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Brier Dudley offers a critical look at technology and business issues affecting the Northwest.

October 30, 2008 at 12:22 PM

Harvard Law team rips RIAA tactics as unconstitutional

Techdirt has an enthusiastic writeup of the entry by Harvard Law prof Charles Nesson and students into a lawsuit against the RIAA and its tactics against music file sharers. Whether they can bring reason to the War on Piracy remains to be seen.

More details and links to filings are at the Harvard cyber law course blog. An excerpt via Techdirt:

Imagine a statute which, in the name of deterrence, provides for a $750 fine for each mile-per-hour that a driver exceeds the speed limit, with the fine escalating to $150,000 per mile over the limit if the driver knew he or she was speeding. Imagine that the fines are not publicized, and most drivers do not know they exist. Imagine that enforcement of the fines is put in the hands of a private, self-interested police force, that has no political accountability, that can pursue any defendant it chooses at its own whim, that can accept or reject payoffs in exchange for not prosecuting the tickets, and that pockets for itself all payoffs and fines. Imagine that a significant percentage of these fines were never contested, regardless of whether they had merit, because the individuals being fined have limited financial resources and little idea of whether they can prevail in front of an objective judicial body.

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