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Thread: RIAA Scared of Court Case Webcast

  1. #1
    tesco's Avatar FST Programmer
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    RIAA Scared of Court Case Webcast
    January 17, 2009

    " With the defense in the Tenenbaum case getting their request to
    broadcast the trial online, it seemed that some light of exposure was
    to be brought to the RIAA’s method of litigation. Yet the RIAA doesn’t
    want their court practices exposed for all to see, and have now
    appealed the judges decision.

    RIAA court cases are few and far between. The cost of attorneys
    usually makes hiring one a costly alternative in comparison to the
    settlement money that they ask from alleged infringers. Thus far, only
    one case has actually gone to trial, resulting in a heavy judgment
    against the defendant, Jammie Thomas. While that case has been declared
    a mistrial, it has not stopped other cases from going ahead.

    One of the cases vying to be the first to go all the way for a
    standing decision, is the case involving Boston University student Joel
    Tenenbaum. After initially offering to settle for $500, and having it
    rejected back in 2003, he decided to fight. His case has proved quite a
    headache for the RIAA by all accounts. Starting with a counterclaim
    asserting abuse of federal power, and that the damages demanded were
    unconstitutional, it has eventually gone to court after several
    settlement attempts. In court Joel is assisted by Professor Charles
    Nesson, and his law students.

    In the Thomas case, the lawyer involved wasn’t particularly
    enthusiastic nor experienced in this area, and it showed. The same
    can’t be said of Prof. Nesson, who is a Harvard law professor as well
    as Founder and Co-Director of the Berkman Center for Internet and
    Society. In what might be considered a coup, he convinced the judge to
    allow the trial to be webcast on the Internet. This will allow others
    to see just how the lawyers act in a case. Yet, in the last few hours,
    it has been revealed that the RIAA has appealed the motion, clearly
    upset that it might harm their public image further. "

    Source: Slyck | TorrentFreak
    Original Article: In Internet First, RIAA File Sharing Hearing to Be Webcast

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  3. News (Archive)   -   #2
    So was the appeal successful, or still being processed? I can't tell. I really hope we get to watch this... hopefully it doesn't cost money to view... but I'm sure it'll be all over public trackers the day after.

  4. News (Archive)   -   #3
    Lady LoTL's Avatar Neamhbhásmhar BT Rep: +1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Dallas for TSO...
    Public Deserves Inside Look at File-Sharing Lawsuit Campaign
    January 29th, 2009

    Boston - The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) urged a federal appeals court today to allow the live webcasting of a hearing in one of the thousands of lawsuits that have been brought against users of peer-to-peer file-sharing systems.

    The District Court granted defendant Joel Tenenbaum's request to allow an upcoming hearing to be webcast on the website of the Berkman Center at Harvard. The record company plaintiffs have now asked the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to block the webcast.

    "The record companies have long maintained that they brought these lawsuits against ordinary users to start a national conversation about peer-to-peer file-sharing," said EFF Legal Director Cindy Cohn. "What better way is there for the public to learn what the record companies are doing than by seeing for themselves what happens in these lawsuits?"

    In the amicus brief filed today, EFF -- representing a coalition of media and public interest nonprofits -- notes that the RIAA litigation campaign has elicited strong opinions and passions on both sides, making this case a good one for an initial experiment in webcasting federal district court proceedings. EFF's brief was also signed by and the Internet Archive, both of which have offered to host the webcast in addition to the Berkman Center.

    Also joining EFF's coalition is Ben Sheffner of the "Copyrights & Campaigns" blog, who supports the views of copyright owners. Mr. Sheffner notes that, because he lives in Los Angeles, the availability of a live webcast would greatly enhance his ability to provide his readers with a full picture of what occurs at the hearing, without having to rely on accounts in other publications that he believes are biased against the plaintiffs.

    Other signers to the EFF amicus brief include the Media Access Project, Free Press, and the California First Amendment Coalition.

    The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) recently announced that it had stopped filing new lawsuits against individual file-sharers. Yet it is continuing to pursue thousands of ongoing lawsuits like the one against Mr. Tenenbaum in the federal courts. Over the last five years, more than 35,000 people have been targeted in the RIAA's litigation campaign.

    For the full amicus brief:

    For more on the RIAA's lawsuit campaign:


    Cindy Cohn
    Legal Director
    Electronic Frontier Foundation

    Corrected 1/29/09 to clarify that the Berkman Center does not represent Mr. Tenebaum. His counsel is the case is Charlie Nesson.

    Source ~ EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation)
    Last edited by Lady LoTL; 01-31-2009 at 10:27 PM.

  5. News (Archive)   -   #4
    and they can do that wow

  6. News (Archive)   -   #5
    more on the story at ars:

    Inside one Harvard Law professor's bid to turn his students into cyberactivists and to force the music industry to face the future in the process.

    In retrospect, Harvard's eventual involvement was obvious. As far back as 2007, we noted that RIAA prelitigation letters had yet to be sent to Harvard, and one reason for that may have been the quite public opposition of Harvard Law School to the entire RIAA legal campaign.

    Law professor Charles Nesson and John Palfrey, director of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society (which Nesson co-founded), made their position clear. "Recently, the president of the Recording Industry Association of America, Cary Sherman, wrote to Harvard to challenge the university administration to stop acting as a 'passive conduit' for students downloading music," they wrote in 2007. "We agree. Harvard and the 22 universities to which the RIAA has sent 'pre-litigation notices' ought to take strong, direct action... and tell the RIAA to take a hike."
    Last edited by Imoustim; 02-04-2009 at 11:16 PM.


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