This is simply breath-taking:
Wholesale copying of music on P2P networks is fair use. Statutory damages can’t be applied to P2P users. File-swapping results in no provable harm to rightsholders.
These are just some of the assertions that Harvard Law professor Charles Nesson made last week in his defense of accused file-swapper Joel Tenenbaum.
Nesson founded the Harvard Berkman Center for Internet & Society.
If he made this argument with a straight face, I predict a world-wide botox shortage.
Is Harvard Law professor Charlie Nesson crazy? As Nesson himself admits, “this does seem to be a question on many people’s minds.”
It’s not on my mind, nor on the minds of the students who serve as co-counsel:
The discomfort with strategy extends even to Nesson’s own students, who are doing much of the research and writing. Ray Bilderback, who is writing the “disclosures” about expert witness testimony, wrote that “all of this looks very bad from my perspective. I think that introducing our experts at this late stage to the very novel argument that we intend to raise at trialâ€”an argument which has no real basis in case law or moderate academic scholarshipâ€”is a blunder that could have very serious consequences. At this point, I have no idea what our disclosures will look like. And they have to be filed TOMORROW. Bad, bad, bad. We should have been working on this for weeks rather than days.”
Read the whole thing, it’s even crazier than you think. Before it’s all over I expect to see Nesson invoking John Perry Barlow.
UPDATE: Here’s some more from The Register.