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FSF Files Amicus Brief In RIAA Case

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 5 years ago | from the can't-believe-the-riaa-still-thinks-this-is-a-wise-course-of-action dept.

The Courts 73

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "The Free Software Foundation has requested permission to file an amicus curiae brief in an RIAA case, SONY BMG Music Entertainment v. Tenenbaum, defending the defendant's Due Process defense to the RIAA's claim for statutory damages. In the brief [PDF], FSF cites some of the leading authorities for the defense, including the 2003 decision of the US Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit in Parker v. Time Warner, which held that excessive statutory damages are subject to the same due process test applicable to punitive damage awards by juries. Additionally, the brief cites three district court decisions, including UMG v. Lindor, and two law review articles — all of which deal specifically with Copyright Act statutory damages applicable to infringement of an MP3 file — to like effect."

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Ummm... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27275299)

Good!

Sounds like a solid case.

Focusing too much on the minutia? (4, Insightful)

Mrs. Grundy (680212) | more than 5 years ago | (#27275313)

I understand slashdot's obsession with the RI...really I do. But, don't you think stories like this that aren't really even news are getting a little too much attention? There is no decision, no new case, no new theory--not even the filing of an amicus curiae brief, just a petition to file an amicus curiae brief. Next we'll be hearing what the lawyers are eating for lunch.

Re:Focusing too much on the minutia? (4, Informative)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 5 years ago | (#27275323)

There is always a motion for leave to file amicus brief filed with the amicus brief. The amicus brief itself is attached. That is the only filing.

Slashdotted! Here's the summary (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27275359)

At Cow Tax [cowtax.com] archives.

MOD PARENT UP! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27275459)

Informative, or at least funny if you don't want to bump up his carma.

Re:MOD PARENT UP! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27276027)

Informative, or at least funny if you don't want to bump up his carma.

Karma (not carma) is irrelevant to an AC post.

Re:Focusing too much on the minutia? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27275861)

Next we'll be hearing what the lawyers are eating for lunch.

Soo.... what did you have for lunch?

I think you missed the point (-1, Flamebait)

GuloGulo2 (972355) | more than 5 years ago | (#27276121)

No one cares about your personal cause anymore.

It's not 2001. No one gives a shit about irrelevant-to-their every day lives legal wrangling, shit guy, they don't give a fuck about the RIAA itself, or the FSF, and you think they care to hear your inane ramblings on some stupid trivial bit of legal maneuvering?

No, they don't.

And finding a few slashtards to agree with you doesn't mean you're right, it means you've lost perspective.

Of course this is where you attempt to find some reason why shit you're posting still matters, the whole while thinking the echo chamber you live in in representative of reality.

RIAA is a joke, and you're an even worse joke for wasting so much time posting trivial shit about them that no one who isn't a total loser cares about.

Re:I think you missed the point (2, Insightful)

Schemat1c (464768) | more than 5 years ago | (#27276259)

Of course this is where you attempt to find some reason why shit you're posting still matters, the whole while thinking the echo chamber you live in in representative of reality.

RIAA is a joke, and you're an even worse joke for wasting so much time posting trivial shit about them that no one who isn't a total loser cares about.

Wow, you run out of Prozac or something? If you don't like what the guy posts then don't read it, or better yet don't waste your time and anger commenting on it.

Sheesh!

Re:I think you missed the point (-1, Offtopic)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 5 years ago | (#27276401)

WRONG BTICH
M SICK OF YOU
AND YOUR LAME STORIES
NOBODY HERE THINKS YOURE FUNNY
NOBODY HERE WANTS TO HEAR YOUR STORIES
IN FACT
IF YOU DIED RIGHT NOW
I DON"T THINK NOBODY WOULD CARE
SO WHAT DO YOU SAY TO THAT FAG

A flamebait mod by the looks of it.

Lameness filter encountered. Post aborted! Lameness filter encountered. Post aborted! Lameness filter encountered. Post aborted! Lameness filter encountered. Post aborted! Lameness filter encountered. Post aborted!

Re:I think you missed the point (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27276855)

My grandmother's computer got rooted by Sony.
My cousin got extorted freshmen year of college.

