An Expert Witness Defense Fund was established today by the Free Software Foundation and the Recording Industry vs The People blog (run by copyright attorney Ray Beckerman) to help defendants cover the costs of entertainment and media expert witnesses used to defend themselves against file-sharing lawsuits brought by the recording industry. “This could be a real catalyst in the file-sharing litigation,” Beckerman said. If you agree and want to contribute to the fund, the FSF has a page set up for contributions. If you’ve found yourself on the wrong end of a file-sharing lawsuit, you can e-mail Beckerman with the subject “Technical Expert Funding Request.”
Ars Techica reports that cases will have to meet certain criteria to benefit from the fund including the defendant’s willingness to see the case through to conclusion, the importance of the case to critical legal issues, the amount of money spent by the defendant and/or the attorney fighting the infringement claims, the need for assistance and technical expertise, and the competing needs of other cases.