Charles Nesson Posts

Joel Tenenbaum Ordered To Pay $675K To Four Record Labels

Professor Charles Nesson and a team of students tried hard to help defend Boston University graduate student Joel Tenenbaum from the RIAA.  The Recording Industry Association of America represents a majority of the music labels in North America.  Recently the court decided to favor four record labels that filed a lawsuit against Tenenbaum through the RIAA.  Tenenbaum is now being forced to pay $675,000 for sharing music.

Tenenbaum admitted to downloading and sharing 30 songs.  Federal law stated that each of those 30 songs could be charged anywhere from $750 to $30,000.  If the infringement was willful, the RIAA could charge $150,000 per track.  That means that Tenenbaum could have been charged up to $4.5 million.  Instead, the record labels decided to go with $22,500 per incident of infrigement.

Tenenbaum said he will have to declare bankruptcy if the verdict for this amount stands.  Professor Charles Nesson, Tenenbaum’s lawyer said that the verdict in this case was not fair and that he plans to appeal the decision.  Nesson also reportedly was rumored to be filing a class action lawsuit of his own against the RIAA.

In June, Jammie Thomas was found liable $1.92 million for the same crime, sharing music.  Jammie shared 24 songs and the verdict was that each song was worth $80,000 worth of damage.

[via MediaPost]

Jammie Thomas Found Liable For Copyright Infringement With $1.92 Million Penalty

Jammie Thomas of Minnesota was found liable for 24 acts of copyright infringement with damages worth $1.92 million.  Jammie had a new trial and a new lawyer after she was unable to pay her previous lawyer.  The copyright material belonged to four major record labels.

Kiwi Camara was Thomas’ lawyer in the case and he was angry when he found out there was an $80,000 per song damage awarded to the labels.  He believed that $750 per song was more reasonable.  Thomas was shocked by the verdict but believed the jury did their job.

“I’m not going to hold it against them.” added Thomas but said that the recording industry probably won’t end up getting the money.  “Good luck trying to get it from me… it’s like squeezing blood from a turnip.”

However RIAA spokesperson Cara Duckworth said that the recording industry was willing to settle on the case.  A proposed settlement has not yet been made.  Camara and Harvard professor Charles Nesson still plan on filing a class-action lawsuit against the RIAA.

[via Ars Technica]

Lawyer and Harvard Professor Combine Forces To File Class Action Lawsuit Against The RIAA


There are currently two high profile RIAA lawsuits taking place.  One of them involves a Harvard professor and the other involves Jammie Thomas-Rasset.  Now the lawyers in both cases are forming a partnership to file a class-action lawsuit against the RIAA to get back the $100 million that they claim the recording industry stole.

Kiwi Camara represents Jammie Thomas-Rasset in a lawsuit that the RIAA filed against her.  There is a retrial taking place in Minnesota next week.  Harvard Law professor Charles Nesson is representing Boston student Joel Tenenbaum in an RIAA trial as well.  Kiwi and Charles are the ones getting together to file the $100 million class action lawsuit against the RIAA.

Camara did an interview with Ars Technica earlier this week and revealed two pieces of evidence that will help his case.  MediaSentry was hired by the RIAA to track down the IP address of those who share files.  Camara is arguing that MediaSentry is not licensed as a private investigator in Minnesota.  This makes them running an illegal “pen register” and their evidence should be barred.

Another approach that Camara is considering is making the RIAA prove that they own the copyrights in question.  If the RIAA or MediaSentry cannot prove any of the above scenarios, then the cases will fall apart for them.  Camara’s approach is quite unorthodox.

Camara said that the RIAA basically committed a “technical screw-up” when it came to claiming the proper copyright ownership.  The RIAA lawyers provided courts with “true and correct” copies of the evidence, but they were not “certified copies” required by federal rules of evidence.

The RIAA asked the judge to take judicial notice for these claims, but the judge refused.  The recording industry will now have a limited amount of time to file for the certified copies.  Camara already has rebuttals in mind just in case the RIAA is able to get all of the certified copies necessary for the case.

More news on the trial as it develops.  Kudos to Ars Technica for their thorough coverage of this case.

[via Ars Technica]