All-Star Witness List In Lawsuit Over Constitutionality Of RIAA Lawsuits

from the that's-quite-a-witness-list dept

Last month we had mentioned how Harvard Law professor Charles Nesson was taking on the RIAA’s strategy of suing music uploaders by claiming that the laws the RIAA was relying on were unconstitutional. That case (“the Tenenbaum case”) started moving forward this week, and the Associated Press had a story at the beginning of the week, which about fifty people submitted (with some angrily wondering why we hadn’t written about it). We didn’t write about it because it was basically the same story we had covered in October.

However, there is some interesting news in the case, as Ray Beckerman has posted the proposed witness list put forth by Tenenbaum’s legal team and it is quite the star-studded list. It’s becoming quite clear (if it wasn’t already) that this is a case where a bunch of different folks in the “copyfighting” realm are converging to confront the RIAA’s legal strategy. The list includes:

  • John Perry Barlow (former songwriter for The Grateful Dead, founder of the EFF, and well known digital thinker)
  • Prof. Johan Pouwelse (technical and scientific director of European research project P2P-Next)
  • Prof. Lawrence Lessig (needs no introduction, I imagine, for folks around here)
  • Matthew Oppenheim (who has a somewhat murky relationship with the RIAA, at times representing the RIAA, and at other times insisting he does not represent the RIAA)
  • Prof. Terry Fisher (a director of Harvard’s Berkman Center and author of Promises to Keep, an early book looking at how the internet was changing the entertainment industry, and how it’s business models need to change)
  • Prof. Wendy Seltzer (well known copyfighter, law professor, former staff attorney at the EFF and founder of the Chilling Effects site)
  • Prof. John Palfrey (Harvard law professor, co-director of the Berkman Center, author of Born Digital)
  • Prof. Jonathan Zittrain (Harvard and Oxford law professor, co-director of the Berkman Center, author of The Future of the Internet)
  • Andrew Grant (former antipiracy specialist at DRM company Macrovision)

That is quite the all-star list. This case is going to be a fun one to watch.

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Companies: riaa

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Comments on “All-Star Witness List In Lawsuit Over Constitutionality Of RIAA Lawsuits”

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22 Comments
Techhead says:

Re: Re: Libertarian pipe dreams

If people woke up from the dream that they are in, they would realize that the two leading parties are no better than a legalized version of the mob,(and owned by the corporations) they might be able to see that things will never improve until they are removed from running the federal, state and local governments.
A Libertarian movement may be just like the doctor ordered.
Until then, it sadly is a pipe dream. (Sigh)

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Libertarian pipe dreams

Oh, it’s another brilliant prognosticator. Never anything constructive to say, just that you know what the future holds. If you can see the future so clearly, why haven’t you won the lottery? Why didn’t you see the credit crisis coming? The housing bubble? The spike in gas and oil prices? In fact, why didn’t you comment on this article before it was even written? What’s going to be the outcome of this lawsuit? Who’s going to win the Super Bowl?

Stop speculating. It’s just wishful, but fruitless, “thinking” on your part.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Libertarian pipe dreams

You happen to be right, but your post is an answer many do not want to hear.

Does anyone seriously believe that if by some stroke of luck the defendant prevails that Congress will not immediately step in and close the “loophole”?

And, if anyone believes that the next administration will view with disfavor such remedial action by Congress, then they have obviously not read for comprehension its technology plan.

Anonymous Coward says:

For the sake of accuracy, the RIAA is not a party to this lawsuit…the internet rumor mill notwithstanding.

The litigants in this case are:

Plaintiffs: SONY BMG MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT, WARNER BROS. RECORDS INC., ATLANTIC RECORDING CORPORATION, ARISTA RECORDS LLC and UMG RECORDINGS, INC.

Defendant: JOEL TENENBAUM
ThirdParty Defendant: TOVA TENENBAUM

Mike C. says:

Re: Re:

You might want to read the submission to the court. Specifically, page 6, point #8:

Defendant intends to file a Motion for Joinder to add RIAA as a counterclaim defendant on November 14, 2008.

(* The pre-trial memorandum was submitted to the court on November 14, 2008.)

Looks like the RIAA may finally have a true day in court after all

Anonymous Coward says:

Musicians have very good chance to get away from contracts with big labels and to “own” their music again! Key point could be a public relations mismanagement, seeding fear in most important new customers (students) etc. Other words to say – musicians should be able to fire big labels and their “scary dog riaa” and start new way of doing business using internet.

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