Friday, July 17, 2009

Judge allows internet access for demonstrations in SONY v. Tenenbaum

In SONY BMG Music Entertainment v. Tenenbaum, the Court has ruled that the parties can use internet access for demonstrations at the trial.

Judge Nancy Gertner: Electronic ORDER entered granting [877] Motion in Limine With Respect to Internet Access: All of the parties have internet access in courtroom 2. The issue raissed by these pleadings is what will be demonstrated to the jury. Defendant seeks to demonstrate how p2p programs operate and how alternatives to p2p networks,"such as iTunes" work. Plaintiffs oppose because they have had no information with respect to what precisely will be shown to the jury. While the Court has no problem with a demonstration of the technology at issue here, there are the following caveats: First, the defendant is required to show the plaintiffs precisely what screen shots he will use; second, the only screen shots which are relevant are those which reflect the technology available at the time of the alleged infringement. (For example, there is a question concerning whether iTunes was available at the time of the acts in question; moreover, Kazaa has a different interface and ownership now than it had at the time of the alleged infringing acts.) If the defendant wishes to use a demonstration of the sort reflecting in these papers, he is ORDERED to allow the plaintiffs to preview it. The Court notes that such a demonstration can take place at the time of the pretrial conference on July 20, 2009. (Gertner, Nancy)

[Ed. note. As a daily reader of the RIAA's litigation documents, it was evident to me from their "opposition" papers that they were glad defendant had made the motion and wanted it to be granted, which means that they have plans of their own for the utilization of the internet demonstrations. Wondering what it is they plan to use it for. -R.B.]

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


Anonymous said...

Maybe the RIAA will use the internet to show Charlie's blog ;-)

Lior said...

An obvious RIAA use of the "internet demonstration" is to demonstrate MediaSentry's methods. In other words, they could show how MediaSentry "acting like any other user" downloads "copyrighted songs". In an idealized demonstration this idea looks simple and hides all the messiness of the real world -- the important issues we hashed to death before (time-stamping and clock synchronization; identification of content of files; downloading by MS is authorized; creates the impression that every "offered" file is actually downloaded; ...).

Anonymous said...

Lior: I sure hope they do that -- the crossexamination would be devastating.


Alter_Fritz said...

Wondering what it is they plan to use it for. -R.B.]

it IS the RIAA, what else then to spout lies would they want to use the internet for?

Maybe trying to confuse the jurors and claim that their "product" was downloadable in "perfect digital quality" already back then and defendant Tenenbaum had no need to use the non commercial product offerings from other musiclovers since RIAA-members were the customer-friendliest and broadest market players that had all their back catalogue product ready for "sale" ("sale" in quotation marks, since even nowadays you can not "buy" the songs in mp3 from amazon but only pay for a usage license according to the fineprint regarding mp3 "sales") back then already.

(that availability of legal offerings must be the reason why even the plaintiffs expert liebowitz notes in his "p2p hurt sales report" that "the share of catalog and deep catalog albums increased after 1999" must it not?)
[no, wait! That can't be, it can't be that free p2p showed the kids all the good old songs and then they turned and bought them, can it?] [well, I guess, if I would get $500 from the MAFIAA for my writings, I would draw conclusions they like to hear even from the most obvious data that is in contrast to their claims. No need to blame Mr. Liebowitz here!]

Alter_Fritz said...


Wow, a few hours ago I mentioned in a subnote the "problems" of "buying" digital content (.mp3 files from amazon), and now I read the story that digital content and amazon is even more scary!

Imagine you "buy" a perfect digital copy of a dead tree physical product and they delete it afterwards!
That's what happended according to reports:

Anonymous said...


In the case of the Amazon Kindle deletions of _1984_ and _Animal Farm_ by George Orwell, the publisher in question did not have distribution rights in the United States (but did have rights for other countries).

I'm not sure if Amazon deleted the titles from all users or only US consumers. They did however, refund the purchases.

The mess was caused by Amazon not spelling out what they were going to do, and why they did it. They confused a lot of people with their initial explanatory letter.


Alter_Fritz said...



Well, if the publisher (from my unverified hearsay information even an amazon controlled company!) had no right to offer the book in the USA, I guess the US Customers should be greatful that they got at least their money back then. ;-)
After all, if they had bought a physical object for some extra cheap price and it later turned out that product was illegally sold, they would not only probably lose that object to the rightful owner/the authorities that prosecute the criminal seller of stolen goods without getting their money back from the illegal seller, but maybe even investigate the buyer under suspicion of dealing in stolen goods?
Begs the (not so serious) question: How expensive must non-physical product from amazon be that one can claim a good faith belief defense in the legitimacy for "buying" it?

What might happen next to kindle owners that ignore now the warning text on that australian university website and load an australian public domain edition onto their device?

I find the points raised in comment #151 posted by Anonymous, July 20, 2009 2:50 AM under the boing boing posting the ones worth thinking about