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Televised RIAA Hearing Adjourned, Briefs Scheduled 72

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the embarrassed-of-your-job dept.
NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "After the lower court adjourned the hearing scheduled to be televised in SONY BMG Music v. Tenenbaum, in order to give the appeals court time to determine the RIAA's petition for a writ of 'mandamus or prohibition', the appeals court set a briefing schedule. Apparently expecting amicus curiae briefs to be submitted, the appellate court set January 29th as a deadline for filing of amicus briefs. One commentator opines that 'the last thing Vivendi Universal, EMI, Warner Music and Sony BMG RIAA attack lawyers want is for people to see them live and in full, glorious color', while another noted Judge Gertner's observation that the arguments raised by the RIAA in the appeals court, relating to the manner of administering the broadcast, had never been raised in the lower court."
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Televised RIAA Hearing Adjourned, Briefs Scheduled

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  • Embarrassed? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by riceboy50 (631755) on Friday January 23, 2009 @07:23PM (#26582871)
    I'd be embarrassed too if I was trying to extort children and grandmothers.
  • mafia enforcers (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23, 2009 @07:26PM (#26582889)

    Someone explain to me exactly how the riaa and their like are not the exact same thing as the mafia?

    And how have we not slapped them all in jail under the RICO laws yet?

    They sure seem like the exact same thing to me...

    About the only real diffrence i see at all is the real mafia has some sense of honor and respect.
    And thats really stretching it.

    • Someone explain to me exactly how the riaa and their like are not the exact same thing as the mafia?

      www.mafiaa.org [mafiaa.org]

      • by Locke2005 (849178) on Friday January 23, 2009 @07:37PM (#26583029)
        Although their tactics are fairly similar, the RIAA has a lower percentage of Sicilians in it. Also, nobody will ever make a movie about the RIAA... good movies require a villain the average person can relate too. Also, I suspect the Mafia knows when they are violating the law, while the RIAA thinks they are staying within the letter of the law.
        • Re:mafia enforcers (Score:4, Interesting)

          by moxley (895517) on Friday January 23, 2009 @08:16PM (#26583487)

          I don't think the RIAA thinks they are staying within the law.

          They view the law as something that must be molded to their desires, and care not if it protects all evenly.

          • The problem is that we are not all thinking that way. After all, it's our law and our country.
            But we leave it for those to decide, who are asking for it hard enough, and then rant about the laws being wrong.
            Sorry. That's your own fault.

        • Re:mafia enforcers (Score:5, Informative)

          by shaitand (626655) on Friday January 23, 2009 @08:26PM (#26583615) Journal

          And if the law doesn't fit what they want to do, they bring out their arsenal of paid congresscritters to change it to their liking. Usually as some footnote to a bill that has absolutely nothing to do with what they want.

          • by EdIII (1114411) *

            And if the law doesn't fit what they want to do, they bring out their arsenal of paid congresscritters to change it to their liking. Usually as some footnote to a bill that has absolutely nothing to do with what they want.

            Ahhh, yes. The time honored legislative practice that will put an end to freedom and the American way of life in the name of freedom and the American way of life.

        • Re:mafia enforcers (Score:5, Interesting)

          by dontmakemethink (1186169) on Friday January 23, 2009 @09:09PM (#26584029)

          I have attended several meetings with RIAA executives specifically concerning tactics to prevent piracy among teenagers. I have proposed a marketing model that actually engages piracy in a way that benefits the musicians and labels more than simply selling the music. Nobody bought it. One particularly ignorant turd said something to the effect of "we're not turning this undustry upside-down just because some brats are stealing from us." I compared him to someone refusing to leave their home with a forest fire approaching. End of conversation.

          They blame them brat kids for the industry tanking, instead of realizing that it's their fault for failing to adapt. They have been presented numerous options to address the problem, they refuse to make the necessary changes. They curse their luck as they piss into the wind.

          A closer comparison would be the tobacco industry. Just be thankful that music doesn't kill anyone.

          • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23, 2009 @10:06PM (#26584491)

            You haven't listened to the new Hannah Montanna CD have you?

          • by EdIII (1114411) *

            I have attended several meetings with RIAA executives specifically concerning tactics to prevent piracy among teenagers.

            Umm, So Dante, when you left the meeting, were you advised to not look backwards so that you could escape the bowels of Hell unmolested?

            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              I have attended several meetings with RIAA executives specifically concerning tactics to prevent piracy among teenagers.

              Umm, So Dante, when you left the meeting, were you advised to not look backwards so that you could escape the bowels of Hell unmolested?

