Harvard Law professor Charles Nesson has set out to defend Joel Tenenbaum, a 25-year old physics graduate student at Boston University. The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) is claiming Joel downloaded 7 songs using Kazaa and is seeking payment of $1,050,000 to the record labels. It is unclear whether Joel will get any sold-out Tool tickets, backstage passes for Miley Cyrus or rights to some of the Beatles songs.
The case against Joel is extortion and a “David against Goliath” battle. However, Joel has a fighting chance. Debbie Foster is an Oklahoma woman sued by the RIAA, who won a motion for summary judgment back in 2006, asking the court to force the RIAA to reimburse her attorney’s fees. Professor Charles Nesson thinks the RIAA’s lawsuit against Joel is an unconstitutional abuse of law.
The RIAA should face the music and realize that P2P is impossible to stop. The reason they have been going after individuals with astronomical price tags is that they know they can’t stop P2P software. If they successfully shut one down, another will take its place:
Here are some reasons why the RIAA is evil:
- you can listen to music over the radio for free
- the RIAA represents record labels, not artists
- they bring frivolous lawsuits against innocent people
- they use rhetoric and propaganda to shape the public and political opinion
- the RIAA uses outdated and faulty law
- they sue the poor, young, and deceased
- the tactics by RIAA violate due process and privacy rights
Here are some reasons why the RIAA is your friend:
- illegal file sharing is tantamount to stealing
- just because it is easy to download or steal, does that make it right
- file sharing is causing harm to the music industry
- the music industry has seen declining revenues and increased illegal downloading
- P2P takes away from songwriters and recording artists
All parties can agree that those responsible for bringing us music should be justly rewarded and encouraged to continue making great sounds. It should also be noted that the system the RIAA would rather keep alive does not work. Companies like Apple and Amazon are already offering legal MP3 downloads for as little as $0.99, the consumer gets more of what they want and keeps a clear conscience to boot.