We all need to care about the RIAA.

They will die naturally in 10 years ; but, we
need to help the process along.

GuloGulo, I hope your mother doesn't get rooted
by Sony.

Re:I think you missed the point (1)

ivucica (1001089) | more than 5 years ago | (#27277603)

Forgot to check "Post Anonymously" box? :)

Re:I think you missed the point (1)

Travelsonic (870859) | more than 5 years ago | (#27279721)

No one cares about your personal cause anymore. It's not 2001. No one gives a shit about irrelevant-to-their every day lives legal wrangling, shit guy.... *snip* And finding a few slashtards to agree with you doesn't mean you're right, it means you've lost perspective.

And flaming people for liking certain stories and trying to speak for everybody (when it is obvious they don't like it) isn't? You fucking hypocritical nitwit.

Re:Focusing too much on the minutia? (2, Informative)

conureman (748753) | more than 5 years ago | (#27275357)

This *stuff* lives and dies by the minutiae. Good to see that the court gets plenty o'reasons to look at the precedents. Could save some fees.

Re:Focusing too much on the minutia? (5, Insightful)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 5 years ago | (#27275531)

I do not understand why you think this "isn't news". It is, in fact, very encouraging good news: an important new fact regarding a case that is important and very relevant to today.

The outcome of this case affects, indirectly, whole industries surrounding recorded music and video, and the software industry as well. Being a software engineer, I, for one, am VERY interested in any news surrounding this case.

I will admit that this does not reflect a new decision, or other outcome. But that doesn't mean that it's "not news".

Re:Focusing too much on the minutia? (4, Interesting)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 5 years ago | (#27275605)

Agreed Jane. And I think it's quite newsworthy that the Free Software Foundation has jumped into the fray, recognizing that the RIAA's tactic is to try to rewrite copyright law by suing defenseless people.

Analogy (3, Funny)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 5 years ago | (#27275687)

When a whole new army of Good Guys come riding over the horizon, armed with their magical incantations of Facts and Citations, it may not be the end of the movie but the tide of the war may be turning, and it's a part you probably don't want to miss.

Re:Analogy (4, Funny)

CodeBuster (516420) | more than 5 years ago | (#27275841)

it may not be the end of the movie but the tide of the war may be turning, and it's a part you probably don't want to miss.

Can we all go charging down the mountain side while the light of dawn streams down from behind us (although NYCL might look a bit odd leading the charge in white robes on a white horse)?

Re:Analogy (1)

EGenius007 (1125395) | more than 5 years ago | (#27277083)

Could someone please tell me the title of the movie he's referencing so I could torrent it?

Re:Analogy (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 5 years ago | (#27277319)

There wasn't one, it was purely fantasy. But you could probably relate it roughly to LOR, I suppose.

Re:Analogy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27278053)

Lord Of The Rings, Battle for Helms Deep.

Re:Analogy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27280457)

It's from the Lord of the Rings.

Re:Analogy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27278159)

Look what happened to the Light Brigrade

Re:Analogy (2, Funny)

beav007 (746004) | more than 5 years ago | (#27276445)

Are they riding in cars?

Re:Focusing too much on the minutia? (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 5 years ago | (#27275769)

Surely they've already rewritten copyright law and paid lots of politicians to be able to do so.

Because it isn't, it's you being pathetic (-1, Troll)

GuloGulo2 (972355) | more than 5 years ago | (#27276205)

It's not news. It's the irrelevant ramblings of two groups who don't matter anymore.

Hell, the fact that a flaming retard like you thinks it is news, and that lying sack cuntrylawyer agrees, is fairly representative of how not news this is.

"It is, in fact, very encouraging good news: an important new fact regarding a case that is important and very relevant to today."

How? I notice this "news" you think is news is SO important that you can't even coherently explain WHY it's important. That's no accident.

"The outcome of this case affects, indirectly, whole industries surrounding recorded music and video, and the software industry as well. Being a software engineer, I, for one, am VERY interested in any news surrounding this case. "

SO WHAT IS THE NEWS HERE? Some petty legal wrangling?

Yeah SOOOOO fucking newsworthy.

