Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
The Courts Government News Your Rights Online

RIAA Hearing Next Week Will Be Televised 291

Posted by kdawson
from the light-of-day dept.
NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "One commentator labels it 'another fly in the RIAA's ointment.' In SONY BMG Music v. Tenenbaum, the Boston, Massachusetts, RIAA case in which the defendant is represented by Harvard law professor Charles Nesson and a group of his students, the Judge has ruled that the hearing scheduled for January 22nd will be televised over the Internet. The hearing will relate to Mr. Tenenbaum's counterclaims against the record companies and against the RIAA. In her 11-page opinion (PDF), District Judge Nancy Gertner labeled as 'curious' the record companies' opposition to televising the proceedings, since their professed reason for bringing the cases is deterrence, 'a strategy [which] effectively relies on the publicity arising from this litigation'."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

RIAA Hearing Next Week Will Be Televised

Comments Filter:
  • Haa haa! (Score:3, Funny)

    by Wandering Wombat (531833) <mightyjalapeno@@@gmail...com> on Friday January 16, 2009 @12:40PM (#26483127) Homepage Journal
    Justice on dowels.
  • by pak9rabid (1011935) on Friday January 16, 2009 @12:41PM (#26483143)
    This outta be more entertaining then all seasons of Heroes combined!
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by pak9rabid (1011935)
      Whoops...allow me to grammar-nazi myself: then = than.
  • Terminology (Score:4, Insightful)

    by corywingerter (917335) on Friday January 16, 2009 @12:41PM (#26483147)
    televised over the internet??

    Either it's televised on the television, or streamed on the internet. Just saying.
    • Re:Terminology (Score:5, Insightful)

      by zarthrag (650912) on Friday January 16, 2009 @12:44PM (#26483191)
      Using my media-center, the internet is my television! ...Insensitive clod.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Ogive17 (691899)
      Be nice to NYCL - he's fighting the good fight :)
    • Re:Terminology (Score:5, Informative)

      by tsalmark (1265778) on Friday January 16, 2009 @12:48PM (#26483257) Homepage
      Televised means remote vision: that can happen over the internet as well as a TV. Actually the article uses televised in a general sense and uses the term narrowcast when going into details. which works for me.
    • Re:Terminology (Score:5, Informative)

      by Krinsath (1048838) on Friday January 16, 2009 @12:49PM (#26483271)
      Television (from Merriam-Webster) - an electronic system of transmitting transient images of fixed or moving objects together with sound over a wire or through space by apparatus that converts light and sound into electrical waves and reconverts them into visible light rays and audible sound (emphasis mine)

      televised over the internet - means that the television is going out over the Internet to computer endpoints. That the television SET is often abbreviated as television is simply laziness and a bastardization of the language, not that the usage in the summary is incorrect.
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        tl;dr

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward
          tl;dr? it was barely a couple of paragraphs, you must have a short attenti
    • by sorak (246725)

      televised over the internet??

      Either it's televised on the television, or streamed on the internet. Just saying.

      If televised is television, then what is it when your psychic gives you advice telepathically? As in, Miss Cleo televised me not to make this joke?

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      televised over the internet??

      Either it's televised on the television, or streamed on the internet. Just saying.

      Well if you go to the roots of the word television and televised, if the goal is to allow you to view it from a distance, televised seems more appropriate than streamed (which could refer to audio, water, video, tickertape)

  • by Smidge207 (1278042) on Friday January 16, 2009 @12:42PM (#26483155) Journal

    One million for 7 songs?! How does something like that even get in to court? Can you imagine if I stole $6.93 (.99 x 7) worth of beef jerky from 7-11? Do you think the court would even hear a case where they wanted a million for my crime?

    This is the new business model of the recording industry, which is exactly like the old model. Overcharge your customers and when that doesn't work, overcharge and extort from your customers to make up for shortfalls you generated because you have a crappy product.

    There's only so much "drug money", oops CD purchases, the listening public will bestow on ungrateful addicts, oops recording artists...

    (Yes I'm bitter this morning; still need my meth, oops coffee.)

    =Smidge=

    • One problem... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Kabuthunk (972557)

      The problem is, if the RIAA wins by some convoluted twist of the law (of which they've gotten quite good at twisting by this point), no amount of losses will be able to wipe the smug look from their faces after winning the case on live TV. At which point, the industry is doomed.

      Never think that the RIAA is doomed. They always come back.

      • If the RIAA wins, our culture will stagnate and be forever held hostage by profiteering bribers.

        The new culture will come from "free-er" China, etc where no RIAA equivalent exists, yet.

