New RIAA Lawsuit Defense Tactic Challenges Copyright Law

Here's a unique defense to a Recording Industry Association of America file sharing lawsuit: Admit liability and challenge the law under which you're being sued.

That's what a Bronx woman did Monday in New York federal court. Denise Barker is accused of file sharing eight songs on the Kazaa network in 2004. If found liable, she faces fines under the Copyright Act of $750 to $150,000 per song.

Barker's attorney, Ray Beckerman, admitted the woman file shared and challenged the constitutionality of the Copyright Act, the law under which the RIAA sued Barker and thousands of others. The fines the act authorizes for each download is unconstitutionally excessive and against U.S. Supreme Court precedent, Beckerman said.

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