No, here's what's happening. You fucking nerds get off on pedantry, specifics, and minute details. I'm sure you're exactly the kind of loser who insists on strict continuity in your stories. You're PETTY, so every opportunity you get, you take a swipe at your "enemies", no matter how small you look in the process. the you justify it by making some idiotic half-sequitur about this being "news" because you're IN THE BIZ, but totally forgetting that this is NOTHING. Unimportant and irrelevant don't even come close to how little this means.

Of course, that doesn't stop you from demonstrating your own smallness and pettiness by pretending it matters.

Re:Focusing too much on the minutia? NOOOO (2, Insightful)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 5 years ago | (#27276325)

don't you think stories like this that aren't really even news are getting a little too much attention?

No I don't! The RIAA and MPAA are trying their mightiest to bring down the free exchange of ideas, knowledge, and data that we enjoy over the Internet as well as (with the help of Microsoft and Apple lackeys) control what you can and cannot do on your own personal computer. If you think this is some far off battle on some arcane legal minutiae that will never touch your own life, you are so wrong that there aren't words to describe how wrong you are.

Re:Focusing too much on the minutia? NOOOO (1)

marcosdumay (620877) | more than 5 years ago | (#27285325)

"with the help of Microsoft and Apple lackeys"

That isn't entirely on topic... But you surely are missing the big picture here, and ignoring the reality of who is using who.

Just to be short, Microsoft and Apple have everything to gain here, while RIAA people are a bunch of fools.

Re:Focusing too much on the minutia? (0, Flamebait)

FatdogHaiku (978357) | more than 5 years ago | (#27276879)

Next we'll be hearing what the lawyers are eating for lunch.

No need to report that, it's still the little people...

Re:Focusing too much on the minutia? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27276955)

I think Monday is Cheezburger day.

Re:Focusing too much on the minutia? (1)

ivucica (1001089) | more than 5 years ago | (#27277633)

In Deep-Ones America, Cthulhu eats YOU!

Re:Focusing too much on the minutia? (0, Flamebait)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 5 years ago | (#27277715)

Next we'll be hearing what the lawyers are eating for lunch.

This just in: lawyers eating children for lunch.

Re:Focusing too much on the minutia? (1)

Linker3000 (626634) | more than 5 years ago | (#27277993)

I'm sure it'll be on their twitter pages

I'm not sure which will happen first... (3, Funny)

erroneus (253617) | more than 5 years ago | (#27275429)

...will there be an end to these suits which were claimed to have been stopped long ago or...

Will I be able to cause all of their heads to explode using the powers of my mind?

Yay!!! (2, Funny)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 5 years ago | (#27275491)

I just love it when a plan comes together.

NewYorkCountryLawyer (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27275591)

Why don't add a brief summary about what your posts actually mean to the non-legal types, rather than this legalese summary each time?

Re:NewYorkCountryLawyer (5, Insightful)

Loadmaster (720754) | more than 5 years ago | (#27275707)

Because he's a practicing attorney and doesn't have the time to break every event down into simple terms (that's what Groklaw is for). I'm sure he would if he could, but that's the way it is.

I'm glad he does this, though, at least then we're made aware of happenings and can then go find further information about it.

Re:NewYorkCountryLawyer (1)

Splab (574204) | more than 5 years ago | (#27277517)

While I do agree he is helping - a bit of translation for those of us who aren't native English speaking (nor understand US legal system) would very much be appreciated.

Re:NewYorkCountryLawyer (3, Informative)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 5 years ago | (#27278303)

While I do agree he is helping - a bit of translation for those of us who aren't native English speaking (nor understand US legal system) would very much be appreciated.

I'm sorry but my priority has to be get the unvarnished facts out there. If I start watering stuff down, I'm afraid I'll start describing things incorrectly. And to me it seems that the most important role I can play is to report the news, and get the litigation documents online.

Re:NewYorkCountryLawyer (5, Interesting)

The FNP (1177715) | more than 5 years ago | (#27275815)

Because those of us who have been following along with the RIAA and MPAA and Pirate Bay and Microsoft and Psystar and the EFF and Apple and AT&T and Verizon and Comcast and every other technologically relevant entity who can hire a lawyer and a PR person has now given us a basic understanding of the way these cases work.

