Wednesday, January 14, 2009

January 22nd oral arguments in SONY BMG Music v. Tenenbaum will be televised over the internet

District Judge Nancy Gertner has granted so much of the defendant's motion as sought to televise, over the internet, the January 22, 2009, oral arguments of the parties' motions concerning the defendant's counterclaims, in SONY BMG Music v. Tenenbaum.

The ruling does not address the issue of televising subsequent proceedings, including the trial.

This is believed to be the first time that proceedings in an RIAA case will be televised. (If anyone has any contrary information, please let me know.).

CVN will “narrowcast” the audio-visual coverage to the website of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society, which will make the recording publicly available for all non-commercial uses via its website.

The argument will be on Thursday, January 22nd, at 2:00 p.m.

Judge Gertner questioned the reason for plaintiffs' objection:

While the Plaintiffs object to the narrowcasting of this proceeding, .... their objections are curious. At previous hearings and status conferences, the Plaintiffs have represented that they initiated these lawsuits not because they believe they will identify every person illegally downloading copyrighted material. Rather, they believe that the lawsuits will deter the Defendants and the wider public from engaging in illegal file-sharing activities. Their strategy effectively relies on the publicity resulting from this litigation.

Nothing in the local rules of the District Court of Massachusetts, the policies of the Judicial Council for the First Circuit, life, or logic suggests that this motion should be denied. As Judge Weinstein noted: “No reason has been suggested to depart from the policy that, in general, the public should be permitted and encouraged to observe the operation of its courts in the most convenient manner possible, so long as there is no interference with the due process, the dignity of the litigants, jurors, and witnesses, or with other appropriate aspects of the administration of justice." .....

Much like the proceedings before then-Judge Alito and audiovisual coverage of legal arguments in Courts of Appeals around the country, the district court hearing now at issue involves only legal argument. Moreover, coverage will be “gavel to gavel” -- streaming a complete recording of the hearing to a publicly available website -- not edited for an evening news soundbite. 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.
January 14, 2009, Order and Decision Granting Internet Television Access to January 22nd Oral Arguments

Commentary & discussion:

p2pnet.net
Boston Globe
p2pnet.net
Chronicle of Higher Education
Excess Copyright
Slashdot
Reporters' Committee for Freedom of the Press


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Keywords: lawyer digital copyright law online internet law legal download upload peer to peer p2p file sharing filesharing music movies indie independent label freeculture creative commons pop/rock artists riaa independent mp3 cd favorite songs intellectual property portable music player

25 comments:

Shane said...

Ha!

Nice to see the RIAA finally estopped, in essence, from something.

And it will be great for the public to finally be able to see the RIAA's claims in action and put some faces to the RIAA's legal team. The light of day should put some shame into the notably shameless tactics RIAA lawyers are noted for.

Anonymous said...

That was quite a little speech by the judge. With the changes that many hope are coming in DC, it is great to find a judge that is a bit ahead of the curve.

Kip

Ray Beckerman said...

A_F, I deleted your comment, which was in very bad taste. Matthew Oppenheim would have loved it.

Shane said...

"Blogger Alter_Fritz said...

Shane, maybe it's my suboptimal english and i did not got your notation about faces correctly, but if you meant it literally the RIAA vultures faces are already online thanks to their own website"


While that is true, only people such as read this blog are likely to have seen the still photos of RIAA lawyers. **Video** with sound of the RIAA lawyers making arguments are the kind of images that will make the general media and make an impression on the general public. That is what I was trying to say. I did not mean that televising was some sort of trick to get "mug shots" of the lawyers. But I do think that having to make their legal arguments in a forum where they will have to publicly make their specious arguments may have an effect on their willingness to prevaricate, well, so one would hope. We have just seen that public attention has finally gotten Monster Cables to cease one of their ridiculous over-broad trademark lawsuits, and I hope that the attention on this trial may have a similar effect, but don't really expect any mea culpas from the RIAA. While I'm happy just to be able to read a transcript, it is video with sound that will push this case on to the level of national media attention that it actually deserves, since the national media are image driven.

Ray Beckerman said...

