Friday, July 17, 2009

Labels move to exclude Palfrey as expert; say Harvard Law School professor's opinions on 'digital natives' irrelevant to Tenenbaum case

The record label plaintiffs have moved to exclude John Palfrey as Joel Tenenbaum's expert, arguing that the Harvard Law School professor's opinions on the behavior of "digital natives" are irrelevant and inadmissible.
Plaintiffs' Motion to Exclude John Palfrey as expert

What's striking from the motion and the excerpts from Palfrey's deposition is how little Palfrey actually has to say about this case. He concedes that he has no knowledge of Tenenbaum's activities, has read barely any of the case documents, and will not even opine whether he considers Tenenbaum to be a "digital native" or whether he committed copyright infringement. Palfrey apparently intends to opine about "how children understand fair use," but Tenenbaum was a 20-year-old college student at the time of the detected infringement in 2004 -- not a child. Perhaps Palfrey has sufficient expertise to state with authority that many young people use p2p to obtain music illegally. No doubt. How that absolves Tenenbaum of his own infringement is beyond me.

Here is Palfrey's expert report and CV.

[Headline altered]


  1. Hehheh. Lots of people do it and therefore it shouldn't be illegal? I'll use that argument next time I get a speeding ticket.

  2. @halojones-fan:

    To be fair to Palfrey, he does not argue, "Lots of people do it and therefore it shouldn't be illegal." He has stated quite clearly that use of p2p to download and "share" music without permission is illegal, and he doesn't defend such activity:

    I'm genuinely baffled as to what he may be able to testify to that would help Tenenbaum.


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.