Ray may have already helped me skip the first year of law school, just because of the sheer volume of information he has provided to the /.ers who have been paying attention. If you're new here, read his blog archives and get an idea of what he's already contributed to the community.

--The FNP

P.S. I apologize for feeding the A.C., but I've got Karma to burn.

Re:NewYorkCountryLawyer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27276557)

I'll have a go at breaking it down for you:

The bad guys, the RIAA, are like terrorist pedo-Muslims who hate American's freedom. So, there were these normal American guys, just going around, being all -- you know -- free and stuff, when they were suddenly jumped by these RIAA terrorist scum.

Well, as these are Americans and they're hard, and have guns and shit, they aren't going to take this lying down. Or kneeling, or crawling for that matter. They're standing up and fighting! Problem is, things aren't going to well for them. It's like when Rocky fought that Russian dude, or in fact any of the Rocky films, when he was down and almost beaten. It looks like the terrorists are going to win. :(

What no-one knows is that a secret arm of the CIA, called the "Free Software Foundation", has been working on a secret anti-terrorist weapon. It's called The Stallmanator and is something like a cross between this [google.com] and this [google.com] , except with a friggin' huge gun called The Amicus Brief (a secret weapon The Pentagon has been developing from tech gathered at Area 51).

NewYorkCountryLawyer was just alerting Slashdot that the Free Software Foundation has deployed the Stallmanator, and that the bad guys are sure to lose, because freedom -- and the all-American hero -- always wins!

There, sufficiently FOX News enough for you?

Re:NewYorkCountryLawyer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27276967)

The Stallmanator...brilliant

My best effort at a translation... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27276601)

IANAL, so get one if you need legal advice, but here's the lowdown as I understand things:

There are these huge fines, that are thousands or hundreds of thousands of times the actual damages (e.g. download a song that costs $1 and you could pay a $100,000+ penalty to the RIAA, though they usually ask for "only" a few thousand dollars). I say "$100,000+" because someone will complain if I get the statutory damages wrong and it's actually $150k or $170k or something like that as a maximum. That's per work, BTW, though there are some oddities where an album might be a "work" instead of the individual songs. They actually tried to change that to make sure that they could get statutory damages for each song in an album (or each work in other types of collections), only to get shot down when asked for a case where they hadn't gotten enough money in damages. "Statutory damages," BTW, are where the government decided that it would be hard to figure out how much money people actually lost, so the legislature will make up a range and it's just presumed to be reasonable, so that people have one less thing to argue about in court. Provided the range of damages is reasonable, this can be a very good thing.

But then there's also a case that says 10x the actual losses in damages can be an unconstitutional abrogation of a right called "due process" [of law]. That right is written into the constitution, so the legislature can't take it away (though it doesn't stop them from trying).

There are also related arguments saying that, because the fines are so huge compared to the losses, this is really a criminal case being tried in civil court. The difference between the two is that you don't get a free public defender in civil court (like you do in criminal courts), and you lose several other important legal protections like a presumption of innocence that you should be allowed in a criminal case (the RIAA is only being asked to prove a "preponderance of the evidence" ... in other words, that the accused is more likely to be the one who infringed their copyrights than not).

There is legal precedent to support all of this, but I recommend that you read the paperwork linked in the story if you want to find out about it all. People have a tendency to complain a lot if you leave out some detail they care about, or gloss over a distinction they feel is important and that's only magnified when you're dealing with lawyers or geeks (let alone folks who are both). And I'm reduced to doing factory labor right now, rather than coding or sysadmin work, to make ends meet thanks to this crappy economy and I don't really have much more time than Ray does :-)

- I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property [eff.org]
(I'm not affiliated with the EFF, I just support their goals.)

Re:NewYorkCountryLawyer (1)

harlows_monkeys (106428) | more than 5 years ago | (#27278007)

Why don't add a brief summary about what your posts actually mean to the non-legal types, rather than this legalese summary each time?

