Posts by Anjali Bhat

Common Sense Won in the Tenenbaum Decision

P2P

This past Friday, Judge Nancy Gertner of the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts ruled that the jury award of $675,000 in punitive damages in Sony BMG Music Entertainment v. Tenenbaum was unconstitutional because it violated due process. Judge Gertner’s decision showed a commendable sense of proportion. Like her fellow federal Judge Michael Davis’s decision to reduce damages in the similar Jammie Thomas-Rasset file-sharing case, Gertner’s decision also suggests that judges might start to curb punitive damages in copyright infringement cases as they’ve done in other types of civil suits. The judge didn’t find Tenenbaum to be the most sympathetic of defendants. Thankfully, that didn’t inspire her to let a disproportionate award stand or treat copyright infringement awards like they’re exempt from due process analysis.  

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Fixing CableCARD

Imagine having to pay thousands of dollars for a telephone, as Ester Strogen did when she leased an outdated telephone from AT&T for 42 years. It’s almost funny to think of someone doing that when telephones are available for so much less money. But not too long ago, most people had to lease their telephones and pay much more for them than they were worth, because AT&T would not allow customers to connect their own phones to the network.

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