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Associated Press Wants RIAA Case Webcast 103

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the afraid-of-scrutiny dept.
NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "The Associated Press, The New York Times, and other major news organizations have gone to court to fight the RIAA over its attempt to thwart a court order which ruled that a hearing in SONY BMG Music v. Tenenbaum could be streamed over the internet. The news organizations agreed with Judge Gertner, the district judge who'd granted the order, arguing : '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'. As soon as I get a copy of the actual brief I will upload it and link to it. Another amicus brief opposing the RIAA's attempt to reverse Judge Gertner was filed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation and other First Amendment proponents and is already available online [PDF]."
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Associated Press Wants RIAA Case Webcast

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  • Haha (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 31, 2009 @09:25AM (#26676467)

    Can't wait for it to appear on thepiratebay

  • by nhaines (622289) <.moc.utnubu. .ta. .seniahn.> on Saturday January 31, 2009 @09:28AM (#26676469) Homepage

    As soon as I get a copy of the actual brief [CC] I will upload it and link to it. Another amicus brief opposing the RIAA's attempt to reverse Judge Gertner was filed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation and other First Amendment proponents and is already available online."

    Thus marking the first time Slashdot has posted a breaking news story. ;)

    The RIAA's actions continue to provide amusement for me. But it's all increasingly irrelevant in my life. Just like when I watch a DVD at someone else's place and I realize there's all kinds of wanings against copying and commercials at the beginning. At home, I just use VLC and immediatelly get the main menus.

    The RIAA has to face the court of public opinion eventually. I think the Amazon.com MP3 store and iTunes show what remarkable success DRM-free music can have online. Unfortunately for the RIAA, so do Jamendo and Magnatunes....

    • by cp.tar (871488) <cp.tar.bz2@gmail.com> on Saturday January 31, 2009 @09:53AM (#26676555) Journal

      ... I watch a DVD at someone else's place and I realize there's all kinds of wanings against copying and commercials at the beginning. At home, I just use VLC and immediatelly get the main menus.

      I have long believed that those warnings only serve to make pirated copies a better-quality product, and thus more desirable.
      Now you tell me VLC is adding to the value of the legally marketed copies, making them equal in value as the pirated ones.

      There seems to be something wrong in this picture, but I can't put my finger on it...

      • by Dachannien (617929) on Saturday January 31, 2009 @09:57AM (#26676577)

        Agreed, in particular because the warnings are usually unskippable and are often displayed immediately after you choose the "play movie" menu option.

        I mean, is there anyone in the US who has never seen one of those warnings? Is it really necessary to delay people's enjoyment of a movie on a DVD they legally purchased, just to tell them not to copy a movie that they don't need to copy since they already own the DVD?

        • by cp.tar (871488) <cp.tar.bz2@gmail.com> on Saturday January 31, 2009 @10:00AM (#26676591) Journal

          Is it really necessary to delay people's enjoyment of a movie on a DVD they legally purchased, just to tell them not to copy a movie that they don't need to copy since they already own the DVD?

          Of course it is.
          After all, some people may have learned to read since the last DVD they saw.
          Additionally, won't somebody please think of the children? If these notices were removed, how would the children learn about the possibility of copying?

        • by noidentity (188756) on Saturday January 31, 2009 @11:12AM (#26676983)
          I hate that unskippable crap. Even once you've gotten past the warnings, you have to sit through an animated main menu, then some stupid animation and sound effect transition to the actual feature. I really wouldn't mind just putting the disc in and seeing the damn feature start immediately.

          Tip for those stuck with plain-old DVD players: insert disc, wait until it starts playing, hit stop, then hit menu. This often skips the usually-unskippable crap before the menu.

          • by TheGratefulNet (143330) on Saturday January 31, 2009 @12:13PM (#26677571)

            1) anydvd
            2) dvdclone

            both from slysoft (sort of).

            take friggin control back! stop letting THEM control the buttons on your goddamned remote control.