              No, I looked backwards, to let them know I would be back. They then torpedoed my other projects. I didn't suffer from it, but others did. I'll never make that mistake again.

              There is a word that is feared by everyone in the music industry that can't live up to their promises: guarantee. Watch out for that word. It's going to pop up in weird places in the next year.

              • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                by cheros (223479)

                Interesting post, but I must admit "guarantee" means little to me without context.

                Would you care to elaborate a bit?

                On a related note, a while back I was talking to some people who apparently make movies for a living (accidental, just met these people in a pub) and it was interesting. They do need education on the effects of copying (and the various types of it, because "piracy" is to me the wholesale manufacturing not the "I'll make a copy for a friend" type) but what I found fascinating is that the whole

          • by mcnellis (1420749)
            It's hilarious that they truly think teenage brats are singlehandedly ruining their business. It almost makes me glad that they fail at understanding the technology that much just because it's so funny that a bunch of old white crusty businessmen are trying to fight (and losing to) a bunch of 13 year olds...epic fail indeed.
        • Also, nobody will ever make a movie about the RIAA

          "Coming soon, in a theater near you, Oliver Stone's and Michael Moore's 'RIAA' . . . please go out to the lobby, and buy some popcorn . . . a Monster Bucket."

        • by Splab (574204)

          Well, I don't know about that. Sure as hell don't hope too many people relate to the Joker in the last Batman movie.

      • lol!
    • Simple. The RIAA is an organization which exists.

    • Someone explain to me exactly how the riaa and their like are not the exact same thing as the mafia? And how have we not slapped them all in jail under the RICO laws yet? They sure seem like the exact same thing to me... About the only real diffrence i see at all is the real mafia has some sense of honor and respect. And thats really stretching it.

      Well this writer on Dow Jones Market Watch [blogspot.com] agrees with you.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by stephanruby (542433)

      Someone explain to me exactly how the riaa and their like are not the exact same thing as the mafia?

      The mafia label is just too cool for them. I say we give them back the pirate label, and we call ourselves the mafia. After all, pirates kill, rape, steal, and completely destroy people and goods. And the mafia, the real mafia at least, does very little violence and enables the international distribution of gray market goods.

      • by EdIII (1114411) *

        And the mafia, the real mafia at least, does very little violence and enables the international distribution of gray market goods.

        I bet every poor sob that found himself in the middle of night out in the middle of nowheres in New Jersey looking into the opening of a meat grinder thought the same thing. :)

        I can hear a bunch of wise guys buried in cement laughing in their graves.

        "You're a funny guy!" :)

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      Someone explain to me exactly how the riaa and their like are not the exact same thing as the mafia?

      Sure. The mafia's operations are often highly illegal. They threaten people's lives, and even carry out those threats, which is even worse. Furthermore, they use intimidation, often using the afore-mentioned threats, to strong-arm competitors out of the field.

      The RIAA does none of that. They're operation is entirely legal, and, if they have a problem with a person, they don't rely on violence, or threats ther

      • Re:mafia enforcers (Score:5, Insightful)

        by NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) * <ray@beckermanleg ... m minus language> on Saturday January 24, 2009 @01:16PM (#26589853) Homepage Journal

        They're operation is entirely legal, and, if they have a problem with a person, they don't rely on violence, or threats thereof, in order resolve their disputes. Instead, they use the court system like we are all supposed to when negotiation fails. Also, unlike the mafia, they make all their money from legitimate business that contributes to society around them.

        Are you aware that in strongly contested cases they have relied on such tactics as (a) investigating high school classmates at the local high school and (b) having an investigator impersonating a 10 year old's grandmother making a call to the child's school?

        Are you aware that there is almost nothing about their lawsuits that is "legal".

        Are you aware that they are engaged in illegal investigations?

        Are you aware that they have hired retired police officers to advise defendants that copyright infringement is a criminal matter?

        Are you aware that their conduct often borders on, or crosses the boundary into, extortion?

        Are you aware that they knowingly bring, and the continue to prosecute, sham lawsuits against people who they know have not infringed their copyrights?

        Are you aware that their lawyers on a daily basis sign court documents which they know are false?

        Are you aware that they have been deliberately violating a court order since 2004?

        Are you aware that they have been deliberately flouting the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure?

        If I thought their conduct was "legal" I would resign from the Bar immediately, because I wouldn't be a part of a legal system that condoned their vile conduct.

        However, the reality is that they violate the law on a daily basis, just like other organized criminals to whom we are analogizing them.

