Monday, December 15, 2008

Hearing in Rhode Island this morning in Tenenbaum case, relating to production of defendant's parents' computer

We received this report this morning:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Debbie Rosenbaum | 314.761.3322
December 15, 2008


Now it’s his parents. Who’s next?

Cambridge, MA (December 2008) – At a Dec. 15 hearing in Rhode Island federal court, Harvard Law School Professor Charles Nesson and his team of students will defend Rhode Island residents Arthur and Judie Tenenbaum from the full might of the U.S. recording industry’s combined lobbying and litigating power. The Tenenbaums face legal pressure from the industry's lawsuit against their son, Joel, a graduate student at Boston University accused of sharing music files online.

Nesson and his team allege that the Recording Industry Association of America and a coalition of record companies are abusing the federal court system with their litigation tactics, which attempt to make an example out of Joel and his family in the name of “deterrence.” Joel faces possible damages of more than $1 million for allegedly sharing seven songs on the Kazaa file-sharing network.

The Dec. 15 hearing will address the recording industry's motion to force Arthur and Judie to produce their home computer so that it can be inspected for evidence of copyright infringement. The computer is not the device on which the alleged downloading took place, and Arthur and Judie did not own the computer when Joel lived with them.

“The basic rules of evidence suggest that this invasion of privacy is both unnecessary and absurd,” said Matt Sanchez, one of Nesson’s students working on the case. “This hearing isn’t only about Joel’s parents. It’s also about finally putting up a fight against the recording industry’s intimidation practices.”

The hearing is scheduled for December 15 at 10:00 AM at the Federal Building and Courthouse, One Exchange Terrace, Providence, RI 02903 in Courtroom A, before Magistrate Judge Lincoln D. Almond. Interviews will be available with Charles Nesson and his students immediately following the hearing.

For more information, please visit:


CyberOne is a course that teaches Harvard Law School students to use the tools of cyberspace to improve society, guide development of the law, and connect in creativity and peace. Professor Charles Nesson is the William F. Weld Professor of Law at Harvard Law School and Founder of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society.

Commentary & discussion:

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


Alter_Fritz said...

Debbie wrote: "Now it’s his parents. Who’s next?"

Here, me me!
I want to be next! Since I have a Tannenbaum right next to my PC standing, I guess I'm guilty by association. *Me making whistling noises resembling "Oh Tannenbaum, oh Tannenbaum wie grün sind deine Blätter"*

Kidding aside, those that have seen the RIAA lawyers in action already know that this move by them is nothing new. They have shown it already in Lindor when they intimidated the employer of the son that they would *love* to snoop around all the companies PCs that the son (who was not accused)had access to.
I guess a court proceeding like a hearing are public also in so far that recording it is allowed. I would like to hear RIAA-EVE once more asking Charlie if he is taping the proceedings to make them more open to the interested public that can not be there personly.

Anonymous said...

Since every person is connected to every other person by only a few degrees of separation at best (this man is only a few degrees from Mr. Beckerman, for example) by the RIAA's apparent logic they can sue one person, demand computers from everyone that person knows, demand computers from everyone those people know, and continue until that one case gives them rights to inspect every computer in the country.

Just how any court could even entertain a motion to examine computers of non-parties to this case (Plaintiff lawyers deserve sanctions for even just asking for such a thing in this man's opinion) completely escapes this man. This is discovery run amok, to put it in its most polite terms. To grant such a motion turns on its head the very concept of privacy -- and to the RIAA of all people, who are not even the government!

{The Common Man Speaking}

Anonymous said...

I'm a 2L student, and I'm reading an interesting case in our professional responsibility class.

This is 475 US 1121, 106 S.Ct. 1638, 90 L.Ed2d 184., in which a city hired a private attorney to bring proceedings against an adult book store with a contingent fee if he won. Part of the ruling regarded the prosecutor's duty of neutrality.

the prosecutor "is a representative of the sovereign" and "has the vast power of the government available to him" the contingent fee compromises the duty of fairness and neutrality.

I would argue that the RIAA is just such a hired prosecutor with a contingent fee.

2L student