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RIAA Case May Be Televised On Internet 221

Posted by Soulskill
from the court-documents-likening-the-riaa-to-vampires dept.
NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "In SONY BMG Music Entertainment v. Tenenbaum, the Boston case in which the defendant is represented by Prof. Charles Nesson and his CyberLaw class at Harvard Law School, the defendant has requested that audio-visual coverage of the court proceedings be made available to the public via the internet. Taking the RIAA at its word — that the reason for its litigation program is to 'educate the public' — the defendant's motion (PDF) queries why the RIAA would oppose public access: 'Net access to this litigation will allow an interested and growingly sophisticated public to understand the RIAA's education campaign. Surely education is the purpose of the Digital Deterrence Act of 1999, the constitutionality of which we are challenging. How can RIAA object? Yet they do, fear of sunlight shone upon them.'"
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RIAA Case May Be Televised On Internet

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  • by alain94040 (785132) * on Saturday December 27, 2008 @02:30PM (#26242943) Homepage

    I really wish the motion would pass. Finally, we could extract soundbites from the RIAA's lawyers to show how ridiculous their position is.

    But my guess is that it's not going to happen: it's a long shot. Allowing media in the courtroom is the exception, not the rule. What I wish for, I usually don't get...

    15 years ago, I used to buy CDs. I couldn't listen to the tracks ahead of time, often 90% of the album sucked. But I had to pay the $15 anyway. Now I buy my music legally, online, but I often just buy one song (99 cents), the ones I really like.

    Guess what, the RIAA's business is dying. They don't provide value anymore (if they ever did).

    When that happens to a corporation in America, you have two options: Change your business model, adapt and become competitive again.

    Or ask the government for a bailout. Dear RIAA, stop the lawsuits, just ask Uncle Sam for $100 billions. It's much easier and faster than your current approach.

    --
    Free and Fair, Friend or Foe? [slideshare.net]

    • I really wish the motion would pass. Finally, we could extract soundbites from the RIAA's lawyers to show how ridiculous their position is. But my guess is that it's not going to happen: it's a long shot. Allowing media in the courtroom is the exception, not the rule. What I wish for, I usually don't get... 15 years ago, I used to buy CDs. I couldn't listen to the tracks ahead of time, often 90% of the album sucked. But I had to pay the $15 anyway. Now I buy my music legally, online, but I often just buy one song (99 cents), the ones I really like. Guess what, the RIAA's business is dying. They don't provide value anymore (if they ever did). When that happens to a corporation in America, you have two options: Change your business model, adapt and become competitive again. Or ask the government for a bailout. Dear RIAA, stop the lawsuits, just ask Uncle Sam for $100 billions. It's much easier and faster than your current approach.

      If, for example, the tech community could get a chance to watch the testimony of the RIAA's "expert" and "investigator", I think a lot of good input would be communicated to the defendant's lawyer. Which would be anathema to the RIAA's campaign, since its primary fuel is ignorance.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Splab (574204)

        I would fear the "well they did me wrong, so everything they say is false" mentality would swamp the defense lawyers in bogus information.

      • If, for example, the tech community could get a chance to watch the testimony of the RIAA's "expert" and "investigator", I think a lot of good input would be communicated to the defendant's lawyer.

        Since when did a trial attorney start coming into court so unprepared that he would even consider building his case on the fly?

        Since when did a civil court judge begin allowing him to re-shape his case around factual disputes or legal issues that were not introduced and explored during pre-trial proceedings?

        Th

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by MarkvW (1037596)

        That argument may resonate with the trial judge. Anything that fosters a more informed outcome ought to be welcome.