  • Go Judge! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Locke2005 (849178) on Friday January 23, 2009 @07:33PM (#26582985)
    Gertner noted that the decision did not limit streaming to the Berkman Center's Web site, saying RIAA also is free to subscribe to the CVN recording and to make it available to the public at a Web site of its choosing, provided that the group observes conditions already set by the court, including streaming unedited material. Gertner's effectively saying "You can stream it yourselves too, assholes!" which pretty much negates all of the RIAA's objections to a biased venue for hosting the stream, doesn't it?
    • Re:Go Judge! (Score:5, Interesting)

      Gertner noted that the decision did not limit streaming to the Berkman Center's Web site, saying RIAA also is free to subscribe to the CVN recording and to make it available to the public at a Web site of its choosing, provided that the group observes conditions already set by the court, including streaming unedited material. Gertner's effectively saying "You can stream it yourselves too, assholes!"

      yes she is

      which pretty much negates all of the RIAA's objections to a biased venue for hosting the stream, doesn't it?

      Indeed it does

      • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

        by rdnetto (955205)

        OK, I know your NYCL, but seriously? +5 Informative for just agreeing with the parent and reformatting it?
        Not that its your fault, but sometimes I suspect that people mod purely based on reputation without actually reading.

    • Gertner's effectively saying "You can stream it yourselves too,..."

      The RIAA's problem is that they don't want to stream it. They want to record it to digital media with DRM and lots of audio effects to make it sound more like they want it to sound, release it on a geographically-based schedule to maximize marketing, and charge a disproportionate price.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by EdIII (1114411) *

        The RIAA's problem is that they don't want to stream it. They want to record it to digital media with DRM and lots of audio effects to make it sound more like they want it to sound, release it on a geographically-based schedule to maximize marketing, and charge a disproportionate price.

        You mean like a Britney Spear's Album?

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by cheros (223479)

        .. and, of course, after their "value add" of editing out the bits they don't like ..

        I like the judges blunt hint that they're welcome to do their own thing with the material IF CONDITIONS ARE OBSERVED. I have the feeling she's got these guy's measure, which is why their current SCO-esque objection strategy is liable to spectacularly backfire.

        One can only hope for additional sanctions, because without it it'll only be one case lost against the profit of thousands. Sure, the game is over but if they get to

    • Re:Go Judge! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by EdIII (1114411) * on Saturday January 24, 2009 @06:14AM (#26586983)

      which pretty much negates all of the RIAA's objections to a biased venue for hosting the stream, doesn't it?

      That is a cover for their real objections to the stream itself. It's like saying, "I don't like cherries" when offered Cherry Pie but the real reason is that it makes your ass fat.

      I forget the specifics, but some woman was representing Sony's interests and said on the stand that ripping a cd (simple media shifting) was exactly the same as stealing.

      That's the real reason they don't want it televised. They have enjoyed a vague understanding of copyright and the exact nature of the agreement between the copyright holders and the public at large. Most people have never really understood just what it was that they bought. There has been no clear and explicit statement in laymens terms of just what rights people have to the intellectual property they bought on some continually degrading piece of plastic with grooves, magnetic tape, or piece of plastic that is all shiny. Even less so when there is nothing physical that you can pick up, just all of your music in a laptop or computer.

      When the RIAA lawyers, and any Big Media interests testify what their real feelings are regarding our rights, most people would be scathingly pissed off and rightly complain that was not the deal they understood when they bought the music in the stores and later online.

      No, No, No. They want to litigate in private where only the smallest tiniest slice of America ever gets to see them present their arguments, since they know their customers would object and the customers are always right .

  • I'm pretty sure that the RIAA is not holding this hearing. Rather, it's a hearing of a US court of law.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    ""Unlike a trial transcript, the broadcast of a court proceedings through the Internet will take on a life of its own in that forum. The broadcast will be readily subject to editing and manipulation by any reasonably tech-savvy individual,""

    Oh, I get it now. So, what they're basically saying is, they do NOT want someone to use snippets of RIAA trial lawyers in the courtroom to put together a dance club video mix with a "pumping k-hole groove" [colbertnation.com]. (Cue Stephen Colbert)

  • by nizo (81281) * on Friday January 23, 2009 @07:44PM (#26583113) Homepage Journal

    Televised Hearing Adjourned to February 24th, Judge says RIAA objections relate not to "Whether" but "How" Hearing Should be Televised

    They should make the RIAA host copies of the proceedings that people can get as torrents.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 23, 2009 @07:51PM (#26583191)

    Maybe the true reason for fighting the televising is that the RIAA lawyers are now so unholy that they can no longer be caught on any type of recording device?

