infringer Joel Tenenbaum:
[T]hat’s exactly what the Tenenbaum case is: a crusade waged by a Harvard professor to gut the copyright laws that protect creators and his attempt to transform a courtroom into a "three-ring circus." Professor Nesson seeks a revolution, not a resolution or a real defense of his client. For a music community severely harmed by illegal music downloading, including thousands of working class folks out of jobs, this is no ivory tower exercise.

Even against a backdrop of an entire community suffering—hundreds of artists dropped from rosters, billions of dollars and thousands of jobs lost during the last ten years—we have strived to implement our legal campaign in a fair and reasonable manner. Professor Nesson likes to throw out astronomical damages awards but his theories are detached from reality. We’ve never once sought maximum damages in our court cases against individual downloaders. We let courts and juries decide the appropriate dollar amount for any case that reaches that far stage.

The circus is set to open July 20 in Boston.

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