You guys are missing the real point of the RIAA's constant wish for secrecy.

Exposure of these proceedings gives information to those who must defend future cases, thus reducing the defense costs.

Shane said...

"Exposure of these proceedings gives information to those who must defend future cases, thus reducing the defense costs."

Indeed, I do sometimes loose sight of that fact. It is a similar issue to the mandatory binding arbitration clauses in so many consumer contracts. The results of those findings are not public so the corporations, the repeat litigants, who get to literally pick their own judge, know the results of all the cases. The public knows nothing. In the rare instances in which we do get to find out about such things, it turns out repeat litigants win almost all the time. I put the RIAA's secrecy in the same disdain I do mandatory binding arbitration.*

*I'm not against arbitration per se, but I am against imposed mandatory binding arbitration imposed by contract on consumers, where there is no meeting of equals.

Anonymous said...

If a court proceeding is public domain, then will it be an issue to have a download or link to the recorded proceedings on your blog?

Perhaps the CVN site will have it available for a period of time after the live event. One can only hope.

Alter_Fritz said...

Anon wrote: Perhaps the CVN site will have it available for a period of time after the live event. One can only hope.


anon guys, you are a disgrace to the "lawyer blog reading people"s profession ;-)
This isn't /. here!
The least thing you guys can do is read the introduction/summery carefully since Ray does not mandate that you read the whole filings each time before commenting!
THIS blog HERE is serious stuff! Even mentioned to appellate court judges in the meantime in courtpapers they had before them.

The introduction clearly says CVN will “narrowcast” the audio-visual coverage to the website of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society, which will make the recording publicly available for all non-commercial uses via its website.

Oh, and Sorry Ray for my tasteless outburst targeted at Eve's/Tim's physical appearance/philic preferences.

Alter_Fritz said...

since Shane already quoted the introduction of my comment let me for the sake of the record repost the non tasteless stuff too:

Alter_Fritz wrote at January 14, 2009 7:41:00 PM EST
"Shane, maybe it's my suboptimal english and i did not got your notation about faces correctly, but if you meant it literally the RIAA vultures faces are already online thanks to their own website
[Tasteless stuff removed]
All the other criminal(?) wrongdoings committing lawyers from the Holme Roberts & Owen LLP law firm with approximately 240 attorneys in offices in Denver, Boulder, Colorado Springs, London, Los Angeles, Munich, Salt Lake City and San Francisco [hereafter "HRO"] that work for Vivendi Universal (France), Sony BMG (Japan and Germany), EMI (Britain) and Warner Music (US, but controlled by a Canadian) [hereafter "Evil4"] have their mugshots on display at http://www.hro.com/attorneys/search/ too.

So televising these proceedings is not about getting a picture of the guys, but getting "the picture" of the proceedings. I for example would be satisfied if I could at least hear the arguments of both sides in real time then just read them only month later where much of the autenticity that a spoken record has over a written record is simply gone.

And given the different time zone you guys are in, it can even serve for me in case of a live worldwide broadcast as good afternoon/evening "entertainment". (I guess it would be more educational then the general evening crap that organised content wants to feed the public at large via television.)
"

Anonymous said...

Ray

I have sent the Jocobson, Weaver, Edgar and Pariser testimony as text with html to groklaw.

If you want them published, it might help if you ask PJ to publish them, since she is trying to get the site cleaned up as a record of what happened.

Don't bother to publish this off-topic comment.

Hugh

Anonymous said...

Private, undisclosable settle coming......

5 ..4.. 3.. 2..


Dreddsnik

Anonymous said...

Dreddsnik: You really think a private settlement would get this case out of the spotlight? Many people are watching this case, looking to see what works well for Defendant, and you can bet they'll copy anything they think is effective.

^qwerty^

Dinger said...

Other information revealed therein: The discussion of the role of publicity in the case shows that Judge Gertner has the competence and integrity to investigate the issue. If the RIAA wants to claim their penalties are proper due to their deterrant nature (A.k.a. punishing one person for the presumed guilt of a whole group), then they must grant that the penalties, and the procedures leading to them, should be accessible to the group the RIAA is targeting. By stating that the "In many ways, this case is about the so-called Internet Generation", Judge Gertner is implicitly accepting defense's (so far uncontested) contention that the RIAA is targeting in particular "digital natives."
Given this position, I wonder how she will react to HRO's attempt to exclude those who use computers from the jury.