            I rip all my dvd for my HTPC and I never have to sit thru strong-arm intimidation 'commercials' and PUO (the tech term for the 'you cannot skip this part') shit.

            anyone who watches a regular dvd and DOES sit thru that crap is a chump, sorry to say. we've had the ability to break dvd anti-consumerisms for years. each time you let that crap seep thru you are letting them win.

            filter the crap. rip to disk, select the chapters YOU want and watch what YOU want.

            then seal up the disc, store it (heh, or return it) and that's that. no more 'warnings'. they are for children, and stupid children at that.

            get a copy of anydvd. free yourself from the industry thugs and start watching movies again instead of threats.

          • Funny that was on of the big selling points of Blu Ray (or was it HD DVD? sorry, I totally forget) that the movie started immediately.

            How has that panned out ? 10 minutes searching I can't find anything about it any more, but I may just be missing the exact terms.

            • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

              by Anonymous Coward

              That can't be Blu-Ray. I have it on good authority (hearsay) that BR discs don't even display the main menu within a minute of inserting the disc.

            • HD DVD starts pretty quickly... AFTER the player has started up, and you insert the disc. My HD DVD player takes about 45 seconds to boot.
          • i think what's worse is that every DVD title displays different menu behaviors. some DVDs will play automatically after the disc is inserted; some will take you to a menu. some will allow you to hit the "play" button on your remote to play; others make you actually select "play" form the menu and hit the "enter"/"ok"/"select" button on your DVD player remote. some DVDs make you watch copyright warnings multiple times; some play a bunch of previews/ads--which on some titles you can skip, but not on others.

        • I don't know. Apparently warnings and commercials were deemed necessary back in the 80's on VHS, we just forget because we could fast forward past them. Hurray for modern technology... and for DVDDecrypter/Gordian Knot. Too bad Jose SeisCervesa has no clue what I'm going on about right now.

          I mean, is there anyone in the US who has never seen one of those warnings? Is it really necessary to delay people's enjoyment of a movie on a DVD they legally purchased, just to tell them not to copy a movie that they d

        • And is it really smart for the movie industry to put these warnings on DVD discs that could easily last 20 years? ...... The stupidity of it all will be a source of amusement, derision and irritation at the built in delay long after the industry has folded and been replaced by something more intelligent.
      • by jonwil (467024) on Saturday January 31, 2009 @10:28AM (#26676677)

        The ironic thing is that you have to use an illegal program (VLC) to skip warnings on a DVD that YOU bought, warnings telling you not to copy the DVD (that you already own and dont need to copy)

        • Since when is VLC Player illegal?

          • by karmatic (776420) on Saturday January 31, 2009 @11:09AM (#26676933)

            Since when is VLC Player illegal?

            In the US, since October 28, 1998 [aallnet.org].

            Besides the (incredibly large) array of patent issues which make it difficult to use in a corporate environment, it would be very easy to make the case that VLC is a prohibited circumvention device. It breaks DRM, has built-in transcoding, and will very easily write files or stream content.

            You could also make the case that the DRM isn't an effective access control measure, but the courts have set that bar really low. It would be unlikely that such a case would prevail.

            • by Sir_Lewk (967686)
              Mod parent and great-grandparent up, most people don't realize this but it's true.
            • So why is VLC Player still allowed to exist? Why haven't they been sued?

              As for skipping the "don't copy" warnings, I don't see that as a violation. A DVD may include the code for "disable skip or fast-forward" but that doesn't mean the player is obligated to listen. For example my Sony player has a "fast play" button that zips right through the warnings and advertisements at 1.4x speed

              I don't know anything about VLC's transcoding or copying abilities. I've never seen that option on my copy.

        • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward
          Just to point out, you may own the physical DVD, but you don't own the contents of the DVD - you only Licence that...when they stop being fraudulent with their advertising and honestly state that you've bought a licence to the content of the DVD and not the DVD and its contents, I'd have more sympathy for them.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by deimtee (762122)
            No, I bought it, I own it.
            There are legal restrictions on what I can do with it, basically I can't make and sell copies, but unless I sign a licence agreement before I pay and accept delivery, then there is no licence. You don't get to add conditions after the sale.
      • by Technician (215283) on Saturday January 31, 2009 @12:44PM (#26677807)

        Geexbox is a portable version. Stick in it a PC, boot it, remove the ejected CD and insert the movie. It writes nothing to the hard drive leaving no recored of the DMCA violation.

        http://www.geexbox.org/en/index.html [geexbox.org]

        As a bonus, it in an introduction to the many versions of Linux to non-geek types. Print up a few disks and pass them out at work.

