RayBeckerman’s Techdirt Profile


About RayBeckerman

I'm a business lawyer in New York City.

I'm NewYorkCountryLawyer on Slashdot http://slashdot.org/~NewYorkCountryLawyer/ and RayBeckerman on Twitter http://twitter.com/raybeckerman and most everywhere else.

I'm the author of the blogs:

Recording Industry vs The People

Ray's 2.0


Liberated Music


Ohio Election Fraud

My law firm website is at


RayBeckerman’s Comments comment rss

  • Jan 15th, 2014 @ 7:41am

    Oops, wrong link

    This is the link to my blog post
  • Jan 15th, 2014 @ 7:39am

    Copy of the actual summons and complaint

    Copies of the actual summons and complaint filed on January 10th are posted on my blog here
  • Sep 28th, 2013 @ 5:15pm

    My favorite is LL Bean Turbo Transit

    My favorite backpack for daily use is the LL Bean Turbo Transit. http://www.llbean.com/llb/shop/64778?feat=816-GN1&page=turbo-transit-backpack I bought it recently, researched backpacks extensively before I bought, and have been elated with it.

    It's roomy enough for lots and lots of stuff. It has plenty of compartments so I can compartmentalize. It has a great, highly usable, shoe compartment at the bottom. It looks nice (a factor because I often might have to bring it to meetings, court dates, etc). At $70 it's not the cheapest backpack I've seen but it's within $20 of the cheapest remotely usable ones I've seen
  • Sep 17th, 2011 @ 1:04pm

    kudos on getting the story straight

    Congratulations on getting the story right, as there are reports circulating all over the place which incorrectly suggest that the appeals court rejected Judge Gertner's decision on the due process issue.

    This was no more than an application of the 'judicial restraint' & 'avoidance of constitutional question' doctrine, that a constitutional issue should not be decided unless and until its resolution becomes unavoidable.
  • Mar 14th, 2011 @ 7:39am

    Twitter killing the golden goose (as Ray Beckerman)

    I agree wholeheartedly with your article. Twitter has been playing these games now, for over a year, as it struggles to "monetize", in the process killing the golden goose.

    What I've been waiting for is an aggressive microblogging competitor to come along. I've been disappointed that statusnet or friendfeed hasn't stepped up more strongly.
  • Feb 4th, 2011 @ 9:07am

    It's about time we saw the judiciary scrutinizing this stuff carefully (as Ray Beckerman)

    For the past 6 years I've been writing about the tendency of so many judges to give the RIAA a pass, and to fail to adhere to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, or to legal precedent, in scrutinizing the ex parte applications. 15 neglected pressure points -- areas which judges should have been, but usually were not, scrutinizing -- were pointed out by me in my 2008 article : "Large Recording Companies vs. The Defenseless : Some Common Sense Solutions to the Challenges of the RIAA Litigations", The Judges' Journal, Summer 2008 Edition (American Bar Association, Judicial Division) (Reprinted with Permission) I'm glad to see Public Citizen being involved in this issue.
  • Aug 2nd, 2010 @ 3:21pm

    i guess i wasn't logged in

    just wanted to confirm previous comment was mine
  • Aug 2nd, 2010 @ 3:18pm

    is this an April Fool's joke? (as Ray Beckerman)

    It's August. This can't be real.

    Can it?
  • Dec 15th, 2009 @ 9:32am

    Great article (as Ray Beckerman)

    Great article. Hope ASCAP gets its comeuppance one of these days, and I would love to be the one to give it to them.
  • Jul 12th, 2009 @ 1:46pm

    Problem is fact we're discussing it (as Ray Beckerman)

    The sad thing about fair use is that the way it has evolved, it creates an enormous burden on creative people, and forces the suppression of worthwhile work. The mere fact that we are debating back and forth about whether it is or is not transformative, is the problem. A creative person should be able to know ahead of time whether or not he can do it.

    Projects which require insurance, such as films, are virtually prohibited from relying on fair use, because the corporate insurers will simply not accept that as a basis for utilizing the material, regardless of how "fair" the use. Either pay the big bucks for the clearances, even for fleeting references, or forget about it.

    It's really unworkable, and the need for a uniform set of standards has never been greater.

    By the way, IMHO... it's a slam dunk fair use. And yet, it would not surprise me if the Court puts Fairey through the enormous burden of pretrial discovery + full blown trial.
  • Jun 22nd, 2009 @ 8:58am

    They sued her for $3.6 million (as Ray Beckerman)

    The RIAA asked for a verdict of from $750 to $150,000. That's $3.6 million on the high end.

    They could have asked for $750 to $3000, and then they would have been suing for $72,000, or for $750, in which case they would have been suing for $24,000.

