from the really? dept
There are numerous economic experts out there who could clearly point out that there's no causal evidence that file sharing does any damage at all. There may be a correlation with a decline in CD sales, but not with any other aspect of the music industry -- and recent research is showing that the overall industry is growing. Even some of the music industry's own research is showing the overall industry is growing -- it's just that spending has shifted. It would have certainly been possible to make a strong case that file sharing alone doesn't cause any significant damage to the industry. They could have shown the recent economic studies, along with evidence of many, many, many artists who have embraced file sharing and used better business models to take that attention to make more money than they had in the past. At that point, they could make the case that it's not piracy that's causing harm to the plaintiffs, but their failure to adapt and embrace better business models. And, from that, show that Tenenbaum's actions didn't cause any direct harm.
But Nesson went on a wild goose chase pursuing "fair use" -- an argument that never really made much sense, and did so in a way that annoyed the judge and pretty much everyone associated with the case. He also screwed up getting the witnesses lined up for the case, only requesting that the author of one of those recent studies be allowed to testify long-past the deadline to do so. And, of course, with fair use being knocked out before the case started, and without any experts to present on damages, and a (so far) defense of "everyone's doing it," you have a recipe for disaster. Nesson seems much more focused on putting the whole RIAA strategy on trial, and seemed to forget that there were specific legal questions that had to be dealt with in this case. As with Jammie Thomas, I think that Tenenbaum is a bad case to go to trial, and I dread the results. At this point, the "best" result may be that they flub the case so badly that super high damages are awarded, and you end up with a repeat of the bad PR that came out following the Jammie Thomas trial (though, things are so twisted so far, I wouldn't be surprised if the RIAA themselves to do their best to convince the jury to keep the award low).