Professor Doug Lichtman of UCLA has put together an amazing series of monthly podcast CLE (Continuing Legal Education) programs available for free at http://www.ipcolloquium.com/. These programs can be downloaded and listened to on your Ipod. Following the program, you submit the verification passwords and get CLE from your local jurisdiction.
The February 2009 program on statutory damages was lively, engaging and professionally-produced. Lichtman interviewed Charles Nesson of Harvard, who has taken on the defense of a young person accused of downloading seven songs and then making the songs available for others to copy.
Lichtman then interviews a series of experts on punitive damages, discussing the factors that may go into a jury determination on punitive damages.
In concluding the program, Lichtman steps outside the traditional role of moderator and concludes that Nesson is wrong. I am not entirely persuaded that Nesson is wrong, and I think that he made some powerful and troubling arguments that were perhaps too quickly discounted. The facts in Nesson's case are quite troubling, as are the RIAA's attacks on minors and the impecunious. I think it likely that some federal judges may agree that the RIAA has gamed the federal court system by aiming its efforts at those who can't fight back.
I look forward to checking out the IP Colloquium's other programs. If the program on statutory damages is typical, these programs should be an entertaining, thought-provoking way of getting CLE credits.