    • by easyTree (1042254) on Saturday December 27, 2008 @03:27PM (#26243325)

      I really wish the motion would pass. Finally, we could extract soundbites from the RIAA's lawyers

      .. then digitally mix them over various backing tracks chosen from a wide selection of RIAA-pimped artists :)

    • by b4upoo (166390) on Saturday December 27, 2008 @03:29PM (#26243335)

      The problem reduces to the existence of the middle man. Back in the day before microphones existed every event of any size required a large band or orchestra. Once the microphone came along a small band could function so that anywhere from three to five musicians could entertain a large crowd. Music at home was normally provided by each family being able to play from sheet music. Next the radio was the stroke of death for music. Employment for professional musicians, once common, became rare. Worse yet all of the monkeys in the middle started wanting a piece of the action. The radio station, the record companies, the TV stations and so called agents began to feed deeply from the pockets of real musicians. Supporting these men in the middle harms music and musicians in a thousand different ways. Rebel actions to kill off these monkeys in the middle are not immoral at all.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by McGiraf (196030)

        To be fair a small subset of musicians became filthy rich with way of selling music.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Repossessed (1117929)

          More recently maybe, back then not so much. There was no copyright on recordings, only the songs themselves, the only way to make money in big numbers off recordings was to be the middle man or the songwriter. Musicians that got rich did it with concert tickets.

      • Yet people were much happier listening to Rubinstein play Chopin in the radio than tone-deaf Aunt Gladys. ;-)

        And remember, with the advent of the radio there was many more people paying a much smaller 'fee', and yet the pie managed to get big enough even for the bloodsucking middle-monkeys.

        Of course I support new, innovative and more profitable media distribution enterprises, which I think is what you meant by 'rebel actions to kill off monkeys in the middle', but you're playing theme and variations on

    • by kentrel (526003) on Saturday December 27, 2008 @04:49PM (#26243937) Journal
      They didn't sell singles 15 years ago??? And every single record store I've been in for the past 15 years has allowed me to listen to a CD in store before I buy it.
      • by arth1 (260657) on Saturday December 27, 2008 @05:36PM (#26244277) Homepage Journal

        Singles don't compare to single track downloads.

        Singles were viable back when radio ruled, and each album was constructed to have a single hit, which was what was played on radio. Then people could get the one hit cheaper. Plus another song of the record company's choice as the B-side filler. But if they wanted any of the other songs on the album, they would have to buy the album.

        If the download services switched to selling individual tracks for $6, and only select songs bundled with another song of the record company's choice, I think online sales would go the same way as single sales.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by wwwillem (253720)

          But sitting on the floor next to your record player, some drink in your right hand, big stack of singles on the left, playing them a little a louder than the neighbour liked, that was real fun. Don't think that that compares to a "playlist" of tracks downloaded from iTunes. I still have all my singles, I should have bought much more. And I still play them. Yes they were five times more expensive than today's downloaded tracks, but it was real fun. And what about the JukeBox? Of course paying a quarter for a

      • by Dogtanian (588974) on Saturday December 27, 2008 @09:03PM (#26245679) Homepage

        They didn't sell singles 15 years ago???

        Yeah, well that was the era of grossly overpriced CD singles. They were sometimes UK £2 - £2.50 in the first week only for promotional reasons, but after that they were usually £4. 4 BLOODY QUID! And you can slap on an extra quid for today's money. £5 at modern conversion rates is over US $7 for a bloody single! I don't care how many bloody extra bonus tracks they slapped on to vainly justify the bloated cost. (*)

        Cassette singles were cheaper, but not that cheap, and there was no good reason for the difference in price. Singles sucked in the 1990s.

        (Cue cheap anti-nostalgia wavy video effect).

        When I think back to the mid-90s, when the record business here had coalesced around the major chains like Virgin and HMV, but MP3 was still an obscure geek curio and major online retailers nonexistent... I remember how overpriced those f*****rs were. At their high-water mark, the cost of a typical full-price back-catalogue CD album was actually above the 15 quid ($22) mark. And they'd still be doing it if there was no competition.

        Given the people who may well lose their jobs and- even more seriously- for what it says about our economy, I can't take any pleasure in the fall of Virgin (or Zavvi as the UK stores are now called). But they're the epitome of everything that was wrong with music retailing in the 1990s and early-2000s.

