p2pnet news view RIAA | P2P:- When Vivendi Universal, EMI, Warner Music and Sony BMG’s RIAA decided there was no way it wanted people to see its hired hit lawyers in action via live TV feeds, it let loose a huge cry of public outrage that’s likely to finally kill efforts by it and its Big 4 masters to paint people who share with each other online as hardened criminals and thieves.
Hitherto, the corporate mainstream media have been essential tools in the Big 4 campaign to publicly attack and humiliate anyone, including young children, it could find who’d allegedly uploaded or downloaded copyrighted music, claiming sharing a song equals losing a sale, and that it’s exactly the same as walking into a store and stealing a CD off the shelf.
The Associated Press and The New York Times, et al, have been used by the music industry as willing and free PR units through which to disseminate inaccurate and downright false claims.
Now, “Fourteen news organizations, including The Associated Press and The New York Times Co., are urging a federal appeals court to allow online streaming of a hearing in a music downloading lawsuit the recording industry filed against a Boston University graduate student,” says the Associated Press, going on »»»
The brief filed Thursday in the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals argues that allowing webcasting of the Feb. 24 hearing is in the public interest, and is in keeping with camera access already granted in the courts.
The Recording Industry Association of America is appealing a Boston judge’s decision to allow the webcast, which it says goes against federal court guidelines on cameras and threatens its ability to get a fair trial.
“It is hard to imagine a hearing more deserving of public scrutiny through the same technological medium that is at the heart of this litigation,” the news organizations said in their brief to the appeals court.
$750 to $150,000
The RIAA accused Boston student Joel Tenenbaum of being a massive distributor of copyrighted music.
But the Big 4 extortion unit only cited seven songs.
Unfortunately for the RIAA, well-known Harvard law professor Charles Nesson took interest in the case, challenging the constitutionality of the Digital Theft Deterrence and Copyright Damages Improvement Act and the RIAA’s bid to use it against Tenenbaum.
Fines of between $750 to $150,000 for alleged willful infringement, which can be imposed under act, aren’t appropriate, Nesson also said.
A team of Harvard law students led by Nesson are now acting for Tenenbaum, and oral arguments were due to be heard before judge Nancy Gertner on January 22 in the US District Court in Boston.
But, “having ruthlessly and shamelessly exploited the mainstream media for years, the RIAA is now throwing up its metaphysical hands in horror at the prospect of itself being in the public eye for all to see, demanding permission be revoked,” said p2pnet recently.
“At previous hearings and status conferences, the Plaintiffs have represented that they initiated these lawsuits not because they believe they will identify every person illegally downloading copyrighted material,” the judge said in her decision, continuing »»»
Rather, they believe that the lawsuits will deter the Defendants and the wider public from engaging in illegal file-sharing activities.
Their strategy effectively relies on the publicity resulting from this litigation.
Now the RIAA is, “threatening Nesson with Rule 11 sanctions and fighting a motion to force Matthew Oppenheim, the ex-RIAA lawyer now in private practice but who turns up like a bad penny in the background of various RIAA cases, to be deposed,” we quoted Recording industry vs The People as saying.
In Sony BMG Music v Tenenbaum, “the RIAA has filed its papers opposing the defendant`s motion to compel the deposition of Matthew J. Oppenheim and requested that the Court award monetary sanctions under Fed. R. Civ. P. 37,” said RIvTP, linking to a January 21 letter in which RIAA hired lawyer Timothy M. Reynolds threatens Nesson with Rule 11 or Rule 37 sanctions (Plaintiffs` Response to Defendant`s Motion to Compel Deposition of Matthew J. Oppenheim and Exhibit A â January 21, 2009, Letter of Timothy M. Reynolds Threatening Rule 11 Sanctions).
“New organizations argued in their brief there was ‘nothing inherently harmful’ in camera access to oral arguments, and countered the RIAA’s claim that online streaming could be manipulated, saying the potential to edit video is no different from the potential to edit transcripts or a reporter’s own notes,” says AP, adding:
“The news groups said the webcast would allow for more accurate reporting.
“The news groups filing the brief also included Courtroom Television Network, Dow Jones & Co., Gannett Co. Inc., The Hearst Corp., Incisive Media, National Public Radio, NBC Universal Inc., Radio-Television News Directors Association, The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, The E.W. Scripps Co., Tribune Co., and Washington Post Digital.”
Bloggers have been saying exactly the same thing ever since the RIAA first decided to take on not only the people who keep Vivendi Universal (France), Sony BMG (Japan and Germany), EMI (Britain), and Warner Music (US, but controlled by a Canadian) in business, but the press corps which have for years been both supporting it and carrying it spurious claims and allegations as though they emanated from reputable sources.
“We are always pleased to present our cases in open court,” the Harvard Crimson has RIAA mouthperson Liz Kennedy saying, adding:
“But the exercise that the professor is engaged in is one of pure theatrics.”
She would know.
Definitely stay tuned.
Jon Newton - p2pnet
Associated Press – AP, news groups urge court webcast in music case, January 29, 2009
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