      • by legirons (809082)

        ... I watch a DVD at someone else's place and I realize there's all kinds of wanings against copying and commercials at the beginning. At home, I just use VLC and immediatelly get the main menus.

        I have long believed that those warnings only serve to make pirated copies a better-quality product, and thus more desirable.

        They also make Mac OS X and Apple software less valuable, since the DVD player in Mac OS X actually implements all those "not permitted to fast-forward" menus (in stark contrast to every other software or hardware DVD player)

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by 644bd346996 (1012333)

      Thus marking the first time Slashdot has posted a breaking news story. ;)

      It's not that surprising, is it? I mean, Ray Beckerman does have the root password to slashdot, doesn't he?

    • The RIAA's actions continue to provide amusement for me. But it's all increasingly irrelevant in my life.

      The substance has never been relevant to my life, either. But when schoolyard bullies gang up on some defenseless person... it is relevant to your life and to mine. That is what brought me into this fight.

      Which makes this particular round of briefing, where the RIAA goons are completely overmatched, some good "amusement".

    • We should vow that if we ever get to present to the MPAA we should
      a. lock the doors so nobody can get out
      b. read the copyright notice for your presentation in full - through a loudhailer
      c. introduce them to at least 3 other services which have no bearing on the topic of the presentation (that takes care of the preview rubbish).
      d. then refuse to present because they gave you the wrong room. Zone limiting doesn't allow you to present in any but the right location.

      So there :-)

  • by conureman (748753) on Saturday January 31, 2009 @09:33AM (#26676487)

    It'll be interesting to compare how the various Media Entities spin (or even cover?) this.

    • It'll be interesting to compare how the various Media Entities spin (or even cover?) this.

      Yes. What will happen when organizations like the New York Times or the Associated Press hear about what these guys are trying to do?
  • by elrous0 (869638) * on Saturday January 31, 2009 @09:41AM (#26676517)
    Faced with exposure to the daylight, they'll just drop the case. They always drop the case when the kid whose lunch money they're trying to steal actually fights back.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Perhaps so, but still... It's nice to have mainstream media to wake up. Definitely should make the RIAA's campaigns (both in lobbying and in changing public opinion) harder...

      • by conureman (748753)

        Are they covering this? The only news I've found is from Ray Beckerman's blog, and on Slashdot.
        It's not scrolling across the bottom of the newscast.

        • Are they covering this? The only news I've found is from Ray Beckerman's blog, and on Slashdot. It's not scrolling across the bottom of the newscast.

          Well, do you count AP and NYT as big media? They're throwing their weight behind this Webcast.

    • by Ashriel (1457949) on Saturday January 31, 2009 @09:56AM (#26676569)
      The beauty of this, and what makes this case different from all the others involving the RIAA, is that they're facing a countersuit - they can't drop the case and have it go away, unless they can convince Nesson & Tenenbaum and a team of Harvard law students to give up as well.
    • Faced with exposure to the daylight, they'll just drop the case. They always drop the case when the kid whose lunch money they're trying to steal actually fights back.

      I would say you've got their number.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Ihmhi (1206036)

        Considering the popularity of this case and the argument the judge has made, couldn't pretty much any other defense lawyer in any other case make the same request? RIAA wants to educate the public, so why not?

        The RIAA either accepts it and goes through with the case, or they drop the case altogether. It's win-win. It's like we have the plans to the Death Star!

        • Considering the popularity of this case and the argument the judge has made, couldn't pretty much any other defense lawyer in any other case make the same request? RIAA wants to educate the public, so why not? The RIAA either accepts it and goes through with the case, or they drop the case altogether. It's win-win. It's like we have the plans to the Death Star!

