Feeds

Judge OKs webcast in RIAA music file-sharing case

Rules music-industry objection "curious"

Boost IT visibility and business value

A federal judge has agreed to allow streaming internet video coverage of a key hearing next week for the US recording industry's file-sharing $1m lawsuit against a Boston University graduate.

US District Court Judge Nancy Gertner of Massachusetts ruled on Wednesday that existing courtroom cameras may be used to provide a live feed of a January 22 hearing in the Recording Industry of America's case against Joel Tenenbaum and others.

Tenenbaum is accused of downloading at least seven songs and sharing 816 music files on the Kazaa peer-to-peer network in 2004. He first offered to settle the case for $500 instead of the $3,500 demanded by the music companies. That offer was rejected, and the RIAA's settlement offer was ultimately raised to $12,000 when the case went to court. Tenenbaum could be forced to pay $1m if it's determined his alleged music piracy was willful.

Charles Nesson, a Harvard University professor and his team of law students representing Tenenbaum are challenging the constitutionality of the RIAA's lawsuits and will argue to dismiss the RIAA's allegations at next week's hearing.

Nesson had requested the judge authorize cameras to stream the trial over the RIAA's objections. Gertner said she will decide later whether to allow the whole trial to be broadcast.

In her decision, Gertner said the upcoming hearing is an instance where recording and broadcast falls "squarely within the public interest," so long as it doesn't interfere with due process, the dignity of the court, or the anonymity of the jurors. She added that the defendants are primarily members of a generation that doesn't rely on traditional media sources such as newspapers or television.

"The public benefit of offering a more complete view of these proceedings is plain, especially via a medium so carefully attuned to the internet generation captivated by these filesharing lawsuits," Gertner said.

She also noted that the RIAA's objections to recording the trial are "curious" because it serves the organization's stated objective to discourage the wider public from illegal file-sharing.

The RIAA has argued that Nesson's real motives for broadcasting the trial over the internet are "to influence the proceedings themselves and increase the defendant's and his counsel's notoriety."

Under the order, the Courtroom View Network will be allowed to provide a live feed from the courtroom to the Berkman Center for Internet and Society website, which will make the video available free and unedited.

A copy of the decision is available here. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Hello, police, El Reg here. Are we a bunch of terrorists now?
Do Brits risk arrest for watching beheading video nasty? We asked the fuzz
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
UK government accused of hiding TRUTH about Universal Credit fiasco
'Reset rating keeps secrets on one-dole-to-rule-them-all plan', say MPs
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
Felony charges? Harsh! Alleged Anon hackers plead guilty to misdemeanours
US judge questions harsh sentence sought by prosecutors
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Yes, but what are your plans if a DRAGON attacks?
Local UK gov outs most ridiculous FoI requests...
EU justice chief blasts Google on 'right to be forgotten'
Don't pretend it's a freedom of speech issue – interim commish
Munich considers dumping Linux for ... GULP ... Windows!
Give a penguinista a hug, the Outlook's not good for open source's poster child
This'll end well: US govt says car-to-car jibber-jabber will SAVE lives
Department of Transportation starts cogs turning for another wireless comms standard
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.