As noted earlier, Prof. Charles Nesson has filed a suit in Boston federal court alleging that the RIAA's copyright enforcement campaign against music downloaders is unconstitutional. Now Mass High Tech has an article by Nesson in which he explains his views.
The tension remains that our antiquated legal system has not caught up to the social reality of digital natives, a term my colleague John Palfrey coined to describe the generation that grew up immersed in digital technologies and for whom a life fully integrated with digital devices that are, by design, free and open is the norm. Surely, just because the laws of copyright have not yet fully addressed the ubiquity by which protected information is readily — and freely — available on the Internet, it does not make good law moot. But this case illustrates a civil sea change rooted in the transformative nature of technology, of code as law. Better understanding of how today’s generations interact with digital media will help us shape our regulatory and educational frameworks in a way that advances the public interest.
The business model of the music labels is broken and will not be fixed by the RIAA's overly aggressive litigation strategy.