Law prof wants to webcast RIAA lawsuit

Campaigning law prof Charlie Nesson wants the whole world to see how the RIAA shakes down students, so he's asked for the proceedings to be webcast. The RIAA wants to hide under a rock:
A Harvard Law professor representing some students sued by the recording industry for illegally downloading music has filed a motion to broadcast online the proceedings of two cases being heard by the U.S. District Court in Massachusetts.

The professor, Charles R. Nesson, argues in the motion that to stream the court proceedings over the Internet – or as the students put it in their request, 'admit the Internet into the courtroom' – would help the public understand the legal issues at play in the industry’s lawsuits against thousands of computer users, many of whom are college students.

The plaintiff, the Recording Industry Association of America, which announced last month that it would stop bringing new cases against students in favor of working with Internet Service Providers to take action against repeat offenders, has described its lawsuits as an educational effort focused on illuminating the consequences of illegally sharing music – something Mr. Nesson takes a jab at in the motion.

'Surely education is the purpose of the Digital Deterrence Act of 1999, the constitutionality of which we are challenging,' the motion reads. 'How can RIAA object? Yet they do, fear of sunlight shone upon them.'

Defendants in Music-Industry Lawsuit Ask for Trial to Be Broadcast Online (Thanks, Michael!)


  1. What does the RIAA want to hide? Their own incompetence? A degraded business model? Or their willingness to sue children, grandmas, and anyone else who gets in the way of their profit-taking?

  2. All of those Gary61, wasn’t the answer obvious?

    -abs is remarkably unhappy about the proposed appointment of one the RIAA lawyers as an assistant Attorney General for the USA by Obama, but continues to hold out hope that Obama might just reign him in, but recognizes that hope is almost certainly a false one

  3. My related theory: the RIAA lawyers have reviewed the case, and do not think they can win. With that in mind, they decide to announce a shift in tactics before the case is lost in court, so as to try to prevent from looking stupid when they do loose (not that it will work, of course).

  4. If this goes ahead I would watch it with utterly fascination. I’ve spent all my life watching Hollywood act out criminal trials for style rather than substance, I’ve never seen an American civil case heard before a judge and given that I’m sitting in Scotland it’s doubtful I will soon.

    Watching with bated breath.

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