Monday, December 15, 2008

RIAA TERROR TACTICS CHALLENGED IN COURT

Svetlana Gladkova, Profy - In Rhode Island federal court we are going to see yet another lawsuit with RIAA as one party and a person who seems to be randomly chosen to punish for abusing copyright of record labels. Harvard Law School Professor Charles Nesson and his students will defend Rhode Island residents Arthur and Judie Tenenbaum from RIAA that is accusing their son Joel of sharing a total of 7 songs on Kazaa file sharing network. The damages Joel and his parents are facing could be more than $1 million.

At the time of alleged infringement Joel was a teenager and his sharing of songs, while illegal, is exactly what the majority of teenagers still do around the world. More than that, I am quite sure Joel was not the only person sharing music files in Kazaa at the time - yet he is the only one chosen by RIAA to sue. So I think it is quite obvious that the purpose behind this particular lawsuit is neither to punish this particular person, nor to compensate for the copyright infringement - instead they merely want to use Joel's case as an example of what trouble you can get yourself into by sharing a handful of songs online.

An intriguing part about the story is that during the investigation the parents of the Harvard student were forced to provide their home computer for RIAA to find evidence of copyright violation using the machine - even despite of the fact that they did not even own this machine at the time when Joel lived with them before going to college.

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