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The Heroic Professor Nesson

The recent issue of IP Law & Business has a fascinating Q&A with
Harvard law professor Charles Nesson, who is representing Joel Tenenbaum, a 25-year-old doctoral student being sued by five record companies under the Digital Theft Deterrence and Copyright Act of 1999. Tenenbaum refused to settle, and Nesson is arguing “that the law is unconstitutional because it allows for ‘grossly excessive’ awards.”

While it’s demeaning to have to hope for a just statutory interpretation by fake judges appointed by the criminal state of an artificial positive law enacted by “law”-makers of another department of the same criminal gang, it’s heartening to see some people fighting back, and some otherwise mainstream legal professionals fighting for them. I doubt Nesson is a libertarian or against IP completely, but some of his comments are great. For example, he says,

“With the Net, there are artists who are figuring out ways to profit without using this clout of the copyright law. … I believe the recording companies have great skills to offer artists, and there may need to be some reshuffling in the way those skills are passed around and the ways in which revenue is returned. … If you see the United States in a competition with other nations in a digital world, and you think the best asset you have for the future are your own children, who will become the digerati, who think imaginatively in that environment, you will be against the idea that you use the law, the power of the state, to make those learners fearful of clicking on the Net.”

(Aside: I also like how the same publication refers to a recent patent settlement as a “tax”: Intuit Taxed $120 Million by Intellectual Ventures.)

[Cross-posted at AgainstMonopoly and Mises]

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