        (*) Side note: What's the accepted method for showing a historical price in another currency in today's terms? Do I convert pounds to dollars at (e.g.) 1995 rates first *then* factor in dollar inflation. Or do I factor in pound inflation first then convert from pounds to dollars at modern-day rates?

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by NereusRen (811533)

          (*) Side note: What's the accepted method for showing a historical price in another currency in today's terms? Do I convert pounds to dollars at (e.g.) 1995 rates first *then* factor in dollar inflation. Or do I factor in pound inflation first then convert from pounds to dollars at modern-day rates?

          I've never heard of one or the other being preferred (most journalists probably don't even understand the difference), but you should get approximately the same result either way. Inflation of one currency more than another changes the exchange rate correspondingly. If you don't get the same result, then one of the measures you used for inflation is not actually measuring inflation in the way you want. (For example, the CPI as published by the BLS [wikipedia.org] probably understates the true amount of currency inflation,

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by Dogtanian (588974)
            I guess that's the theory (though I'm not clear if is this accepted practice or your own reasoning; if you're an economics genius, please accept my apologies- it doesn't matter which ;)).

            I'm guessing one possible flaw with that from the point of view of my example is that it should work for goods where (a) the product is a commodity, (b) there's something approaching a free global market *and* (c) consumer prices generally reflect changes in global wholesale prices.

            AFAIK, music isn't really like that; t
            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by NereusRen (811533)

              I guess that's the theory (though I'm not clear if is this accepted practice or your own reasoning; if you're an economics genius, please accept my apologies- it doesn't matter which ;)).

              I'm no genius, and I not sure what group I would be speaking for if I said it was "accepted," but I have studied economics and I work with these issues as part of my job at a large insurance company. I do a lot of basic financial modeling, and work with the people in the investment and hedging areas that do the more advanced stuff. Regardless, you shouldn't take arguments like this at face value from anyone (especially on the internets), and I'd be glad to explain the reasoning behind my conclusion.

              There's

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by airos4 (82561) *

        Perfect example for you. Did you like Men In Black? Because it wasn't available in this market on a single - just if you bought the album, which every other track was horrible on. Further, try Your Woman by White Town... they REALLY didn't have any other good songs, ever, but they didn't have a single either.

  • by gavron (1300111) on Saturday December 27, 2008 @02:34PM (#26242989)
    Sunlight is feared by all those who would use darkness and ignorance to enslave those who cannot break free. Una salus victus nullam sperare salutem. Ehud
    • I can't believe I am doing this, I am attempting to be a Latin grammar !z. But you know I must http://xkcd.com/386/ [xkcd.com]
      Virgil's Aeneid, Book II.354:
      It is victis, not victus I believe.
      dative/nominative case.
      The only safety for the conquered is to expect no safety.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by tunapez (1161697)

        It is victis, not victus I believe.

        What's this, then? 'Romanes Eunt Domus'? 'People called Romanes they go the house'?

        It-- it says, 'Romans, go home'.

        No, it doesn't!

        • Re: (Score:2, Offtopic)

          by PakProtector (115173)

          Romanes Eunt Domus

          Romanes -- Second Declension Nominative Singular with Abstract Ending.

          Eunt -- Present Active Indicitive Third Person Plural of the Irregular Verb 'eo,' I go.

          Domus -- Either Fourth Declension or the Older Second Declension form of the word. Neither is in the correct case, anyway.

          The Correct phrase would be 'Romani Domi Ite!'

          Romani -- Second Declension Plural Vocative

          Domi -- Second Declension Locative, as Domus does not use the ablative with a preposition (ablative of place to), but instead

          • by MrKaos (858439)

            So, it finally translates (correctly) as 'Oh, You Romans, Go Home!'

            is that you Mr Cleese?

