Statutory Damages and Music Industry Lawsuits Against Direct Infringers:

A new I/P Colloquium podcast hosted by my colleague Doug Licthman, with Prof. Charlie Nesson (Harvard), RIAA lawyer Steven Marks (RIAA), Prof. Catherine Sharkey (NYU), Prof. Thomas Colby (GW), and Dan Markel (Florida State):

Joel Tenenbaum looks a lot like every other defendant who has been accused by the music industry of illegally sharing copyrighted work online, but with one key difference: his defense attorney is Harvard Law School Professor Charlie Nesson, and Nesson is out to turn his case into a public referendum not only on the music industry's efforts to enforce copyright through these direct-infringer suits, but also on the copyright rules that make the industry litigation possible. In this program, we engage Nesson's key arguments, focusing especially on Nesson's claim that copyright law's statutory damages regime runs afoul of constitutional protections against excessive and/or arbitrary civil damages awards.