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The Courts

Copyright Scholar Challenges RIAA/DOJ Position 168

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "Leading copyright law scholar Prof. Pamela Samuelson, of the University of California law school, and research fellow Tara Wheatland, have published a 'working paper' which directly refutes the position taken by the US Department of Justice in RIAA cases on the constitutionality of the RIAA's statutory damages theories. The Department of Justice had argued in its briefs that the Court should follow a 1919 United States Supreme Court case which upheld the constitutionality of a statutory damages award that was 116 times the actual damages sustained, under a statute which gave consumers a right of action against railway companies. The Free Software Foundation filed an amicus curiae brief supporting the view that the more modern, State Farm/Gore test applied by the United States Supreme Court to punitive damages awards is applicable. The new paper is consistent with the FSF brief and contradicts the DOJ briefs, arguing that the Gore test should be applied. A full copy of the paper is available for viewing online (PDF)."

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