  • Roaches! (Score:5, Funny)

    by wfstanle (1188751) on Saturday December 27, 2008 @02:49PM (#26243093)

    "How can RIAA object? Yet they do, fear of sunlight shone upon them.'"

    Easy, they are like roaches. Ever notice how when you enter a room infested with roaches and turn on the light? The roaches immediately run for the shadows.

    • Re:Roaches! (Score:5, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 27, 2008 @02:54PM (#26243129)

      Ever notice how when you enter a room infested with roaches and turn on the light?

      Umh, no, not really...In fact, never. You really need to help your mom with the cleaning.

      • Re:Roaches! (Score:5, Funny)

        by hairyfeet (841228) <[bassbeast1968] [at] [gmail.com]> on Saturday December 27, 2008 @03:11PM (#26243225) Journal
        Where do these "magical" roaches that scatter from the light come from anyway? Every time I have gone into a house or apartment with roaches you could hit those bastards with a searchlight and all they would do is give you the finger. I don't know where the roaches that scatter supposedly live, but here in AR the only roaches you see are these big brown "fuck you" roaches that don't give a crap about freaking lights. Hell those bastards are so tough you can spray them with raid and they just wobble a couple of times and keep right on going.
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by MMC Monster (602931)

          You're lucky. Here in New York, when you hit the roaches, the rest fly and attack you.

          Friggin scary as all hell.

    • Ever notice...?
      If I may suggest, call an exterminator and get a housekeeper to come in once a week. :-P
    • by Pichu0102 (916292)

      Except in this case, the roaches have destroyed the light switch for the US and destroy anyone who dares get within a radius of fixing it.
      Does anyone honestly believe that the RIAA will get anything other than continued pats on the back from the government as they destroy anyone in their path for all eternity?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 27, 2008 @02:57PM (#26243149)

    Due to bandwidth issues, RIAA has decided that distributing the court case by Bit Torrent is the cost effective way of re-broadcasting the trial.

    Available only at, ISOHUNT, MININOVA, MEGANOVA, Pirate Bay and welcometothescence.

  • To whom knows... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Creepy Crawler (680178) on Saturday December 27, 2008 @03:03PM (#26243173)

    NYCL, or other informed lawyers:

    Why is there such a disdain and avoidance to audio/visual recording and dissemination about court cases? Being in this day and age, we could have multiple angles, multiple audio streams, and court transcript, along with evidence log attached to each "case document". Torrents could easily disseminate these large files, allowing for a complete log and documentation where our laws and case law come from.

    • by Firehed (942385) on Saturday December 27, 2008 @03:13PM (#26243237) Homepage

      Have you seen how our legal system works these days? The whole thing would completely fall apart with any level of transparency, never mind audience feedback. It's easy enough to get someone jailed when they're being judged by a dozen people who couldn't think up an excuse to get out of jury duty... not so much when you've got ten thousand pointing out the flaws and inaccuracies in the prosecution's arguments.

      • Re:To whom knows... (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Ian Alexander (997430) on Sunday December 28, 2008 @02:35AM (#26247297)
        Court proceedings are usually public. I went down to Seattle and sat in on a civil case between some lady suing U-Haul for about an hour, decided I was done, sat in on some B&E charges, moved on to drug court, then finished off my day with a civil case against the Metropolitan bus service because some guy got mugged on a bus. I had nothing to do with anybody involved, I just needed to rack up some hours sitting in court for a justice system class I was taking. They seemed pretty transparent to me. They don't post them on Youtube but that doesn't make them opaque.

        Also, have you ever considered that the attitude that jury duty is something to be gotten out of is one reason most juries suck?
    • NYCL, or other informed lawyers: Why is there such a disdain and avoidance to audio/visual recording and dissemination about court cases?

      There isn't. There is a growing trend towards it. Only the RIAA has "disdain" and "avoidance", since shining a light on things tends to encourage their mortal enemy... the Truth.

