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Defendants in Music-Industry Lawsuit Ask for Trial to Be Broadcast Online


Campaigning law prof Charlie Nesson wants the whole world to see how the RIAA shakes down students, so he’s asked for the proceedings to be webcast. Apparently, the RIAA wants to hide under a rock…

RSS logoA Harvard Law professor representing some students sued by the recording industry for illegally downloading music has filed a motion to broadcast online the proceedings of two cases being heard by the U.S. District Court in Massachusetts.The professor, Charles R. Nesson, argues in the motion that to stream the court proceedings over the Internet — or as the students put it in their request, ‘admit the Internet into the courtroom’ — would help the public understand the legal issues at play in the industry’s lawsuits against thousands of computer users, many of whom are college students.


The plaintiff, the Recording Industry Association of America, which announced last month that it would stop bringing new cases against students in favor of working with Internet Service Providers to take action against repeat offenders, has described its lawsuits as an educational effort focused on illuminating the consequences of illegally sharing music — something Mr. Nesson takes a jab at in the motion.

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

Cara Duckworth, a spokeswoman for the RIAA, declined to comment.

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