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Harvard P2P lawyer: file-swapping is fair use—no, really!
Written by Daniel   
Thursday, 02 April 2009 11:05

Not content to argue that massive damage awards against P2P file-swappers are unconstitutionally severe, Harvard Law professor Charlie Nesson claims that file-swapping is actually a "fair use" of copyrighted works. Unfortunately, his own expert witnesses don't agree.

By Nate Anderson | Last updated April 1, 2009 7:09 PM CT

Is Harvard Law professor Charlie Nesson crazy? As Nesson himself admits, "this does seem to be a question on many people's minds."

In our recent conversation with Nesson, the professor said he hopes to turn the Joel Tenenbaum P2P file-swapping case into a wide-ranging discussion on copyright. But a set of newly published e-mails indicate that Nesson wants to go further than anyone—including the most prominent "free culture" academics—previously suspected. Not content to argue that massive statutory damages are unconstitutional in such cases, Nesson plans to press an audacious claim: noncommercial P2P file-swapping is "fair use" and thus totally legal. [ARS Technica..]    [Comments...]

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