RIAA Asks For Sanctions Against Charles Nesson In Tenenbaum Suit

from the getting-nasty dept

I think it would be an understatement to say that the RIAA is rather unhappy with Charles Nesson and his team of folks from Harvard Law, challenging them on the constitutionality of the RIAA’s “sue everyone” strategy. Recently, they’ve been battling over the right to broadcast the courtroom proceedings, and now the RIAA is asking for monetary sanctions against Nesson, claiming he violated certain procedural rules. The RIAA is likely seeking sanctions under section 11, which is used against lawyers who file lawsuits that are “unreasonable.” In other words, this is starting to get personal.

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Comments on “RIAA Asks For Sanctions Against Charles Nesson In Tenenbaum Suit”

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Anonymous Coward says:

…challenging them on the constitutionality of the RIAA’s “sue everyone” strategy.

This is simply wrong. The defendant is not challenging the constitutionality of anything the plaintiff(s) has/have done. The defendant is trying to create an issue for appeal that a specific portion of the Copyright Act is problematic, and specifically the section dealing with in lieu damages. This has nothing to do with what the plaintiff(s) has/have been doing by the filing of lawsuits against alleged infringers of copyrights.

Dan J. says:

Re: Simply wrong

Uh, here’s a direct quote:

“This Court should exercise its inherent power to allow background image redress to Joel Tenenbaum for Plaintiffs’ abuse of law and federal civil court process. As detailed throughout this brief, Plaintiffs are using any and all available avenues of federal process to pursue grossly disproportionate — and unconstitutional — punitive damages in the name of making an example of him to an entire generation of students. The case at hand warrants the use of inherent federal power not just because of what Plaintiffs are doing to Joel Tenenbaum in this Court, but because of the manner in which Plaintiffs are abusing the federal courts all across the country. Plaintiffs have pursued over 30,000 individuals in the same way they have pursued Joel…. For these 30,000 individuals, Plaintiffs have wielded federal process as a bludgeon, threatening legal action to such an extent that settlement remains the only viable option. Joel Tenenbaum is unique in his insistence, in the face of it all, on having his day in court. The federal courts have an inherent interest in deciding whether they will continue being used as the bludgeon in RIAA’s campaign of sacrificing individuals in this way.”

Sure sounds like they’re challenging the actions of the plaintiff to me.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Simply wrong

These are simply arguments of counsel that read nice, but are irrelevant to the legal issue being pressed.

In a copyright infringement action a rights holder is permitted to pursue either actual damages or statutory (in lieu) damages. This has been the law for decades. The defendant is challenging the statutory damages portion of the Lanham Act.

Matt says:

You missed half the story

Although the #1 AC is incorrect,

Nesson is going the reverse with rule 37(b) sanctions, aka discovery sanctions for the RIAA trying to dance their way out of this.

Rule 37b category: Failure to Make Disclosures or to Cooperate in Discovery; Sanctions.

The one they went again for him was 11, for claims that he is trying to harass/delay the case.

Guess which one is easier to argue? Rule 37b. Sanctions for 11 are pretty rare from every legal proceeding I’ve followed. You really have to push to get sanctions under 11.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: You missed half the story

“Although the #1 AC is incorrect…”

Have you read various submissions to the court? Defendant is pursuing a path of argument that the in lieu damages provision of the Lanham Act should be treated as a quai-criminal statute, to which the rights of criminal defendants should pertain.

As for the plaintiff’s request for sanctions, they are based on Rule 37, and not Rule 11.

Yakko Warner says:

Sounds like their strategy

So, they don’t want the proceedings broadcast, and in order to stop it, they’re throwing out every legal suit they can to see what sticks that might stop it.

Although, when you fall from attacking the issue down to attacking the person (the old ad hominem), it’s usually a sign that you’ve lost the debate…

Anonymous Coward says:

BTW, the request for sanctions against the defendant is based on the dictates of the District Court’s local rules and Rule 37 of the Federal Rules of Civil Prodecedure, and is contained in the plaintiff’s motion opposing the defendant’s motion to compell the taking of an individual’s deposition. Parties are entitled to receive fair notice of proposed discovery (in this case the deposition), and it is alleged that the defendant’s have failed to comply with this very basic entitlement specified in the governing rules of civil procedure.

weebit says:


If the case gets televised then the public has a good court case to work with to see just how the RIAA pulled the suit off in the first place. The RIAA is all about secrecy. They don’t want the public having access to past cases, because to have this info increases the likelihood that the RIAA would loose. Keep the public in the dark, and they have no clue what hit them.

If it does get televised, I see the RIAA deliberatly loosing the case, just so that the public has nothing to work with.

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