Blown To Bits

The Recording Industry Gets Nasty

Friday, January 23rd, 2009 by Harry Lewis

IANAL (I am not a lawyer) and I have no idea if Professor Charles Nesson is going to prevail in his defense of Joel Tenenbaum and his counterclaims that the Digital Millennium Copyright Act is unconstitutional. But the recording industry sure is taking him seriously. When Nesson asked for a hearing in the case to be webcast, the RIAA reacted with horror — rather oddly, as the judge noted in granting Nesson’s request, given that the RIAA claims that it wants publicity of its anti-piracy campaign. Now the judge has delayed the hearing so the RIAA can appeal to a higher court her ruling about webcasting the proceedings.

Meanwhile, the RIAA sent Nesson a letter (pdf) demanding that he drop a request for a deposition by one of the RIAA’s former lawyers, stating that it would ask the court to sanction him if he didn’t comply. Nesson’s classic reply, quoted verbatim:

our motion stands

we welcome your opposition

And the next day the RIAA went ahead and filed court papers stating that “Defendant‚Äôs Motion has no factual or legal basis whatsoever” and asking Nesson to pay for their costs in opposing it (as apparently the law provides in the case of certain patently gratuitous motions).

There are serious and important issues at stake here, as we discuss in Chapter 6 of Blown to Bits. But on top of that, the lawyers’ duel makes good theatre.

One Response to “The Recording Industry Gets Nasty”

  1. Blown to Bits » Blog Archive » Battle of the Experts in the Jammie Thomas Case Says:

    […] by downloading that had actually gone to trial, prior to the case of Joel Tenenbaum in which Professor Charles Nesson is active. The Thomas case, which we discuss on page 198, is being re-tried after the judge threw out the […]