There was nothing in the summary that would be confusing to anyone who paid attention during their high school civics class, and who reads a newspaper semi-regularly.

mod dEown (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27275695)

th3 probl3ms

Sigh (3, Insightful)

mc1138 (718275) | more than 5 years ago | (#27275777)

A little off topic, but I wonder what if anything the RIAA actually has accomplished from all these years of lawsuits. People hate them, is the money coming in at all? Does it really come down to just the principle of the matter now?

Re:Sigh (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27277121)

Win or lose, the lawyers get paid.

It is the lawyers who have been scamming a desperate RIAA, which keeps hoping they will come through with big wins eventually. (Suckers!)

Re:Sigh (1)

janwedekind (778872) | more than 5 years ago | (#27278163)

I like that the judge voiced his concerns about the defendants financial situation: "You know, it seems to me that counsel representing the record companies have an ethical obligation to fully understand that they are fighting people without lawyers, to fully understand that, more than just how do we serve them, but just to understand that the formalities of this are basically bankrupting people, and it's terribly critical that you stop it, so there will be a settlement conference in the Tenenbaum case at the conclusion of this hearing."

Re:Sigh (1)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 5 years ago | (#27278217)

A little off topic, but I wonder what if anything the RIAA actually has accomplished from all these years of lawsuits. People hate them, is the money coming in at all?

They've accomplished absolutely nothing except:
1. enriching their lawyers and
2. bringing 4 record companies closer to obsolescence.

Re:Sigh (1)

HiThere (15173) | more than 5 years ago | (#27279877)

The RIAA doesn't depend on being liked by people. It's purpose is to give the various record companies a bit of anonymity and plausible deniability. Most people who see RIAA don't think of this as action by, say, Sony. And the companies can always say that their agent mishandled a case if they *do* happen to get associated with it.

The RIAA *exists* to do things that the record companies wouldn't want associated with their names.

Re:Sigh (1)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 5 years ago | (#27280393)

The RIAA doesn't depend on being liked by people. It's purpose is to give the various record companies a bit of anonymity and plausible deniability....The RIAA *exists* to do things that the record companies wouldn't want associated with their names.

Interesting theory. How's the plan working for them? Is there a soul out there who doesn't know that it's the 'Big 4' record companies (EMI, Universal, SONY, Warner)?

Re:Sigh (1)

Thing 1 (178996) | more than 5 years ago | (#27287661)

Hi Ray! How about "Warner, EMI, Sony, Universal"? Makes for a better, more realistic acronym. :)

Indefensible! (2, Funny)

foniksonik (573572) | more than 5 years ago | (#27275909)

"defending the defendant's Due Process defense"

This sentence construction is indefensible!

Re:Indefensible! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27275983)

Now now..

You must respect Due Process and not just declare things.

Please assert your assertion that the sentence is indefensible. Then we shall come back and you to defend your assertion. Then you must state your case that your assertion is in fact a assertion. Then we all shall settle on beers and hookers to avoid a headace.

Isent that how these things work?

Re:Indefensible! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27276909)

Isent? seriously? that isn't how you spell that...

Re:Indefensible! (1)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 5 years ago | (#27276333)

"defending the defendant's Due Process defense"

This sentence construction is indefensible!

I throw myself on the mercy of the court.

Oldies but goldies.. (1)

cheros (223479) | more than 5 years ago | (#27277833)

You're OK, you haven't quite reached the bottom yet:

http://www.lawschoolbound.net/TO/humor2.htm [lawschoolbound.net]

Q. When he went, had you gone and had she, if she wanted to and were able, for the time being excluding all the restraints on her not to go, gone also, would he have brought you, meaning you and she, with him to the station?

MR. BROOKS: Objection. That question should be taken out and shot. :-)

Why the FSF? (1)

wrook (134116) | more than 5 years ago | (#27275971)

It's nice to see someone go to the effort to file an amicus brief, but why the FSF? Excessive statutory damages for copyright infringement doesn't necessarily seem like something that's in their area of interest (i.e., I can't see how it affects software freedom one way or another). Or is it simply a lawyer at the FSF who happens to be interested? Do organizations often file these kinds of briefs in areas that the organization isn't primarily interested?