Making these proceedings as open as possible has exactly the goal Ray indicates: it takes an advantage away from the wealthy oligopolies and their professional arbitrator sidekicks and forces them to compete on a more equal terrain with the people. That is also what I understand the goal of this blog to be.
The site that Prof. Nesson has established is much more ambitious, and is based on a wider notion of the changing complexion of a democratic society thanks to the advent of information technology. Their approach to the public is more participatory: using all the latest bits of the internet (a website, regular blog, twitter, and now live streaming video), they seek to involve the "internet generation" directly in the battle the RIAA is waging against it. That's not "the Court of Public Opinion;" that is the public court system, made truly open.

Ultimately, in spite of the photograph of Joel backed by the track-suited Harvard superstar and flock of students, those Ivy Leaguers do represent Mr. Tenenbaum, and if the RIAA wants out of this case, it can probably come up with an offer to make it disappear. But now both parties have a lot riding on the case, and the RIAA may decide the cost of getting out is too high to bear. They've made plenty of dumb decisions before.

And Fritz, no need to get abusive. From all appearances, HRO has a stable of the most competent and ethical attorneys who would consider working for them.

Alter_Fritz said...

Ray, in casse you don't notice Heise since they got the PDF linked from joelfightsback.com instead of your HP

http://www.heise.de/newsticker/Filesharing-Verfahren-live-im-Internet--/meldung/121764

Alter_Fritz said...

Wow, the description of judge gertner's courtroom sounds like a heaven for technology geeks.(for the public they even have a 40" plasma and also a 62" rear projection smart board. Too bad I have no means to visit that courtroom 2 personly)

Quote:
The courtroom is equipped with a fully integrated evidence presentation system with 15" viewing monitors for each attorney table, the witness, the Judge and their staff, and a 40" plasma for the gallery. The jury box also has 15" monitors built into the front and back rows of the jury box, one for every two jurors. Evidence being displayed from any source can be annotated from the witness, lectern, and Judges monitors. All attorney tables have the ability to connect both audio and video from a computer through a standard VGA port [laptop/desktop and even Mac/Apple if you have the VGA adapter]. In addition, there are two computer audio and video inputs located at the lectern location. Also at the lectern, is a document camera for displaying physical evidence that is not electronic and a VCR/DVD combo unit. This courtroom has a built in video conference system for remote appearances and a 62" rear projection smart board.

Internet access is available upon request and with the consent of the presiding Judge.
:Unquote

StephenH said...

Can Recording Industry Vs the People point us to the URL of the webcast for people to watch.

Ray Beckerman said...

My guess is that the Joel Fights Back web site will have the URL, but I'll check.

eZee.se said...

My comment with my link was deleted.. did I do or say something wrong?

/Ryan
www.ezee.se

Ray Beckerman said...

Yes, you published a link to an article which didn't give proper attribution to Recording Industry vs The People.

eZee.se said...

Of course, i always do.
I am using a program that automatically converts your name to a linkback here...

eZee.se said...

oops, i see the probelm, the program was linking to your tag instead of the site... will fix it..

eZee.se said...

fixed ;)

Anonymous said...

" Dreddsnik: You really think a private settlement would get this case out of the spotlight? Many people are watching this case, looking to see what works well for Defendant, and you can bet they'll copy anything they think is effective. "

Why not.
A lot of people were watching the case in which
Netwerk music was helping to finance
the defense.

Suddenly, with/because all eyes
on them,
boom ... private settlement.

Don't be surprised.

eZee.se said...

Related link:

http://ezee.se/articles-blog/2009/01/15/riaa-lies-lies-and-courtroom-tape/

Cheers!
Ryan
www.eZee.se

Iaman said...

Nice to see that an RIAA court case will finally be as transparent and public as they should have been all along.

Hopefully this will lead to a much more civil and rational case being made, as opposed to some of their previous attacks on defendants.