      • Re:One problem... (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Opportunist (166417) on Friday January 16, 2009 @01:18PM (#26483673)

        Well, should they win, the "jury" box failed. Time for the next one.

      • Re:One problem... (Score:4, Interesting)

        by erroneus (253617) on Friday January 16, 2009 @01:31PM (#26483875) Homepage

        If they win, they will lose. If they lose, they will lose.

        Most people just think that big media is a bunch of greedy assholes. Putting them out in the public serves to prove that big media is a bunch of greedy assholes.

        And as to what I mean by "if they win, they will lose" I mean to say that seeing the RIAA win in a big case like that, people will know to steer clear of anything associated with the RIAA. An effective majority tapes, records or shares music once in a while. The practice is quite literally a part of our daily lives. If the public sees someone lose their lives through a lawsuit, you can bet it will not cause people to rush out and legitimize their collection by buying more stuff. No, they will look to alternatives. They lose.

        And if they lose, they will lose. The results may not be as dramatic as if they were to win, but at least it gives further data for study and reference when building a defence for the next case they bring.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          But there are a 2 problems with this:

          1) Nowhere near the amount of people affected by it will see this, because it isn't on a TV.
          2) Most people don't care.
          Sadly, people are heartless bastards and will just go "damn, that sucks, evil bastards", then forget all about it within a month, unless reminded by it.

          If it was shown live on TV, then it might matter, but sadly it probably won't be...
          Maybe it should be on TV because then most of the ignorant world will actually see the bullshit that companies like this

    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 16, 2009 @01:11PM (#26483549)

      One million for 7 songs?! How does something like that even get in to court? Can you imagine if I stole $6.93 (.99 x 7) worth of beef jerky from 7-11? Do you think the court would even hear a case where they wanted a million for my crime?

      "Your Honor, the defendant could have cloned cattle by extracting DNA from the stolen beef jerky..."

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Animaether (411575)

      Although I absolutely agree with you on the ludicrous claim of $1M for 7 songs, I do think I should point this out...

      'The Slashdot Crowd' is always quick to point out that copyright infringement is -not- stealing. So I don't know why you're comparing stealing a beef jerky from a 7-11 to copyright infringement.

      I don't think this case is about distributing, just downloading, but in the typical cases it is about distributing.. so your analogy would have to be akin to going into a 7-11 store, copying their bee

      • by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Friday January 16, 2009 @01:37PM (#26483959)

        Of course.. you can't copy a beef jerky.. the only way for you to be handing out beef jerky is to acquire it yourself - and I very highly doubt you'd be able to give it away for free with no money exhanged somewhere somehow.

        If I could download beef jerky from the internet, I would definitely give it away to anyone who asked for some.

        • screw that, I'd keep it and eat it myself! :D

          but, see, you can already download beef jerky from the internet - just that you have to pay the $7.99 or whatever that number was for the privilege of downloading it. Just like you had to pay $2.49 for a song (nowadays $0.99 or whatever?) to do so legally. Just because you can now illegally download jerky for free doesn't quite make it 'right'.

          ( and yes, I know, downloading music is actually legal in some nations - I'm in one of them - but then distributing oft

      • The Slashdot Crowd' is always quick to point out that copyright infringement is -not- stealing. So I don't know why you're comparing stealing a beef jerky from a 7-11 to copyright infringement.

        "Theft" bears a much larger moral implication in the minds of people than "copyright infringement" does, which is why people here get riled up at the comparison.

        Either way, once again I think that it's more or less agreed that copyright infringement isn't quite as bad as outright theft, so it works like so: you assume a bigger crime than was (supposedly) commited, posit that punishment is proportional to crime, and conclude that, if the proposed punishment seems disproportionate for the greater crime, it mu

      • So I don't know why you're comparing stealing a beef jerky from a 7-11 to copyright infringement.

        He's not. He's contrasting it.

        -Loyal

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Shagg (99693)

        I don't think this case is about distributing, just downloading, but in the typical cases it is about distributing..

        All of their cases are about distributing.

    • (Yes I'm bitter this morning; still need my .... coffee.)

      Just don't drink too much of it, or you might start seeing good in the RIAA.....

    • by Steauengeglase (512315) on Friday January 16, 2009 @01:12PM (#26483569)

      CD purchases, the listening public will bestow on ungrateful addicts, oops record execs...

      Fixed. The real problems are/were record companies who were addicted to printing their own money and a market that thinks/thought that making 200%+ profit is/was piss poor performance. Fortunately, the recording industry is finally coming around to the notion that lawyers are only good for collecting sort-term, high-gain revenue, not suing grandma for her Dale Jr. poster.

