Music downloading hearing can't be streamed online

April 16, 2009 By RUSSELL CONTRERAS , Associated Press Writer

(AP) -- Oral arguments in a music downloading lawsuit filed by the recording industry against a Boston University student can't be streamed online, a federal appeals court ruled Thursday.

The 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a previous decision that allowed online streaming and said it was "bound to enforce" rules that close federal courtrooms in Massachusetts to webcasting and other forms of broadcast.

Charles Nesson, a Harvard Law School professor representing student Joel Tenenbaum, had requested that a courtroom video service be allowed to transmit a hearing to the school's Berkman Center for Internet and Society, which wanted to stream it unedited on its Web site with free access.

U.S. District Judge Nancy Gertner approved the request in January.

But the Recording Industry Association of America appealed the decision, arguing that it violated federal court guidelines on cameras and threatened its ability to get a fair trial.

The agreed with the recording industry and said Gertner's ruling was based on "incorrect interpretation" of the law.

"This is not a case about free speech writ large, nor about guaranty of a fair trial," the court wrote, but about "the governance of the federal court."

Nesson did not return phone calls after the ruling.

RIAA spokeswoman Cara Duckworth said the organization was pleased with the appeals court's decision and looked forward to moving on to the case.

Fourteen news organizations, including The Associated Press and The New York Times Co., had urged the appeals court to allow online streaming.

In a concurring opinion, Judge Kermit Lipez agreed that Gertner erred in allowing webcasting of oral arguments. But Lipez wrote that existing rules prohibiting online streaming should be re-examined.

Tenenbaum, of Providence, R.I., is accused of downloading at least seven songs and making 816 music files available for distribution on the Kazaa file-sharing network in 2004.

He offered to settle the case for $500, but music companies rejected that, ultimately demanding $12,000. He could be forced to pay $1 million if it is determined his alleged actions were willful.

The has said in court documents that its efforts to enforce the copyright law are protected under the First Amendment.

In December, the group said it had abandoned its policy of suing people for sharing songs protected by copyright and will work with Internet service providers to cut abusers' access if they ignore repeated warnings.

The recording association said it will still continue to litigate outstanding cases.

©2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Explore further: Court Denies Vonage Bid for Patent Case Retrial

Related Stories

Court Denies Vonage Bid for Patent Case Retrial

May 4, 2007

A U.S. appeals court denies a request by Internet phone company Vonage Holdings that it order a retrial in the patent infringement case brought against it by Verizon Communications.

Court rules against Bush administration

March 20, 2006

A federal appeals court has overturned a clean-air regulation issued by the Bush administration, ruling in favor of environmental advocacy groups.

U.S. court rules against medical marijuana

March 14, 2007

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday that an individual's right to medical marijuana does not supersede the Controlled Substances Act.

Yahoo! loses French Nazi goods case

January 13, 2006

Yahoo! lost trying to get a U.S. court to intervene over a French ruling regarding the sale of Nazi memorabilia on its Web site.

Kazaa hit by file-sharing crackdown

September 6, 2005

Following in the footsteps of the U.S. courts, an Australian federal judge Monday ruled against the file-swapping network Kazaa for making it easier for Web users to download copyrighted music, but he denied allegations by ...

Recommended for you

Swiss unveil stratospheric solar plane

December 7, 2016

Just months after two Swiss pilots completed a historic round-the-world trip in a Sun-powered plane, another Swiss adventurer on Wednesday unveiled a solar plane aimed at reaching the stratosphere.

Solar panels repay their energy 'debt': study

December 6, 2016

The climate-friendly electricity generated by solar panels in the past 40 years has all but cancelled out the polluting energy used to produce them, a study said Tuesday.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.