On April 9, 2008, Silicon Flatirons, ATLAS, and Holme Roberts & Owen, LLP. sponsored a panel discussion of the questions surrounding attempts by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) to stem online music copyright infringement.
On April 9, 2008, Silicon Flatirons, ATLAS, and Holme Roberts & Owen, LLP. sponsored a panel discussion of the questions surrounding attempts by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) to stem online music copyright infringement. One of the most outspoken critics of the RIAA’s tactics has been the nonprofit organization, the Electonic Frontier Foundation (EFF). The April 9th discussion, which was moderated by Silicon Flatirons’ Paul Ohm, featured attorneys from the EFF as well as from the RIAA’s outside counsel (the Denver-based law firm, Holme Roberts & Owen).
The views of the EFF were represented by Fred von Lohmann and Cindy Cohn. Von Lohmann is a senior staff attorney with the EFF, specializing in intellectual property matters. He is also involved in EFF’s efforts to educate policy-makers regarding the proper balance between intellectual property protection and the public interest in fair use, free expression, and innovation. Cohn is the Legal Director for the EFF as well as its General Counsel. She is responsible for overseeing the EFF’s overall legal strategy and supervising its 9 staff attorneys.
Richard Gabriel represented the views of the RIAA. Gabriel, a partner in the Denver office of Holme Roberts & Owen, chairs the firm’s Intellectual Property Practice Group. He currently serves as lead national counsel for the RIAA in connection with industry lawsuits against those who illegally copy and distribute the record companies’ sound recordings through unauthorized file-sharing programs. On May 1, 2008, Gabriel was appointed to a position as judge on the Colorado Court of Appeals.
The discussion was well attended by students, faculty, and members of the legal and business communities. Despite the highly contentious nature of the underlying issues, the tone of the debate was collegial and respectful. Panelists considered many facets of the discussion, including the true impact of unauthorized p2p file sharing on music sales, how the RIAA decides who, among the millions of people reportedly trading copyrighted works online, is sued, and the type of decisions that typically go into settlement negotiations.