    • The RIAA POV is like you stole $6.93 (.99 x 7) worth of beef jerky from 7-11, somehow scanned it with affordable technology then was able to produce millions of tones of beef jerky, and give it to everyone, with the same flavor as the bags you got, heck you even copied and gave away bags that looked identical.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by MozeeToby (1163751)

      Strictly playing the devil's advocate here, but I propose a thought experiment:

      Imagine if you went to the Ford/GM Manufacturing plant, threw 55% the cost of a new car through the window and then stole one of the new cars on the lot. About 40% of the cost of a new vehicle is materials and labor, with another 10% paying for pensions and whatnot for employees, and about 2.5% profit (so they double their profit). The other 50% is engineering, transportation to the dealer, paying the dealer, etc, etc. So the

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by fishbowl (7759)

        >A lot of people on slashdot argue that downloading copyrighted material isn't theft

        That's because it isn't. For one thing, "legal and illegal" music downloading are both described by "downloading copyrighted material" so you need to be much more specific. For another thing, copyright protection is aimed at very different goals from laws concerning theft.

        Copyright law does a poor job at "punishing people who consume your work without paying you."

        What copyright law is good at, is punishing someone who h

      • of course theyd be pissed off - you just broke their window, jerk!

      • by pipatron (966506)

        Should it be acceptible for me to download the plans to any car I want without paying for the engineering, advertising, and saftey testing?

        Of course. The cost for advertising is completely pointless and a waste of money, so no one should have to pay for that. It's just necessary if a company have an inferior product that they want to sell for a higher price than what it's worth. The cost for safety testing is pretty much not necessary unless you plan to sell the car and take responsibility for eventual accidents, and the cost for engineering can be zero, as is evident with the huge amount of real quality free (libre) software out there made by

      • by Shagg (99693)

        Imagine if you went to the Ford/GM Manufacturing plant, threw 55% the cost of a new car through the window and then stole one of the new cars on the lot.

        That would be theft, but has absolutely nothing to do with copyright infringement. Your analogy isn't even close.

    • The real problem is that the RIAA don't have a product anymore.

      They used to control the means of recording. No longer, since the equipment necessary can be got for much, much cheaper than years ago.

      They used to control the means of reproduction, in that they could actually mass produce your tapes / CDs for you. No longer, since stamping a CD is incredibly cheap now.

      Just about the only thing they still control is radio, and even then that's being eaten into by the internet and things like Pandora and last.fm, which their lobbyists are desperately trying to kill.

      Without a real business model, they're scraping for ways to maintain the position of control they used to have, and litigation is a very good way of doing just that, since most people don't have the means to actually fight them.

      • Last.FM - Stay Away (Score:3, Interesting)

        by hax0r_this (1073148)
        While I generally agree with your post, its worth pointing out that CBS actually bought Last.FM. And haven't shut it down yet. Makes you wonder what they want out of the deal. Maybe its all that personal information [slashdot.org] they're collecting.

        One way or another, I won't let Last.FM anywhere near my computer.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        They never controlled reproduction, and to this day it's still WAY cheaper for the Big 5 to print CDs (massive bulk discounts) than the home musician. That's not to say that it's expensive, though. I printed 1,000 copies of my album in '06 and I'm far from rich.

        What the big 5 provided was distribution and promotion. THAT's where they're being hit today thanks to the Internet. I did my album as a fun project. A way to get songs that I had written over the last 5 years "out there", just for fun. Not expecting

        • by srleffler (721400) on Friday January 16, 2009 @02:20PM (#26484691)
          The money=labour equation, while valuable, misses how investment works. There are two ways to make money: by labour or by taking on risk. If you buy something and resell it elsewhere at a higher price, some of that final price reflects the labour that went into producing the thing and in moving it from the seller to the subsequent buyer. Some of the price reflects the risk you took in the deal. By buying the thing, you took a risk that you would not be able to sell it for more than you paid. The profit you made on the deal compensates you for the risk you took. If there were no risk, someone would be willing to sell the item for less. Someone starting a business invests labour in producing their product, but also takes a risk: they may lose the money they put into starting the business. Outside investors (eg. in the stock market) take some or all of that risk away from the founders of the company. They make money not because they add labour but because they take risk.
          • by garett_spencley (193892) on Friday January 16, 2009 @02:57PM (#26485275) Journal

            It ignores investment because the only way that investment can pay off is through labour. The risk taker fronts his labour (since money is the promise of labour) with the expectation that he will be payed back with interest (interest being one of two ways that investment can ever enrich anyone - the other being the collection of collateral). The reality is that thanks to the addition of interest all debt can never be repayed because there isn't enough money in circulation (which is why we view investment as being risk). It's also why we have perpetual inflation.