    • by Renraku (518261)

      Because if the case becomes public spectacle, the jurors have the possibility of being swayed by the reactions of their friends/family/lovers/etc. The only way to keep this from happening would be to lock them all in their hotel rooms without communication for a few days, and pay them well so they don't flip out.

      That's expensive.

    • Let's say there's a hefty case, and it garners a lot of media attention.

      Being the "original" organizations they are, various multi-letter tv organizations broadcast the trial far and wide.

      Well, guess what, there's a mistrial!

      Now they have to convene a new jury, and with the national trial pretty much the entire pool is contaminated.

      Definitely not a good thing.

      Transparency is good, but it also brings up questions of fair due process if what I stated above occurs while abc or fox (depending on the political i

      • You're assuming real-time transmission and after the fact jury contamination.

        No, we record the trial in all its glory, and only after the verdict has been reached does the torrent start going. That may not solve the jury contamination, but if you care about the case, you're already "polluted".

        My idea goes back to Leibniz's idea that we can apply a calculus to our language, and infer complex things such as trials.. we have large enough corpus of law. Why not start trying to infer logic and attempt to stay c

    • by Kjella (173770)

      Because a court case isn't supposed to be a popularity contest and it would bring lots of irrelevant posturing, arguments and explainations into the court room? One thing is being consistent about what you say in court and out of court, another is to turning it into another PR channel. The judge would have to rein them in endlessly to stick to the legal facts rather than trying to score points with the viewers.

      • Re:To whom knows... (Score:4, Informative)

        by NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) * <ray@beckermanlegOPENBSDal.com minus bsd> on Saturday December 27, 2008 @03:52PM (#26243513) Homepage Journal

        Because a court case isn't supposed to be a popularity contest and it would bring lots of irrelevant posturing, arguments and expla[...]nations into the court room? One thing is being consistent about what you say in court and out of court, another is to turning it into another PR channel. The judge would have to rein them in endlessly to stick to the legal facts rather than trying to score points with the viewers.

        Actually making one's case to a jury is not much different than making one's case to the public. The jury is composed of members from all walks of life, who are basically selected because they have no special knowledge of the legal issues or of the facts, and have no relationship with the parties or their counsel. I.e., the community. Our judicial system was predicated upon the principle that the proceedings are open to the public. And with good reason. If one can expand the size of the public, it is all to the good.

        • by Pichu0102 (916292)

          Actually making one's case to a jury is not much different than making one's case to the public.

          Considering jury duty is composed of people who couldn't think of a good excuse to get out of jury duty, it's quite different indeed.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by _Sprocket_ (42527)

            Considering jury duty is composed of people who couldn't think of a good excuse to get out of jury duty, it's quite different indeed.

            Actually, there are people who WANT to be on jury duty. I think its the lawyer's job to find them and strike them from the list.

            What might be really disturbing are the ones who both want to be there and are inventive enough to avoid being stricken by the lawyers.

            • Re:To whom knows... (Score:4, Interesting)

              by Creepy Crawler (680178) on Saturday December 27, 2008 @07:15PM (#26245029)

              We had a court case 1 day before primaries, which I say on. Turns out, our 7'th (alternate) was someone I work with.. I work at Starbucks..

              As to the point: they ruled out the Principal of a local school, and a few others. Aside from that, I was selected to be on the jury, and then as a foreman.

              One thing I learned is that the general public does NOT like cops. Our case, we believe that the cop lied to protect another cop in a DUI case (they couldnt even prove he DROVE). There were no logs, the camera 'malfunctioned', the cop deposition didnt match with testimony in open court. Near the end, during deliberation, we took 5 minutes for a not guilty. And if we could have proved it, we would have sentenanced the 2 cops for perjury.. couldnt prove it.

              And at the end, the judge asked if we would be willing to critique the lawyers in her chambers: We did, telling that we came up with the same questions during lunch as the defence lawyer did during closing statements. "We believed the cops lied and you have no case", is what we told them.

              I did my vote, and it was a hell of a lot more important than November 4'th.. It freed a man.