Re:Why the FSF? (4, Informative)

Loadmaster (720754) | more than 5 years ago | (#27276107)

The FSF is working with The Recording Industry vs. the People to provide an Exper Witnesses Fund. Basically, they're providing computer experts to combat the misinformation spouted by the RIAA concerning technology.

http://recordingindustryvspeople.blogspot.com/2007/11/expert-witness-defense-fund-for-riaa.html [blogspot.com]

https://www.fsf.org/associate/riaa [fsf.org]

Re:Why the FSF? (1)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 5 years ago | (#27278235)

The FSF is working with The Recording Industry vs. the People to provide an Expert Witnesses Fund. Basically, they're providing computer experts to combat the misinformation spouted by the RIAA concerning technology.
http://recordingindustryvspeople.blogspot.com/2007/11/expert-witness-defense-fund-for-riaa.html [blogspot.com]
[fsf.org] https://www.fsf.org/associate/riaa [fsf.org]

Well they don't actually supply the experts. They've administered a separate fund, the Expert Witness Defense Fund, the purpose of which is to provide funds to the defendants with which to hire their own technical experts and/or consultants. The fund has provided financial support to the UMG v. Lindor case, and to the Capitol v. Thomas case.

Re:Why the FSF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27276207)

Well, copyright does indeed matter, since the GPL, at least, depends on copyright law for it's bite - copyright law allows authors to keep distribution rights strictly to themselves, if they want, and an open-source license then allows the author to grant distribution rights to others, under certain circumstances. If you don't want to play along with the GPL, then you can't distribute. End of story.

Any time a law is considered by the courts, some of the fuzzy bits can get cleared up, so win, lose or draw, the FSF has an interest in this because enforcement of the GPL depends on copyright law.

Re:Why the FSF? (1)

HiThere (15173) | more than 5 years ago | (#27280103)

If the period of the copyright were reduced to 30 seconds then the GPL would effectively be the same as the BSD.

Thinking of this as an Evolutionarily Stable Strategies match, however, I map BSD onto Dove*, Proprietary onto Hawk**, and GPL onto Retaliator***. (Note that Proprietary onto Hawk isn't a good mapping, because Proprietary has numerous different shadings all the way from a Dove that hides to a patent troll...which I haven't been able to map into the scenario.) Given that this is a rather loose mapping, I expect that GPL is the winning strategy...but because it's so loose I'm not sure. In any case the only time Dove and Hawk can coexist is when Dove has a much higher rate of reproduction (for any of several possible reasons...including Hawk fighting with Hawk).

N.B.: if the copyright were reduced as suggested in the first paragraph, then the period of time for aggression by the Hawk contingent would likewise be reduces. So all of the various strategies would become more equal.

P.S.: Yes, this is a VASTLY oversimplified model of the system. It captures certain features only, and not necessarily the most salient ones. But it's a place to start and a way to think about it. If you find something else you want to add, add it to the model. But be aware that you are increasing the computational load for modeling any particular scenario.

* In the original model Dove represented an entity that never attacked.
** In the original model Hawk represented an entity that always attacked.
*** In the original model Retaliator represented an entity that never attacked unless it was being attacked.
N.B.: In all three cases I have oversimplified the description of the entities. If you want to read the full description, read "The Selfish Gene" by Richard Dawkins. I think they're described in one of the appendices, and also where he's describing what an ESS (Evolutionarily Stable Strategy) is.

Re:Why the FSF? (1)

nyet (19118) | more than 5 years ago | (#27276301)

Because Tenenbaum's lawyer *royally* screwed up the appeal and failed to cite the most salient case law.

Thankfully, the FSF stepped in to fill in the gaps that were missed.

Re:Why the FSF? (4, Informative)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 5 years ago | (#27276397)

I think they pretty well explained their interest in the case when they said:

As an organization dedicated to the rights of computer users and their interaction with copyrighted works, we are concerned with the RIAA's attempt to redefine copyright law through legal proceedings against individuals who are generally unable to defend themselves.