            When you consider that there simply is not enough money in circulation to repay all debt it becomes clear that investment is a scheme to exploit labour. It pays off for some people but it is not viable long term. The only reason that investment banks create the illusion of viability is thanks to the fractional reserve system and the safety net of the central bank (which both lead to perpetual inflation). The reality is that investment banks don't actually risk anything. They create money out of thin air (inflation) when they lend and they seize property when the loans are defaulted on. When the economy goes sour and banks stop lending the central banks cut interest rates, increasing their lending to commercial banks and more people end up in debt. Those people then seek employment/labour to repay it.

            This isn't to say that banks never collapse due to poor investment practices. It happened as recently as 2008. It just means that in order for investment to pay off someone, somewhere has to loose.

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by CodeBuster (516420)

              in order for investment to pay off someone, somewhere has to loose.

              Not necessarily. If the growth in the money supply (inflation) is balanced by growth in the quantity of goods and services produced in the economy per person (i.e. economic growth) then everyone enjoys the benefits of more goods and services while being compensated for both their labor or their risk. The reason for fractional reserve banking is to encourage more rapid economic growth through extension of timely credit (since availability of money and the ability to start new projects or produce new goods an

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by cptdondo (59460)

            The risk thing.... That might have been true 20 - 30 years ago when agents actually scoured the bars to find talent. These days you are more than likely to have manufactured pop divas and even entire groups. All cut from the same mold, great looks, skimpy clothes, lots of scandal, mediocre talent and singing ability, and music that's written for them and over produced and corrected in the studio.

            Does anyone really think that Janis Joplin would make it today?

            The music business these days is all about "crea

    • by harl (84412)

      Because that's what the laws says the punishment is.

      Contact your members of Congress. They're the ones who made it a million for 7 songs.

      • by Shagg (99693)

        If you do write a letter to your member of Congress, you'd better include a check that is larger than the one the RIAA gave them in order to get the law set that way in the first place.

    • by geobeck (924637)

      One million for 7 songs?! How does something like that even get in to court?

      The court is easily amused, and the RIAA use their Dr. Evil voice when they state the amount.

    • >>>One million for 7 songs?!

      For most people one million is equivalent to a life sentence, because that's how long it takes to earn the money to pay that huge fine. I'd be willing to serve that life sentence, but not until after I handed-out some judgment of my own - namely a life sentence to the RIAA CEO.

      Steady.
      Aim.
      Fire.

      What are they going to do? Sentence me to prison? I've already been sentenced to life paying-off that million-dollar fine, so it makes no difference to me. I have nothing to los

  • by jep77 (1357465) on Friday January 16, 2009 @12:44PM (#26483189) Homepage

    I was wondering if someone could send me a recorded copy of the stream since I won't be able to watch it live.

    • Re:Send me a copy (Score:5, Insightful)

      by eth1 (94901) on Friday January 16, 2009 @02:05PM (#26484403)

      I was wondering if someone could send me a recorded copy of the stream since I won't be able to watch it live.

      You're modded funny, but if they were to use BitTorrent to distribute the recorded proceedings after the fact it would provide an example of an unambiguously legitimate use for such things that judges would be able to identify with. :)

  • ...was not going to be televised? So much for common wisdom. :-P

  • Well... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Darundal (891860) on Friday January 16, 2009 @12:47PM (#26483241) Journal
    ...they bought the rope, measured the proper length of it, cut it, tied it to a tree, formed one end into a noose, gingerly placed their grinning heads in the noose and tightened it, and now we get to see the looks on their faces when someone who saw their preceding actions takes the logical steps and kicks the stool out from under them.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Aladrin (926209)

      It's not so much 'kicking the stool' as it is 'refusing to hold them up while they teeter on it'. Nobody has to do -anything- for them to hang themselves... They just have to refuse to get them out of their own mess.

  • by internerdj (1319281) on Friday January 16, 2009 @12:49PM (#26483277)
    on bittorrent?
  • Not all of it... yet (Score:5, Informative)

    by Xelios (822510) on Friday January 16, 2009 @01:00PM (#26483403)
    The current order is only for the hearing on Jan 22, as NYCL pointed out, which only involves the legal arguments for motions entered by the Defendant's counsel. Further coverage of the rest of the case will be decided then. The judge made a lot of sense in her opinion though, I especially liked this bit:

    "Public" today has a new resonance, especially in this case. The claims and issues at stake involve the internet, file-sharing practices, and digital copyright protections. The Defendants are primarily members of a generation that has grown up with the internet, who get their news from it, rather than from the traditional forms of public communication, such as newspapers or television. Indeed, these cases have generated widespread public attention, much of it on the internet. Under the circumstances, the particular relief requested -- "narrowcasting" this proceeding to a public website -- is uniquely appropriate.

