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The NY DA has, no great surprise, filed an appeal of Judge Baer's dismissal of the case against Jean Martignon for selling bootleg recordings [PDF]. J.D. Martignon, a NYC record dealer and owner of the Midnight Record store in Manhattan, was indicted under a 1994 law that made it a crime to ever sell a bootleg recording of a live performance. The problem is that the law didn't specify a time limit; thus, it gave live recordings perpetual protection, something that Martignon's lawyers successfully argued was unconstitutional.
Remember that SCOTUS, in upholding the CTEA, noted that even though the
law provides for very long copyright protection it is still time-limited
and thus technically not unconstitutional. However, the anti-bootlegging
statute (formally 18 U.S.C. sec 2319A) lacked this and thus was found to
be a violation of Congress' copyright-granting authority.
Can I just point out that this has nothing to do with the "NY DA"? The NY District Attorney's office is a local one -- they enforce state and local law. They are the county prosecutors for Manhattan. The District Attorney himself is an elected official.
The office actually involved in the Martignon case is the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York. That office is the *federal* prosecutor for Manhattan, the Bronx, and Westchester. The head of the office is a presidential appointee. The statute at issue, 18 USC 2319A, is a federal statute. The case is in the federal courts. The case does not address New York state's similar statutes prohibiting sales of bootlegs, so those would still apply to many instances of bootlegging.
Thank you for the fact-checking. I didn't take the time to do anything but post verbatim, and I apologize.Permalink to Comment