Re:Why the FSF? (1)

KwKSilver (857599) | more than 5 years ago | (#27278629)

I think they pretty well explained their interest in the case when they said:

As an organization dedicated to the rights of computer users and their interaction with copyrighted works, we are concerned with the RIAA's attempt to redefine copyright law through legal proceedings against individuals who are generally unable to defend themselves.

Ray, do you think that the redefinition of copyright law may be the real goal of the RIAA, MPAA and other organizations of their ilk? You and others have occasionally said that the ill-will that is being created cannot possibly be balanced by the monetary payoff. If there is no monetary payoff, there must be an intangible payoff, and the erosion and elimination of user's rights could be an immediate goal. Thinking a little further, taking control of peoples' systems and turning it over to the cartels could have an enormous, if not unlimited, long-term payoff. The thought of root-kitting creeps like these being in control of everything is scary stuff. Glad I've been supporting the FSF.

Re:Why the FSF? (1)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 5 years ago | (#27278879)

Ray, do you think that the redefinition of copyright law may be the real goal of the RIAA, MPAA and other organizations of their ilk? You and others have occasionally said that the ill-will that is being created cannot possibly be balanced by the monetary payoff. If there is no monetary payoff, there must be an intangible payoff, and the erosion and elimination of user's rights could be an immediate goal. Thinking a little further, taking control of peoples' systems and turning it over to the cartels could have an enormous, if not unlimited, long-term payoff. The thought of root-kitting creeps like these being in control of everything is scary stuff. Glad I've been supporting the FSF.

There's no doubt in my mind that that rewriting the copyright law is one of their objectives, as part of their overall strategy of defeating the internet until they can subjogate it to their own monopolistic practices. And it will be interesting to see what the Obama administration -- now packed with RIAA lawyers at the highest level -- will have to say in this case. Are they going to take the legal position, as they did under George Bush -- that smacking teenagers with 'statutory damages' of $750 to $150,000 per mp3 file, payable to the record cartel, is just hunky dory?

True Irony Alert! (3, Interesting)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 5 years ago | (#27276297)

There is some true irony here as one of the Plaintiffs in this case who is arguing that such damages shouldn't be limited to a single-digit ratio of actual damages, argued (and won) in an Appeals Court case when they were the Defendant that such damages should be so limited.

Estoppel is the word that first comes to mind here.

Re:True Irony Alert! (3, Informative)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 5 years ago | (#27278255)

There is some true irony here as one of the Plaintiffs in this case who is arguing that such damages shouldn't be limited to a single-digit ratio of actual damages, argued (and won) in an Appeals Court case when they were the Defendant that such damages should be so limited.

Yes, when UMG Recordings was a defendant [blogspot.com] it was crying a very different tune. All of a sudden the Constitution counted, and 'deterrence' wasn't so important.

Those of you who don't care... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27276705)

can go read something else and let the ones who do care pay attention and do what they can to stand up against evil orgs like the RIAA.

You may think, "Gee, isn't this group already defeated?" and you'd be wrong. There's still plenty of money left in the coffers of the international goons and we'll continue to see them fight to stay important even though those who hate them and just wish they'd die already are taking out their frustrations on the ones who are sticking up for them.

Maybe you don't like to read about the RIAA every other day, but if no one paid attention then these bastards would destroy our culture.

Keep up the good work NYCL.

This is not tolerable!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27277331)

My company will not donate anymore a penny to the FSF because our money was intended to promote the free software to defend a person with charges of pirating music.

Not tolerable !!!

No more money for the FSF, EVER!

Psst! want a rootkit? (1)

KwKSilver (857599) | more than 5 years ago | (#27278643)

Start putting SONY music CD's in your Windows machines.

Glad to see you changed your mind Ray. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27279287)

"The EFF or some other organization SHOULD be filing an amicus brief. But not
me... I'm just some guy." Ray Beckerman (on Groklaw)

Glad to see you changed your mind Ray.

Re:Glad to see you changed your mind Ray. (1)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 5 years ago | (#27279723)

"The EFF or some other organization SHOULD be filing an amicus brief. But not me... I'm just some guy." Ray Beckerman (on Groklaw)

Glad to see you changed your mind Ray.

Thanks, but the brief was filed on behalf of an organization... the Free Software Foundation. I was just one of the lawyers.

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