Judge Approves Public Broadcast Of RIAA Lawsuit

from the educate-us,-please dept

Harvard Law prof. Charlie Nesson has been leading a case challenging the constitutionality of a core part of the RIAA’s continuing lawsuit strategy. Late last year, he asked a judge if the trial itself could be broadcast live over the internet, noting that the RIAA claimed the lawsuits were part of its education campaign, so he couldn’t see why they would object. Of course, they did object, but the judge has sided with Nesson, and the court proceedings will be broadcast live next Thursday, January 22nd on the Berkman Center’s website. The judge repeated Nesson’s points in responding to the RIAA’s objection, noting that the RIAA’s objection seemed “curious” considering its previous claims of this being an educational campaign. Nesson and his law students had clearly done their homework on the judge. As the article notes, in 2007, the judge (Nancy Gertner) had testified on Capitol Hill on the importance of broadcasting more trials over the internet and television.

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Comments on “Judge Approves Public Broadcast Of RIAA Lawsuit”

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AJ says:

Re: Re: Re: Will Techdirt...

He or she uses ‘anonymous’ for a reason. Notice the ‘civil’ discourse, the intelligent thought, the consideration of others that went into his/her post. No need ‘educating’ others and making their lives a bit easier. Its far more effective to curse and make you feel bad because you asked a simple question. Ah, the joys of internet blogs. Always an a$$hole to help steer the conversation forward…

nasch says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Will Techdirt...

So would almost any name, unless it’s very very unusual. If I post as Bob Smith, that gives you no more information than “anonymous coward” even if it’s my real name.

It’s the repeated, consistent and unique use of a name that gives it any meaning in contexts such as these. For example, the name “nasch” tells you nothing about my identity, but I’m the only one using it on this forum. So if you notice me being a dick, or being insightful, or whatever, you can apply that judgment to my future posts.

To make a long story short, if he’s the only one going by AJ around here, that’s as good as it gets and much better than anonymous coward.

Count Porkula says:

Exactly, #2. I will never buy another CD as long as I live. Further, I’ve convinced most of my family, friends and co-workers to do the same by showing them the RIAA tactics and that none of their money actually goes to the artists but rather the thugs that make up RIAA (looking especially hard in your direction, Sony).


Support your favorite bands by going to their concerts and buying their merchandise at the concert. Not by buying their CDs.

Anonymous Coward says:

Don't get your hopes up.

Don’t get your hopes up for seeing this trial. My guess is that the RIAA will find a reason to drop the case before the first picture flows across the Internet. The RIAA has a history of dropping suits when they think they will lose. They seem to think they will lose whenever they face a serious legal defense. Obviously in this case they are facing a very serious defense team.

Remember, the RIAA’s program was never based on strong legal arguments. It was and always has been about using the legal system to shake down poor saps who can’t afford to put up a good defense.

Anonymous Coward says:

Not Quite The Same

From the Article: “Trial in the case is scheduled for March 30. Cameras have only been granted for the 2 p.m. Eastern, Jan. 22 hearing.”

So we’re only seeing the hearing on the 22nd, not the actual trial itself (at least, that hasn’t been determined yet). Also, i’m still unclear on exactly how this ‘narrowcasting’ is going to work. I haven’t been able to find anything on their distribution plans, particularly nothing that says ‘free’ or ‘available to everyone.’ I’d love to be proven wrong, but…

Anonymous Coward says:

Views of the live broadcast will be sued by the RIAA. Charlie Nesson, his class and his school will be sued by the RIAA for distributing the copyrighted material that will be presented as evidence in the course of the trail.

Charlie Nesson, his family, his dog and family friends are in the RIAA sites. Maybe the RIAA will sent a group of it’s associates to ‘meet and greet’ them.

AJ says:


There is much ballyhoo in the MSM about RIAA not pursuing individual lawsuits anymore. Could this be in anticipation of getting their collective rears kicked in this lawsuit? If I remember correctly, they are switching tactics to bully ISPs into doing their enforcement for them. One can only hope the investigative techniques so called into question, as will be in this lawsuit, will stop them on that front too.

Easily Amused says:

kind of off topic, but it has always bothered me that people still post anonymously here… you don’t have to register, no checks are made, you just barf up whatever moniker you want and it takes it. Anyone who can’t be bothered to do that probably isn’t writing anything intelligent enough to be worth reading.

Anon2 says:

could be interesting

This is a hearing on a motion to dismiss, not a trial. But it should prove interesting for those who follow this issue. In a motion to dismiss, there are no factual issues, no evidence, no witnesses, it’s pure law. Nesson has some very creative (and in my view, at least some convincing) arguments. The RIAA will be defending its longstanding positions, and from the tone of this order, the judge already seems a bit skeptical of their motives, if not their legal position. Some of the hearing may revolve around technical rules for pleading claims of copyright infringement but I think for the most part the hearing will be about the competing legal theories. If the judge is engaged and prepared, both lawyers will be hammered with questions as they try to persuade the court to adopt their position and reject that of the other side.

Shawn Patrick Green (profile) says:

Nesson and poker

I just realized that this is the same Charles Nesson who advocates poker as a skill game, an issue dear to my heart. I work for a poker media company, so having him on our side is a big deal, and I had a lot of respect for him because of his stance. Now that I realize that he’s pwning the RIAA, as well, I kinda want to have his babies.

Nesson founded the Global Poker Strategic Thinking Society, which we talked about at my site.

Anonymous Coward says:

I never look at online handles.

That’s why I never bother to post under one. If a site requires me to register, I just visit less and never post. But I barely post anyway.

This site serves a lot of people. Some are trolling. But using technology to control people’s behavior seems to oppose some of the principles this site endorses.

Just because some people misuse something doesn’t mean that thing is bad.

Ryan says:


“site unseen”
That’s really unusual. I didn’t ever realize that “sight unseen” was wrong. I always see it spelled that way but I usually spot those kinds of things. nasch, you are smart.

Thought: a class action lawsuit as countersuit against the RIAA for frivolous lawsuits–including, as class, all those sued to date by the RIAA. we can haz?

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