  • Judge Gertner's observation that the arguments raised by the RIAA in the appeals court, relating to the manner of administering the broadcast, had never been raised in the lower court."

    That sounds bad. Anyone know what this actually means for the case?
    • Re:New arguments? (Score:5, Informative)

      Judge Gertner's observation that the arguments raised by the RIAA in the appeals court, relating to the manner of administering the broadcast, had never been raised in the lower court."

      That sounds bad. Anyone know what this actually means for the case?

      You're not supposed to go to an appeals court on arguments you never made in the lower court. It's a waste of their time, and it's not fair to the lower court judge. What it means for the RIAA's petition is that it's unfounded.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Correct me if I'm wrong but doesn't that mean the court will refuse to hear the claims, then the riaa WILL present them to the lower court, which will then reject them, THEN the riaa will appeal that decision. Essentially amounting to at least 6 months of ridiculous nonsense to settle a few bogus claims?

      • Ok, so it's more procedural stuff being filed on shaky ground. I assume there are rules and precedents that apply as to when cameras may be allowed? Unless they can come up with a reason that's acceptable to the judges, it will be broadcast eventually. How does that benefit them in the long run? A delaying tactic?

        These guys are unbelievable.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Goobermunch (771199)

        The general rule is that arguments raised for the first time on appeal are waived. That means that the appellate court should summarily dismiss those arguments.

        --AC

  • Royalty (Score:4, Funny)

    by arizwebfoot (1228544) * on Friday January 23, 2009 @08:03PM (#26583331)
    They should make the RIAA pay a royalty for every downloaded viewing of the trial - that'll teach 'em.
  • by MiniMike (234881) on Friday January 23, 2009 @08:04PM (#26583337)

    But I will be the first to download it!

    • by residieu (577863)
      But will you make it available?
      • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Gosh no! That's the same as copyright infringement; everyone knows that.

  • "arguments raised by the RIAA in the appeals court ... had never been raised in the lower court."

    If this is a writ of prohibition how is it relevant?

  • by jnork (1307843) on Friday January 23, 2009 @09:33PM (#26584229)

    They also argued that the relationship between CVN, Tenenbaum and Nesson "strongly suggested that the proposed broadcast was not for in furtherance of the public interest, but rather part of a larger strategy to advance defendant's and his counsel's interests in connection with this case."

    So... the RIAA are in this for the public good, but Tenenbaum is a greedy grasping malicious dastard who would sell his own grandmother for fifteen cents (US) and a cherry lollipop.

    Riiiiiight. And I've got this handy bridge, care to make a bid?

    The RIAA are the good guys. You can tell because they say so.

  • Sheesh!
    This is getting as/more ridiculous as/than the SCO vs. IBM trial.

    If not for the major implications riding on this whole subject, this would be as entertaining as watching 'The Three Stooges' all over again. Ludicrous!

    Hmm...Is Daryl pimping out his lawyer pack to the RIAA to raise cash? Or was it just coincidence that both bunches were dredged up from the same slime pool?

    'What goes around, comes around.' I hope this works here!

  • While the RIAA's policy arguments are easily dismissed, it isn't so clear to me that they are wrong about the Massachusetts rules prohibiting broadcasting. Would someone knowledgable (e.g. Ray Beckerman) care to comment on that aspect of the argument?

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Todd Knarr (15451)

      Basically, the Massachusetts rules say that courtroom proceedings may be broadcast if they fall into certain categories "or by order of the court", which is generally taken to mean that the court can allow other proceedings to be broadcast at it's discretion. The RIAA wants to read that rule as "and by order of the court", limiting the court to allowing broadcasting only of the categories specified.

      Also, when the RIAA appeals to the rules of the Judicial Conference, it glosses over the fact that the Judicia

      • Basically, the Massachusetts rules say that courtroom proceedings may be broadcast if they fall into certain categories "or by order of the court", which is generally taken to mean that the court can allow other proceedings to be broadcast at it's discretion. The RIAA wants to read that rule as "and by order of the court", limiting the court to allowing broadcasting only of the categories specified. Also, when the RIAA appeals to the rules of the Judicial Conference, it glosses over the fact that the Judicial Conference has no authority to dictate rules to the courts under it and that no court under it has actually adopted it's proposed prohibition on broadcasting proceedings.

        Yeah well the RIAA lawyers tore those pages out of the law books.

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