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Prof. Nesson Ordered To Show Cause 267

Posted by kdawson
from the does-not-sound-good dept.
NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "Professor Charles Nesson, the Harvard law professor serving pro bono as counsel to the defendant in SONY BMG Music Entertainment v. Tenenbaum, has been ordered to show cause why sanctions should not be issued against him for violating the Court's orders prohibiting reproduction of the court proceedings. The order to show cause was in furtherance of the RIAA's motion for sanctions and protective order, which we discussed here yesterday. The Judge indicated that she was 'deeply concerned' about Prof. Nesson's apparent 'blatant disregard' of her order."
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Prof. Nesson Ordered To Show Cause

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  • by gubers33 (1302099) on Tuesday July 07, 2009 @03:23PM (#28613313)
    With the RIAA's blatant disregard for sanity with its imaginary damages. My imaginary friend Drop Dead Fred was more real.
  • 'deeply concerned' about Prof. Nesson's apparent 'blatant disregard" of her order.'

    When you cut off your nose to spite your face, you never look better.

    Sometimes it is better to lose the battle to win the war.

    • by wjousts (1529427)
      I don't know what it is about these cases that seem to make people want to act like dicks in the court room and then act surprised when they lose the case. Here's a tip when you're in court, no matter how unfair you think the case against you is, don't treat the judge and the court with the same contempt you have for the case. It's not going to help.
  • Maybe (Score:2, Funny)

    by Hognoxious (631665)
    Maybe the court copyrighted them?
  • To be fair... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by WiiVault (1039946) on Tuesday July 07, 2009 @03:25PM (#28613349)
    ...as a citizen I've been "deeply concerned" by the US Court system's "blatant disregard" for our rights against the RIAA/MPAA and their ilk.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by i.r.id10t (595143)

      ...as a citizen I've been "deeply concerned" by the US Court system's "blatant disregard" for our rights.

      There, fixed that for ya - just 6 words too many....

      • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

        by JCSoRocks (1142053)
        What rights? You are the property of the government. Be glad we haven't drafted you yet and are content milking you for money. ~
        • by Cowmonaut (989226)
          Not in this country, though the powers that be see determined to change that and are very patient. The entire *idea* behind the US (once everyone was properly motivated by unjust taxation and show of force) is that the People are more powerful than the Government, and that the Government is the People's play thing. This is dangerous (see "mob rule") and attempts have been made to mitigate that.
  • by Trailer Trash (60756) on Tuesday July 07, 2009 @03:28PM (#28613413) Homepage

    I'm deeply concerned that the court is being the RIAA's pawn and making orders that have no other purpose than to protect a slimy group of companies' public image...

  • by Steve1952 (651150) on Tuesday July 07, 2009 @03:31PM (#28613445)
    To me, Nesson's conduct is right on the line between brilliant tactics, and just plain nuts. I can see it either way.
    • by davecb (6526) *

      I think he's deeply involved in a worldview where pretty much everyone looks evil. This means he'll be tempted to treat opposing council, grumpy judges and uppity clients like they're evil. That's a bad thing.

      The test for crazy as a fox vs just crazy is to see if he's still got a sense of humor. If he's willing to make fun of himself, assume fox. If not, crazy.

      --dave

      • by causality (777677) on Tuesday July 07, 2009 @05:12PM (#28614957)

        I think he's deeply involved in a worldview where pretty much everyone looks evil. This means he'll be tempted to treat opposing council, grumpy judges and uppity clients like they're evil. That's a bad thing.

        Pretty much everyone DOES look evil, and properly so. Mostly because they care more about the approval of others than their own integrity, are petty, easily upset, manipulative, domineering towards those who are weaker than they but meek towards those who are stronger, and make excuses for doing things that they know are wrong if they want to do them badly enough. You can file all of that away under "not really leading your own life but instead being far too subject to outside influences which do not have your best interests at heart." It's evil, though it's not malicious as most people don't understand why this is wrong or the tremendous suffering it leads to and they think it's normal because it is common.

        The way you said "treating opposing council, grumpy judges, and uppity clients like they're evil" reveals how normal people think this is. If you are not part of the problem I just summarized, then you treat everyone by the same standard. That standard is simple and also hard to explain but the basic idea is "if they force you to defend yourself in some way (i.e. legally in this case), then do it reasonably, without hesitation or malice, while regretting that things had to be that way. Otherwise, treat them with compassion and loving-kindness not because they do or don't deserve it, but because of who you are." The reason why returning evil for evil does not work is that it only increases the amount of evil in the world. The problem is that people can see how self-evident that is, and then they go and get the idea that being "good" means being a push-over or a doormat. There's a right way to stand up for yourself. You can do it while taking on none of the negative traits of those who made you do so.

