This is an open letter to the representatives of the press.
Now that the class action against the nefarious practices of the RIAA and its investigators, collectors, and big 4 record companies, Andersen v. Atlantic is about to begin in earnest, as pretrial discovery gets underway, it is predictable that:
1. The defendants' lawyers will stonewall to the maximum extent possible, and will fight for extraordinary gag orders and confidentiality orders on EVERYTHING learned in the discovery process; and
2. Their reason for doing so will be to keep the information from becoming public knowledge and to keep the lawyers for the defendants in the copyright infringement cases from getting their hands on that information, since it will support affirmative defenses and counterclaims, and otherwise complicate the RIAA's oppressive litigations.
It is up to you, the press, to fight for the First Amendment and the public's right to know.
The plaintiffs' lawyers will not be able to do that and will be under pressure to agree to stipulations and the like.
You and your employer's attorneys should be monitoring the Atlantic v. Andersen case closely, and when the RIAA starts playing its 'secrecy games', even if the plaintiffs' lawyers are forced to agree to secrecy, it is imperative that you go into court and represent the right of the people to have access to judicial proceedings.
If you do not do it, no one else will. And if you do not do it, you will have nothing to report on.
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