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President Obama Backs RIAA In Online File-Sharing Case

President Obama's US Department of Justice (DOJ) recently filed a legal brief in support of damages sought by an affiliate of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), prompting some observers to speculate on the Obama administration's impartiality in the RIAA's file-sharing litigation campaign.

In Sony BMG Music Entertainment v. Tenenbaum, the DOJ filed a motion "for intervention and brief" in support of the US Copyright Act's statutory damages provision that it says mandates penalties of up to $150,000 for mp3 files illegally downloaded or distributed. After filing a similar brief in support of the RIAA's litigation last year in Sony BMG Music Entertainment vs. Cloud in Pennsylvania, the DOJ says its brief in Tenenbaum supports the constitutionality of the statute's damages provisions in several ways.

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