        • by Kjella (173770)

          Making the case to the jury involves making findings of fact so prove that the defendand did such and such acts, and then as a matter of law that these acts aren't legal. Very nice and all, but it doesn't sell the law it merely uses the law.

          The more of a public show it becomes, the more the focus would be to convince the viewers of how the record companies and the US economy are being bled to death by savage pirates that has no shame, and probably deserve the death sentence but we'll settle for some of thos

        • by cliffski (65094)

          looking at the grandstanding and heartstring-pulling petty speeches given by most lawyers in televised cases, and comparing with a system like we have in the UK, where its illegal to even take photos of a court case, and the court proceedings stick totally to the facts of the case, I humbly disagree.
          In the long run, televised courtroom proceedings just gravitate towards jerry springer style slanging matches and pandering to stereotypes.
          The law is best debated calmly and seriously, not as popcorn-fodder betw

          • Please give us a few examples, cliffski.

            The only example I know was the criminal trial of OJ Simpson, which was clearly mishandled by the presiding judge, and was not in federal court. The civil trial of OJ Simpson, and every other court proceeding I've seen on TV, looked exactly like the court proceedings I've seen that were not on TV.
    • by lawpoop (604919)
      I don't know, but the Ohio Supreme Court has all of its cases publicized on a community cable channel in Ohio. AFAIK it was their idea. It's a great channel to stop by if you want to get your wonk on. Law is such an interesting mix of common sense and logic.
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        Law is such an interesting mix of common sense and logic.

        Except in RIAA cases, where there is, instead, an interesting dearth of common sense and logic.

  • Wanking aside, (Score:2, Interesting)

    by dysomniak (1435683)
    This is not how they do things in the real world. The defendants are going to have to convince the judge that there is some legal reason to broadcast the proceedings, and that they are not just trying to turn the courtroom into a soapbox. Good luck.
  • Although the RIAA may have claimed that the suits are "educational" in public statements, can those be used to influence court decisions? Or have they made that claim in previous lawsuits?

  • by Joe The Dragon (967727) on Saturday December 27, 2008 @03:09PM (#26243213)

    Put it on truTV / court TV

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by plasmacutter (901737)

      Put it on truTV / court TV

      They still depend on copyright, still conflict of interest.

      Put it on cspan.

  • by unlametheweak (1102159) on Saturday December 27, 2008 @03:16PM (#26243255)

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

    It's clear that the IRAA hasn't found a way to get royalties from the broadcasters for their court appearances.

  • Light of day... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by OneSmartFellow (716217) on Saturday December 27, 2008 @03:31PM (#26243359)
    ... heaven forbid ! We can't have what goes on in court broadcast to the masses, they might realize how fragile the whole system is. How the courts are not there to establish truth, but to ascertain guilt (not innocence if you recall, we're all innocent until proven guilty) - two very different concepts. If people realized that their rights were trampled upon routinely by corporations, they would rebel, and the capitalist system - as it currently exists in the U.S. - would be in jeopardy. The power structure would collapse, and there would be chaos. It wouldn't be pretty for anyone, and we'd all end up living under Sharia law before you know it.

    You have been warned.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Yetihehe (971185)

      If people realized that their rights were trampled upon routinely by corporations, they would rebel, and the capitalist system - as it currently exists in the U.S. - would be in jeopardy.

      Actually they don't care. They watch American Idol instead.

    • From what I've seen of trials (granted they're mostly murder/violent crime trials) on Court TV/Tru TV, I think you're being overly optimistic.

      Trials are deathly boring. The questioning of witnesses, even the 'exciting' ones, is invariably tedious and full of off-topic rambling. The lawyers have little presence or charisma, and when they get all shouty it just looks idiotic.