    Nice to see judges are starting to catch up to this generation.
    • by earlymon (1116185)

      By the judge's logic, bloggers that were the scourge of the Bush admin, derated because of their medium, might now be classified as mainstream news broadcasters.

      • by Aladrin (926209)

        In the same way that CDs are now classed as 8-track tapes, yes. They serve the same purpose, but they are completely different animals.

        The judge's logic is correct: Many people today get their news from the internet, instead of the TV or radio. So this should be allowed to be televised via the same mediums.

  • by Opportunist (166417) on Friday January 16, 2009 @01:04PM (#26483453)

    Of course the RIAA wants the public to hear about this case to deter anyone downloading their stuff.

    But they want people to hear it from them. Not directly from the court proceedings. Any idiot knows that your statements are only half as powerful if the other side can retort. And few people are interested in hearling both sides of the story, unless it is hassle free do hear it, they're perfectly happy when they just hear one side telling them "the truth". Do you have an idea how incredibly harder it gets to spin something when the other side can call you bluff and show that you're lying through your teeth?

    • by geobeck (924637)

      Any idiot knows that your statements are only half as powerful if the other side can retort.

      So the RIAA will hire someone to stand near the camera microphone during the hearing and sing "LA LA LA LA!" whenever someone else is speaking; problem solved.

      Of course, then they'll have to sue their opposition obfuscator for an unauthorized narrowcast performance "Brown Eyed Girl".

    • by Eil (82413)

      This case is the perfect example what happens when your predatory business model is threatened to be exposed.

      The record companies want to deter people from sharing music, so they make all this fuss about how illegal it is, and how you'll go to jail if you download music for free off the Internet, all the while literally lying to consumers about how copyright really works.

      But since they're the ones selling the music, they don't want to look like the bad guys. They want you to be afraid of the police and the

  • All they had to do was keep quiet. Then after the trial was televised, they could sue everyone who carried the story and everyone who downloaded (watched) it!

    It would have as much merit as their other suits; how could they possibly lose?

    • Somehow I doubt that the courts (who would, if anyone, be the legal owner of the copyright) are members of the RIAA. Talk about conflicting interests...

  • by thered2001 (1257950) on Friday January 16, 2009 @01:09PM (#26483523) Journal
    I once heard that vampires don't show up on camera. Now we'll know one way or another!
  • Justice (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mlwmohawk (801821) on Friday January 16, 2009 @01:16PM (#26483635)

    Having read the order, I get the sense that the Judge really really understands what is going on and is not going to let them weasel out of their own lies.

    The Judge is going to take their claims perfectly literally with no prejudice. They say that they want public knowledge of the suits, thus, she finds it "curious" that they don't want it televised. So, she takes them at their word (wanting public knowledge of the law suits) and "helps" them do what they say they claim to want to do.

    Unlike judges before her, she knows they are lying. They know they are lying. Nesson knows they are lying. The case is a blackmail scam and everyone involved knows it, this time, even the judge.

    They are stuck because these are counter claims, and while I'm not a lawyer, even if BMG/Sony drop the suit, I believe the counter claims live on. So, they can't drop it. They have to fight a Harvard Law Professor and his students, and it will all be public for display.

    I'm going to buy some popcorn and watch.

    • by Dan667 (564390)
      Man this trial is going to be good. At least as entertaining as when there was an ice storm in Texas and I got a cooler full of beer, went down to the corner, and watched people try to get off the freeway off ramp.
    • This is giving me goosebumps.

    • by greg_barton (5551)

      So, she takes them at their word (wanting public knowledge of the law suits) and "helps" them do what they say they claim to want to do.

      Aikido in action. :)

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by jimicus (737525)

      Unlike judges before her, she knows they are lying. They know they are lying. Nesson knows they are lying. The case is a blackmail scam and everyone involved knows it, this time, even the judge.

      Unless she's a pisspoor judge, she won't have any definite opinion on the matter in hand - or if she does, she'll keep it very much to herself.

      She may, on the other hand, want to make absolutely certain that every "i" is dotted and every "t" crossed. Which I would think is a very good quality in a judge.

  • DISCLAIMER: (Score:5, Funny)

    by hendrix2k (1099161) on Friday January 16, 2009 @01:19PM (#26483679)
    "Any rebroadcast, reproduction, or other use of the pictures and accounts of this hearing without the express written consent of the Recording Industry Association of America is prohibited and will be subjected to a fine of no less than $1 million per infraction."

Thufir's a Harkonnen now.

Working...