Admired in Class, a Scholar Falters in Court covers the response to Charlie Nesson’s handling of the Tenenbaum file-sharing trial. A sample:
It was a stinging defeat for Professor Nesson, and to many in the legal community, it seemed to be a moment when an eccentric scholar’s devotion to a soaring vision blinded him to the practical realities of winning a legal case. Taking on a lawsuit that his own allies warned was ill-advised, Professor Nesson acted in ways that many observers found bizarre and even harmful to the case.
The article reports that Larry Lessig advised Nesson in a personal email that he “[had] serious reservations about the suit and counseled against Professor Nesson’s plan to argue that Mr. Tenenbaum had made ‘fair use’ of the music . . . It would be wrong, Professor Lessig wrote, to ‘pretend’ that ‘fair use excuses what he did.’ ‘It doesn’t,’ he added.” My undergraduate Internet law students would have told him the same thing. They would have counseled Joel Tenenbaum to settle. Sometimes the more you know, the dumber you are.