RIAA Challenges the Broadcast of Trial

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

Activity in the case of Sony BMG Music v. Tenenbaum, a lawsuit filed by RIAA against Joel Tenenbaum for alleged illegal use of seven copyright-protected songs, is starting to intensify before the hearing officially begins on Wednesday.

Activity in the case of Sony BMG Music v. Tenenbaum, a lawsuit filed by RIAA against Joel Tenenbaum for alleged illegal use of seven copyright-protected songs, is starting to intensify before the hearing officially begins on Wednesday. Last week, U.S. District Court judge Nancy Gertner approved a motion by Tenenbaum’s counsel, Harvard law professor Charles Nesson, to have the hearing broadcast “gavel to gavel.” In her ruling, Gertner noted that the current generation that could learn the most from the case, “does not read newspapers or watch the evening news, but gets its information largely, if not almost exclusively, over the internet.” Currently the plan is for the Courtroom View Network to provide a live feed of the hearing to Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society, which will then stream the content to the public.

With final broadcast details still to come, the RIAA has appealed the decision in an attempt to halt the legal proceeding’s transmission. For one, the RIAA is questioning the neutrality of a Harvard-involved broadcast, since an employee of the university is representing the defense. In addition, the defense is citing “unfair selectivity” since the broadcast only involves this one specific instance.

Commenting on this recent action, Charles Nesson questioned the RIAA’s reason for appealing the motion since the video would be able “to educate people about the business and legal climate of the music industry,” a previously acknowledged goal of RIAA file-sharing legal actions.


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