      Reality isn't much like an episode of Law & Order.
      • Re:Light of day... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Yetihehe (971185) on Saturday December 27, 2008 @04:43PM (#26243891)
        Computer geeks laugh at computers in films, pirotechnicians laugh at explosions in films, doctors laugh at depictions of other doctors and astronauts laugh at scenes in space. The same is for lawyers and judges. Presumably for all other things. Hollywood is just one big lie, because reality isn't beautiful enough.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    "The revolution will not be televised.
    The revolution will not be brought to you by Xerox
    In 4 parts without commercial interruptions.
    The revolution will not show you pictures of Nixon
    blowing a bugle and leading a charge by John
    Mitchell, General Abrams and Spiro Agnew to eat
    hog maws confiscated from a Harlem sanctuary.
    The revolution will not be televised."
    - Gil Scott-Her

  • by PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) on Saturday December 27, 2008 @03:51PM (#26243503)

    Have you ever seen a reflection of Dracula in a mirror?

    No, because he has no soul.

    Have you, or will you ever see televised pictures of RIAA folks.

    No, because they have no souls.

    Read the fine print in your camcorder manual: "This device is not able to capture images of folks with no souls."

    • Have you ever seen a reflection of Dracula in a mirror? No, because he has no soul. Have you, or will you ever see televised pictures of RIAA folks. No, because they have no souls. Read the fine print in your camcorder manual: "This device is not able to capture images of folks with no souls."

      I think you folks are being insensitive here. Think about how the RIAA lawyers feel. How would you like it if you did for a living what they do for a living, and your friends, family, and neighbors -- even maybe your parents -- even maybe your children -- could see what you do? Or how would you like it if by offchance the tape was seen by a future prospective employer, who thought you had actually been practicing law?

      Please have a little compassion.

      • by belmolis (702863)

        I see your point. It's a slippery slope. Pretty soon they'll be releasing the names of Nazi prison camp guards and Islamic terrorists.

      • "Think about how the RIAA lawyers feel."

        Hi Mom! I'm on TV!!!

        *back on topic*
        I was under the impression that court proceedings were open to the public by default, and required extraordinary circumstances to be closed to the public.

        Televising the court proceedings would only scale up the 'open to the public' concept IMHO, but I can also see some of the downside to this:
        1. the tendency of our news media to spin, slant, edit, and sensationalize everything to try increasing their audience.
        2. the ability to influe

        • "Think about how the RIAA lawyers feel."

          Hi Mom! I'm on TV!!!

          I don't think they'd want their mothers to see what they are doing for a living.

          *back on topic*

          Spoilsport.

          I was under the impression that court proceedings were open to the public by default, and required extraordinary circumstances to be closed to the public.

          You were under the correct impression.

          Televising the court proceedings would only scale up the 'open to the public' concept IMHO

          Exactly.

          but I can also see some of the downside to this: 1. the tendency of our news media to spin, slant, edit, and sensationalize everything to try increasing their audience.

          They can do that much easier if the public can't see what's really going on.

          2. the ability to influence public opinion (due to #1 above), which can in turn influence the court's decision.

          As I noted in an earlier comment, the jury basically is -- or is supposed to be -- "the public", only (a) in microcosm, and (b) with all of the actual admissible evidence in hand.

          3. the whole thing turning into a media circus, as per the likes of Jerry Springer-type shows.

          If you read the court papers carefully, you'll see there's no way for that to happen. The camera is invisible and doesn't affect the trial.

          Without specific, strict guidelines for this, more harm than good is possible.

          Well there are very specific, strict guidelines for this.

          Some of those guidelines necessary could in themselves be considered unconstitutional.

          ??? On the one hand you're saying it needs to be regulated. On the other hand you're saying that regulating it would be unconstitutional. That is kind of illogical, I hope you realize. In any event, it is a moot point, because it is very very strictly regulated, and the regulations which are being used have not been ruled to be unconstitutional.

          I don't know which side of the fence I'm on in this debate.

          Sounds to me like you do know which side of the fence you're on.

          In an ideal world, transparency and openness is desired.

          Indeed it is.

          But in this world, the chance of skewing trial results is just too high to be acceptable, IMHO.