  • by module0000 (882745) on Tuesday July 07, 2009 @03:31PM (#28613451)

    Check the mp3 URL's on TFA. Jury tainting is a bullshit excuse. They know damn well if the public knew the facts about what was going on in our courtroom[we pay for]: we would be outside with pitchforks and torches waiting to lynch the plaintiff.

    It's a horrible attempt at keeping the taxpayers in the dark about this whole ordeal.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by nine-times (778537)

      Listening now, but given that you have a strong opinion on the matter, do you care to explain? In fact, does anyone knowledgeable care to explain what arguments were made about these recordings, why they should or shouldn't be public, etc.? I scanned the linked articles and nothing caught my eye as a clear explanation of what's going on.

    • I use trackballs. They're much nicer to use than regular mice, requiring no smooth surface (I don't have a desk) and can be corded without the cord interfering with their mobility.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Lumpy (12016)

      Hell with lynching plaintiffs. Time to lynch judges.

      More judges will stop being asshats if they realize the public will rise up and burn them in the courtyard.

  • Kind of expected (Score:5, Insightful)

    by xbytor (215790) on Tuesday July 07, 2009 @03:34PM (#28613499) Homepage

    The professor had to expect something like this. It's like playing chess. He'll respond with his next move, etc...

    It's interesting to watch this and the Camara case unfold. Much better than 'Lost' or Reality TV because the results actually do effect me.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 07, 2009 @03:34PM (#28613501)

    These professors (this one and the city of heroes professor) are bypassing rules to basically focus on the x,y, or z. There are rules for engaging 2 or more people, societies and most definitely the judicial systems. Trying to focus on the abstract with out playing by the rules gets you kicked out of the game. It's no real loss when you get kicked out of an MMO by the player base you can move on.

    However, when you mess up a court case you start setting precedents, and screwing a lot more people than yourself and your client. Pissing off a judge which this Prof. has done before is not going to bode well. Maybe he should stick to academia.

    • by Doctor_Jest (688315) on Tuesday July 07, 2009 @04:41PM (#28614523)
      The problem here is "pissing off" the judge. Why should that be possible? I know the judge is only human after all, but for fuck's sake, now we have to worry the judge "doesn't like you" in a case? Justice indeed.

      I am not excusing the professor(s) conduct in this matter, but I am not excusing a judge who should be putting his/her bias in the closet next to the raincoats either. Judges who act with willful contempt for either party (or favor... take the DeCSS case as an example) in a case should be thrown off the bench (preferably from a great distance up...) Bias has no purpose in black robes... Justice is blind.... and it should be a Vulcan. :) The trouble is, this sort of thing is difficult to prove... and even more difficult to get anything done about when you do have evidence... *sigh* I need a beer. :)
  • End It (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 07, 2009 @03:34PM (#28613513)

    Disconnect from the RIAA.
    - Do not provide them with money, directly or indirectly.
    - Do not consume their products, legally or illegally.

    As a bad faith actor, the RIAA must be exiled from our community.

    Only consume music that can be purchased directly from the artists themselves.

    Convince two others to do the same.

    • Disconnect from the RIAA. - Do not provide them with money, directly or indirectly. - Do not consume their products, legally or illegally.

      As a bad faith actor, the RIAA must be exiled from our community.

      Only consume music that can be purchased directly from the artists themselves.

      Convince two others to do the same.

      This might actually solve the real problem. It would also send the right message.

      • by Amazing Quantum Man (458715) on Tuesday July 07, 2009 @04:06PM (#28613981) Homepage

        Only consume music that can be purchased directly from the artists themselves.

        Convince two others to do the same.

        This might actually solve the real problem. It would also send the right message.

        Nope. What will happen should this actually occur, is that the RIAA will go crying to Congress: "The Evil Content Pirates(tm) are stealing our profits!!!!! We need even nastier laws!!!"

        • by causality (777677)

          Only consume music that can be purchased directly from the artists themselves.

          Convince two others to do the same.

          This might actually solve the real problem. It would also send the right message.

          Nope. What will happen should this actually occur, is that the RIAA will go crying to Congress: "The Evil Content Pirates(tm) are stealing our profits!!!!! We need even nastier laws!!!"

          I was tempted to ask if you even read the comment, but I suppose that isn't very reasonable. So I'll ask you an alternate question: why do you think the part about "not using ("consuming") their products, neither legally nor illegally" would fail to address that? It would help me to understand you if you can be as specific as possible.

