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High Profile Lawyer challenges RIAA

Hope something comes of it:

A Harvard Law School professor has launched a constitutional assault against a federal copyright law at the heart of the industry's aggressive strategy, which has wrung payments from thousands of song-swappers since 2003.
Nesson argues that the Digital Theft Deterrence and Copyright Damages Improvement Act of 1999 is unconstitutional because it effectively lets a private group -- the Recording Industry Association of America, or RIAA -- carry out civil enforcement of a criminal law. He also says the music industry group abused the legal process by brandishing the prospects of lengthy and costly lawsuits in an effort to intimidate people into settling cases out of court.
Nesson is best known for defending the man who leaked the Pentagon Papers and for consulting on the case against chemical companies that was depicted in the film "A Civil Action." His challenge against the music labels, made in U.S. District Court in Boston, is one of the most determined attempts to derail the industry's flurry of litigation.

Nesson's argument isn't that song swapping should be legal, of course. Only that the record industry shouldn't have the right to effectively enforce a criminal law.

By fnord12 | November 17, 2008, 8:56 AM | Liberal Outrage & Music