          Judge Gertner's decision is a significant precedent that will be helpful to all lawyers representing RIAA defendants who want to open the proceedings to public scrutiny. The briefs that have been submitted by the amici curiae will also be great ammunition. And if the 1st Circuit blasts the RIAA, then that will be a super precedent.

          • by Ihmhi (1206036)

            RE: the below posts about they can't drop the case - yes, I know. The point I'm making is for other cases, this might establish a precedent where the defense lawyer can automatically bring this up as a defense tactic. It's practically undefeatable.

            Question for Mr. Beckerman: I'm pretty sure precedents are related to district/jurisdiction, so a precedent set in the 1st circuit wouldn't apply to any of the other circuits. If this goes through, will it only stand in that particular circuit or could it be used

        • by ultranova (717540)

          The RIAA either accepts it and goes through with the case, or they drop the case altogether. It's win-win. It's like we have the plans to the Death Star!

          AFAIK the RIAA is facing a counterclaim and thus can't drop it. They're being counterattacked. Put these facts together and it becomes obvious that "It's a trap!"

        • by Svartalf (2997)

          The problem is, they CAN'T drop the case. This is a hearing for the Opposition's counter-suit. The only thing they can do here is move to dismiss (which is what they're doing here...) and if the Judge doesn't buy the motion's premises, she won't do anything of the sort.

          This is very, very far removed from what they want happening. Especially if it's televised.

          • by rhizome (115711)

            The problem is, they CAN'T drop the case. This is a hearing for the Opposition's counter-suit.

            This is an important point that nobody has distinguished (including me) so far. Thanks.

      • 867-5309

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      I received one of those extortionate letters ("Pay up or else"). I sent an email to the RIAA CEO to thank him for sending fuel for the fireplace, and please send more to help me keep warm this winter. ;-)

      • Try this.

        If you graft his letter into some other equally cleverly repurposed music they provide from somewhere, does that make him an Artist? Then can you wiggle their rules such they have to "treat him like they treat an artist on their roster"?

        You would send him back his rightfully earned $21.99 plus $7.88 Handling fee and thank him for his work! Remember to buy your second copy for the car.

        Kurt Godel FTW!
        (Whose work showed that data is data, and the context is selectible.)

      • by lawpoop (604919)
        Can you tell us more?
  • by paulthomas (685756) on Saturday January 31, 2009 @09:53AM (#26676557) Journal

    Exhibits A, B, C, and G will be grounds for a DMCA takedown notice. The youtube version will have the sound muted so as not to leak any copyrighted material without just compensation.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by cp.tar (871488)

      Oh, don't worry. We'll just upload it to various P2P networks and torrents mistitled. Disguised as porn, more likely than not.

      • > Oh, don't worry. We'll just upload it to various P2P networks and torrents mistitled. Disguised as porn, more likely than not.

        "Hot, barely legal action! Watch RIAA lawyers get screwed!"

        Hmm ...

        Yeah, that could work...

  • by NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) * <ray.beckermanlegal@com> on Saturday January 31, 2009 @10:52AM (#26676763) Homepage Journal
    Am I the only person to find it interesting that in this confrontation, NBC Universal -- a subsidiary of Vivendi/Universal -- is fighting against UMG Recordings -- another subsidiary of Vivendi/Universal?
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Ihmhi (1206036)

      Aren't parent companies like families? Because Thanksgiving always goes off without a hitch back home...

    • I find it amusing in the same way train wrecks are amusing... until you find out it was a passenger rail.

      • by ultranova (717540)

        I find it amusing in the same way train wrecks are amusing... until you find out it was a passenger rail.

        At which point someone uploads pics to /b/, someone else rule34s them, and someone makes a joke in poor taste on Slashdot.

    • Sony, for example, has been noted to be rather schizophrenic, also; its content producing divisions dreams of ever more secure/draconian DRM, while its consumer electronics division would prefer no DRM whatsoever (or at least, no new DRM systems which only make consumer devices more costly and complicated to produce and less user-friendly).