    But greed got the better of them.

    Moby is correct.
  • May 31st, 2009 @ 3:59pm

    Dilution (as Ray Beckerman)

    "Almost overnight a practice that required many years of study (state, federal and international law), mentoring, etc. was supplanted by a group of "practitioners" whose only qualifications were a one semester elective in law school."

    I think that may have had more to do with the internet boom than anything else.

  • May 31st, 2009 @ 3:23pm

    RTFA (as Ray Beckerman)

    If Anonymous Coward (2:04 PM) had actually taken the time to read the brief, he or she would know that the brief completely eviscerated, point by point, the very arguments made in this very case by the very lawyers who are in the DOJ at the moment.

    There is no way for any objective reader to actually read the brief and dismissively pass it off as being based on a mere conclusion that "the administration feels there are other more pressing / important cases to put in front of the court".

    Numerous points of substantive law were made, and each and every argument of the film companies was explicitly rejected on substantive grounds.
  • May 31st, 2009 @ 11:08am

    Radicalism ... Intellectual property (as Ray Beckerman)

    There is no legal term, "intellectual property". It is just a term lawyers developed when referring collectively to rights someone might have under patent, trademark, copyright, and trade secret law.

    I do accuse the RIAA's lawyers of "radicalism". A good lawyer does not take indefensible positions. It is "radicalism" in my book to pretend the law says something it does not, to make false representations to a court, to eschew making concessions or compromises, to do whatever one is instructed to do by one's clients, to bring ex parte proceedings when notice can be given, to conduct proceedings solely for the purposes of harassment and terror. Under that definition, I accuse the RIAA lawyers of radicalism.
  • May 31st, 2009 @ 9:06am

    Cutting Mike some slack (as Ray Beckerman)

    As a practicing litigation lawyer, when I blog I blog only about actual legal issues that have been included in briefs, decisions, and other filed legal documents. I never blog about the "reform" issues, i.e. how copyright law could be improved. I just blog about what it is. In this area, I can tell you that the 'radicalism' is on the part of the RIAA and MPAA, which are trying to expand existing copyright law by fighting against defenseless people, and non-moneyed websites, and picking up garbage 'precedents' wherever they can. But you will notice that in seriously contested cases they have never prevailed on any of their ludicrous substantive copyright arguments.

    Mike, unlike myself, blogs about both subjects: (a) existing copyright law, and (b) copyright reform. He also blogs about how the music industry is changing, and about how it could set up better business models.

    One needs to differentiate which subject he is talking about.

    From my experience, when -- as in this article -- he is talking about existing copyright law, he has really taken the trouble to educate himself and to state the law correctly.

    Would the RIAA and MPAA lawyers were as careful as he to do so.
  • May 13th, 2009 @ 1:34pm

    Strange headline (as Ray Beckerman)

    Rather a strange headline. Why did you say "Jammie Thomas refuses to settle", as opposed to "RIAA refuses to settle"? Or better yet a neutral headline?
  • Mar 24th, 2009 @ 8:46am

    Lawyers' training (as Ray Beckerman)

    Mike said:

    "Many lawyers are taught (or learn from experience) to approach any legal issue by going to an extreme position...."

    How I would put it:

    Many [inferior] lawyers [of the type being cloned these days by large law schools and large law firms which are oriented only towards achieving large 'profits per partner'] are taught (or learn from experience) to approach any legal issue by going to an extreme position......"

  • Mar 24th, 2009 @ 8:17am

    Re: Re: Thoughtful analysis (as Ray Beckerman)

  • Mar 23rd, 2009 @ 3:18pm

    Re: Re: SOP (as Ray Beckerman)

    M. Slonecker, without regard to whether we characterize it as "siding with the RIAA" or not, would you agree with me that the Government argument goes further than it need have gone in order to defend the facial constitutionality of the statute?
  • Mar 23rd, 2009 @ 10:20am

    SOP (as Ray Beckerman)

    I don't know if you guys are lawyers or not, so I'll cut you some slack. Let me try to make it clear:

    It would have been SOP in the traditional sense to say the statute is unexceptionable on its face, and that any question of the constitutionality as applied to this defendant should await the trial. It is not SOP for the Government to go out on a limb and, without any authority to support it, argue that it would be constitutional to assess $150,000 statutory damages where the plaintiffs' actual damage is 35 cents.

    Yes making a dumbass statement like that was SOP for the Bush DOJ. I was hoping for something more professional and lawyerlike from the Obama DOJ.

    As to whether this constitutes "siding" with the RIAA it certainly does; it goes way beyond defending the statute itself.

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