          You haven't shown us a single reason why turning on an invisible video camera would in any way skew anything.

          • by rts008 (812749)

            Thanks for the reply.

            *cringes*
            I RTFA, but did not see anything about invisible cameras there.

              After I read your reply, I went back, to double check.
            Okay, not familiar with Courtroom View Network, checked that link, and now it makes more sense.

            I retract my doubts, and thanks for the info. (and persistence-it took a bit to sink through my thick skull)

            • Thanks, rts008. Yeah the courts are real conservative about this, and your instincts are like theirs -- that it has to be carefully regulated. For years the guidelines were in place only on an experimental basis, and used rarely. Eventually the courts came to the conclusion that it was safe if done right. And that the benefit to our society is huge.
      • Actaully it could be the start of a new Reality Based TV series. Say "Bad Law", "Dirty Jobs" was already taken.....
      • by mlwmohawk (801821)

        I think you folks are being insensitive here. Think about how the RIAA lawyers feel. How would you like it if you did for a living what they do for a living, and your friends, family, and neighbors -- even maybe your parents -- even maybe your children -- could see what you do? Or how would you like it if by offchance the tape was seen by a future prospective employer, who thought you had actually been practicing law?

        I know you are making a joke, but we, everyone of us, at points in our lives, face ethical

        • harassing and threatening people who can't defend themselves is worse than unethical, it is the sign of a sociopath

          You'll get no argument from me on that one.

          Much as I like to argue.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Opportunist (166417)

        It's not like they were forced to work for the RIAA. Yes, they are maybe young and they really need that money to pay off their student loan, but personally, I'd have rather starred in a porn movie. I'd consider it less of a blemish on my CV.

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by Seraphim_72 (622457)

          but personally, I'd have rather starred in a porn movie.

          My...that's a mighty large brief you have there. Care to put it in my briefcase? And just to warn you, when I give testimony I do it loudly.

  • by Infoport (935541) on Saturday December 27, 2008 @04:21PM (#26243713)
    unfortunately, Courtroom View Network is a subscriber-based service (read John Shin's supporting declaration), so only the paying public who already knows about the case will be able to view it. Granted, many people never watch CourtTV either, but a case such as this with issues that interested much of the general public has the potential to gather LOTS of viewers, educating a large segment of the population (both on the RIAA's agenda, and on their actual tactics).

    I fear that the hurdles put up by making people subscribe to CVN's service will influence many to not bother "tuning-in", especially in a culture where people are accustomed to "surfing", and previewing TV channels and websites before committing to the entire thing.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      unfortunately, Courtroom View Network is a subscriber-based service (read John Shin's supporting declaration), so only the paying public who already knows about the case will be able to view it. Granted, many people never watch CourtTV either, but a case such as this with issues that interested much of the general public has the potential to gather LOTS of viewers, educating a large segment of the population (both on the RIAA's agenda, and on their actual tactics). I fear that the hurdles put up by making people subscribe to CVN's service will influence many to not bother "tuning-in", especially in a culture where people are accustomed to "surfing", and previewing TV channels and websites before committing to the entire thing.

      I thank you for your input on that, Infoport. It would indeed be regrettable if the proceedings were not accessible from a practical standpoint. I'm going to bring your comment to the attention of the defendant's lawyers.

  • Win/Win (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Andy_R (114137)

    If the RIAA side objects, then the fact that they lied about wanting to educate the public will be obvious to the jury (and as this discussion is before the trial proper, the lie will be the jury's first impression of the RIAA side) and of course if they don't object then out of context soundbites making them look even more evil/incompetent/devious than they actually are will be all over the net in minutes. Sounds like a win/win situation for the defence to me.

  • "The revolution will *not* be televised"... It will be blogged instead...
  • Please tell me Judge Judy will be presiding. You can all imagine it now. Treating the RIAA like little children (which they are).

    On another note, I can smell a slashdotting coming on if they don't have some mammoth servers!

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