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by gnasher719 (869701)

        Sony, for example, has been noted to be rather schizophrenic, also; its content producing divisions dreams of ever more secure/draconian DRM, while its consumer electronics division would prefer no DRM whatsoever (or at least, no new DRM systems which only make consumer devices more costly and complicated to produce and less user-friendly).

        I bet Apple makes more money selling iPods than Sony makes selling music. And if you go back a few years in time, the music player market was there for Sony to take, or at least to have a good go at trying to take it. I have no doubt Sony could have created a really good player that would have given the iPod a run for its money, and because of their music division they threw it away.

    • by hobbit (5915)

      Hell, if my brother went off the rails, threatening the future of the whole family, I'd have a word with him, too.

    • The legal implications sound fantastic. Pretzel anyone?

    • by BlueStrat (756137)

      Am I the only person to find it interesting that in this confrontation, NBC Universal -- a subsidiary of Vivendi/Universal -- is fighting against UMG Recordings -- another subsidiary of Vivendi/Universal?

      Apparently Vivendi/Universal didn't do a thorough job of replacing all of NBCs' upper-management with the "Wights" mentioned farther up in the discussion. I'd love to be a fly on the wall at the next meeting between Vivendi/Universal and NBC top management. As they say in movie-promo blurbs; "..and hilarity

  • Brief is online (Score:5, Informative)

    by NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) * <ray.beckermanlegal@com> on Saturday January 31, 2009 @10:57AM (#26676785) Homepage Journal
    The actual brief is now online.

    Submitting parties are Associated Press, New York Times, 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.

    NBC Universal is a sister company of one of the plainiffs, UMG Recordings, since both are owned in whole or in part by Vivendi/Universal.
    • Re:Brief is online (Score:4, Insightful)

      by danwesnor (896499) on Saturday January 31, 2009 @11:25AM (#26677203)
      Above please find a list of news organizations that have never written an article about the RIAA's legal abuses, thus keeping the whole thing out of most mass media. This thing deserves to get more widespread publication than Boing Boing, Slashdot, and Ars, but unless you have drunk celebrities or dead people, mass media could care less.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by cffrost (885375)

        [...] mass media could care less.

        That's good, right? That they don't care less, even though they could?

    • by BlueStrat (756137)

      Why does this seem like a bad remake of the courtroom scene from the Jim Carey movie "Liar, Liar!"?

      Especially the part of the scene where, when opposition makes an extremely-damaging motion, Careys' lawyer-character Reeves stands and shouts; "I Object, Your Honor!!" Judge; "..And why is that, Mr. Reeves?" Carey; "Because it's devastating to my case!!!". Judge; "Overruled." Reeves; "Good call!".

      :D

      Strat

  • Why do they object to the streaming, when the judge allowed cameras in the courtroom? Is it because they object to giving it even more publicity? Like everything else the MAFIAA does, this confounds me.
    • by dhaines (323241) on Saturday January 31, 2009 @03:34PM (#26679135)

      Finally, we may be seeing the RIAA meet their perfect storm:

      - They can't quietly drop the case.
      - They've always tried to publicize their cause, but now they fight publicity.
      - The more they fight publicity, the more they get.
      - They worry video will be remixed, conveniently ignoring how it also creates an accessible authoritative record.

      It seems the RIAA has no argument here without contradicting themselves.

      This just reeks of awesome.

  • by PhreezeVi (1435807) on Saturday January 31, 2009 @04:31PM (#26679527)

    Why is it possible that the RIAA can even "ask" to not have the case tried in full view of the public? I find it extraordinary that we allow any of our national processes not related to sensitive national matters, or personal matters (rape trials etc.) to occur behind closed doors. How is it that these people so easily forget who they work for?

    Any trial dealing with business (and most importantly businesses that can lobby governments and have new laws enacted) should be 100% transparent and broadcast so that the public can stay informed. The judicial system, along with every other section of government, belongs to the people and it is ultimately the people who have to live with the decisions made. Not to mention pay for them.

    --
    PhreezeVi

    Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it.
        - George Bernard Shaw

  • Anyone want to guess that the RIAA will drop this case rather than allow even these hearings to be telecast?

It is better to give than to lend, and it costs about the same.

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