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December 2, 2008

Charlie Nesson takes on the RIAA: The podcast

In the latest Radio Berkman podcast, Prof. Charles Nesson and Joel Tennenbaum explain their countersuit against the RIAA, claiming that the RIAA should be forbidden on Constitutional grounds from suing people for sharing music files. Charlie’s analogy is to Congress passing a law that charges $750-$150,000 for each mile we go over the speed limit, and then allows a private company to fund itself by enforcing the law, and allows them to take bribes (“settlements”). He says the RIAA is using the federal courts as a collection agency. If the law is a criminal statute, which Charlie argues it in effect is, then private parties should not be able to pursue civil suits to enforce it.

If Charlie and Joel win, it would shut down the RIAA’s hyper-aggressive tactics. And, although Charlie does not say this, it seems to me that it might open up some interesting class action suits from those who have had to pay up.[Tags: ]

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October 30, 2008

Charlie Nesson goes after the RIAA

Cofounder of the Berkman Center and legendary law school teacher Charlie Nesson is taking on the RIAA

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September 8, 2008

New Brad Sucks CD is out

I’m downloading the new Brad Sucks collection

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July 23, 2008

Zack vs. the RIAA

The first in a series of three short videos from the Digital Natives project of U of St. Gallen and the Berkman Center that tells the story of Zack McCune, a Brown student (and Berkman intern) who “won the DMCA lottery” and was sued by the RIAA. It’s nicely done product by summer interns Nikki Leon and John Randall, and it’s a cliff-hanger…

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February 11, 2008

Copyright do’s, don’ts, and you’re under arrest

Remember Grokster? It was an attempt to be Napster without having a centralized database of songs and users. It was shut down by a unanimous Supreme Court decision.

Go to now and you are not only told that Grokster is no more but that you are at risk simply by having gone to the site.

Don’t think you can’t get caught. You are not anonymous.

(The IP address they give is the right one.)

The site then suggests:

In the meantime, please visit and to learn more about copyright. really should be called It’s an MPAA scare site that doesn’t let you know you still have rights when using copyrighted material. (It captures the back arrow key in your browser, which is not only annoying, controlling and disrespectful, it’s a way of driving up the hit count.) MusicUnited is an music industry pro-DRM propaganda site. Hey, it’s their right. It’s a free country. Sort of.

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February 4, 2008

Web of Ideas concert and conversation with Brad Sucks

This Mon, Feb 11, at 7pm, there will be a Very Special Web of Ideas: A concert by and conversation with Brad Sucks (AKA Brad Turcotte), the webbiest musician on the Web. We’ll listen to some songs performed live and talk with Brad about what the battle over “business models” means to someone making music.

Note that we’re not holding this one in the Berkman Center. It’ll be in Griswold Hall Room 110 at Harvard Law. It’s free and open to all; rsvp to [email protected]

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December 30, 2007

RIAA: Put down that CD and back away slowly

[NOTE Dec. 31: The Washington Post article I based this blog post on is wrong. Thanks, Shelley!] The RIAA continues to ratchet up its claims for what we customers are allowed to do with music. According to this Washington Post article, the RIAA is now claiming in a law suit that a man who has 2,000 legally-purchased CDs is not allowed to copy those CDs onto his computer.

What next? Will the RIAA claim that were not allowed to play CDs loud enough for our neighbors to hear? Listen on speakers because people who did not purchase the CD might listen along? Look at our CDs funny?



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