Boston (MA) – On Wednesday, Nancy Gertner, U.S. District judge granted over-the-Internet coverage for the RIAA’s hearing against Joel Tenenbaum, a Boston University student, which is set for January 22nd. The defendants are hoping to have the allegations that they shared copyrighted music over the web dismissed.
The RIAA does not want the hearing broadcast.
This ruling is monumental as Federal courts typically do not permit still pictures or live feeds from their courtrooms. The majority of states allow some types of photography, but it is the judge presiding over the case that gets to make that call.
Judge Gertner is a proponent of the use of cameras in the courtroom, and she claimed that the law absolutely does not prohibit them.
The feed will be provided by Courtroom View Network, and will then be sent to the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School, which will in turn be responsible for broadcasting the trial live.
In the past five years, the RIAA sued more than 30,000 individuals for making copyrighted music available on the Internet for others to download. Judges have had conflicting opinions as to whether actually distributing music or simply making it available is a basis for a copyright violation.
The majority of the RIAA’s cases have been settled out of court for a few thousand dollars.