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Submission + - RIAA's Tenenbaum verdict cut from $675k to $67.5k-> 1

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes: In SONY BMG Music Entertainment v. Tenenbaum, the Court has reduced the jury's award from $675,000, or $22,500 per infringed work, to $67,500, or $2,250 per infringed work, on due process grounds, holding that the jury's award was unconstitutionally excessive. In a 64-page decision (PDF), District Judge Nancy Gertner ruled that the Gore, Campbell, and Williams line of cases was applicable to determining the constitutionality of statutory damages awards, that statutory damages must bear a reasonable relationship to the actual damages, and that the usual statutory damages award in even more egregious commercial cases is from 2 to 6 times the actual damages. However, after concluding that the actual damages in this case were ~ $1 per infringed work, she entered a judgment for 2250 times that amount. Go figure.
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Comment Re:Oh please (Score 3, Insightful) 1079

Still the reason why cop abuse stories hit the news so hard is because it isn't commonplace

That, plus police are in a position of strong public trust. When a cop does wrong, people feel extra-betrayed (as well they should). That goes double when it's someone high-ranking, and triple when that person is or appears to be covering for his or her underlings' misbehavior. Police are held to a higher standard by the public; they should be held to that standard by law and practice, but often are not, which fuels discontent.

In addition, we never see any cops condemn poor behavior by other cops. And by "poor behavior" I mean tasing kids to death and rank corruption. I believe that 95% of cops are good people, but it would be a lot easier if PDs ever gave any impression that they knew it was possible for cops to screw up.


Submission + - Science Fiction Writers write DMCA Takedowns->

TheGreatGraySkwid writes: "With an ironic lack of forward thinking, the Science Fiction Writers of America (or, more specifically, their Vice President Andrew Burt) have issued scattershot DMCA takedown notices against numerous items on the document-sharing site Scribd, many of which were not infringing on SFWA copyrights in any way. It appears that a simple keyword search for prominent science fiction names (like "Asimov" and "Silverburg") was used to determine which documents were to be singled out. Included in the documents was Cory Doctorow's "Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom," which is freely available at any number of places. Doctorow is up in arms over at BoingBoing, with several other Science Fiction notables speaking up in the comments."
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The Internet

Submission + - Doc's blog proves poisonous in court

netbuzz writes: "In the final analysis, Flea — known off-line as Dr. Robert P. Lindeman — simply couldn't resist the urge to scratch that blogger's itch: the urge to blab. Trouble is he blabbed while a malpractice suit against him was in progress. Dissed the jurors, too. Confronted on the witness stand about his writings, Flea chose flight over fight and wrote a check to settle the case. ... Now how exactly did this genius make it through medical school? 0"

The value of a program is proportional to the weight of its output.