          So far, the fact that piracy does occur and is taking place has been the main excuse behind many of these bad laws. Personally, I think their failure to handle digital

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Pranadevil2k (687232)

            You are correct. The RIAA does indeed have at least some argument on the grounds that music piracy does actually happen, and that is why they have pursued legal action against so many people. The thing you might not have come to understand when you made your comment was that the RIAA will continue to blame piracy for all of their problems whether it really is happening or not. They have brought people to court that never used a computer, let alone downloaded anything. They can't seem to decide how much mone

        • by nine-times (778537) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Tuesday July 07, 2009 @04:41PM (#28614519) Homepage
          Yeah, given the attitude you hear from some congressmen, I wouldn't be surprised if they just taxed us all and fed the money to record labels without regard to whether they earned the money. And somehow the action will be praised as a defense of "free market ideals", since it's believed to be a god-given right for large companies to make huge profits.
        • by Yvanhoe (564877)
          Which is good as well. The Pirate Party needs to get a two-digits score in the polls...
  • I love how... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by selven (1556643) on Tuesday July 07, 2009 @03:48PM (#28613711)
    this process is so clean and efficient when the RIAA's the victim but when the RIAA lawyers break rules this stuff, if it happens, gets dragged on and on until it's forgotten.
    • Just look at the legal tactics employed in the various cases.
      SCO (like the RIAA) needs to be put out of its misery but they refise to lie down & die.
      The RIAA tactics to delay & avoid giving real evidence especially about the real damages incurred is (IMHO) straight out of the SCO textbook.

      I wish judges had the nerve to standup to this obvious bullshit & lies and tell them to stop wasting the courts time and get to the nitty gritty. But judges (in the USA) are AFAIK, elected and have to run campa

  • by ground.zero.612 (1563557) on Tuesday July 07, 2009 @04:09PM (#28614033)
    I've seen some news regarding some lawsuits over ringtones being "a public performance." I wonder what would happen if we printed off 1000 copies of the RIAA's Top 10 Billboard Chart songs and gathered around the courthouse each break to sing these copyrighted songs publicly.

    DDoS the judicial system by doing public performances of all these copyrighted songs. There's no fucking way the courts could keep up with even 100 of these new cases a day...
    • I think a public performance of "Happy Birthday" on the 4th of July would have been fitting.

    • by causality (777677) on Tuesday July 07, 2009 @04:41PM (#28614527)

      I've seen some news regarding some lawsuits over ringtones being "a public performance." I wonder what would happen if we printed off 1000 copies of the RIAA's Top 10 Billboard Chart songs and gathered around the courthouse each break to sing these copyrighted songs publicly. DDoS the judicial system by doing public performances of all these copyrighted songs. There's no fucking way the courts could keep up with even 100 of these new cases a day...

      What you're advocating there is civil disobedience. That's very much in line with both Henry David Thoreau and Mahatma Ghandi and how they handled injustice. There is one thing however, that must be kept in mind: both of those men fully expected to be prosecuted and were prepared to pay that price.

  • It's enough for any professor.
  • by westlake (615356) on Tuesday July 07, 2009 @04:54PM (#28614691)

    The Judge indicated that she was 'deeply concerned' about Prof. Nesson's apparent 'blatant disregard' of her order."

    The many woes of the geek in court:

    1 The lawyer who tells him what only what he wants to hear.

    2 The pro bono lawyer with an axe to grind:
    "You too can become a poster child for the EFF!"

    3 The law professor who thinks he would have made a hotshot trial attorney.

    4 The defendant who also thinks he would have made a hotshot trial attorney.

    5 The lawyer with an unholy gift for pissing off a judge.

    6 The defendant who takes the stand.
    Only a geek could unleash such a steaming pile of shit - and never catch a whiff of it. "Tar and feathers ain't good enough for him, boys!"

    7 The lawyer who ups the stakes each time he loses a round. The defendant who comes along for the ride.

    The Supreme Court accepts perhaps 150 cases a year for oral argument. You just might make the cut.
      You might also be the big winner in the tri-state lotto.

  • by ScrewMaster (602015) * on Tuesday July 07, 2009 @04:57PM (#28614743)
    Ray, can you provide any insight into what Professor Nesson is trying to accomplish? On the face of it, he seems to be shooting himself in both feet.
  • by kenp2002 (545495) on Wednesday July 08, 2009 @08:21AM (#28620803) Homepage Journal

    The public should have a right to view the proceedings of the court. As risk of judicial bias, due to party affiliation and political contributions; in addition to the high profile nature of the case, the additional access and disclousure is necessary to secure the confidence of the population at large.

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