Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Tenenbaum webcast update: Court postpones Jan. 22 hearing to allow appellate consideration of Internet 'narrowcast' issue

Judge Nancy Gertner, who is presiding over the record labels' infringement suit against Joel Tenenbaum, has postponed until Feb. 24 the Jan. 22 motion hearing that is the subject of a high-profile fight over whether it can be webcast. As Judge Gertner explains, "postponing the hearing will allow the First Circuit an opportunity to fully consider the petition before it," in which the labels are seeking to reverse Gertner's webcast order.

Interestingly, Gertner also makes clear that she does not object to a webcast being shown through sites in addition to that of Harvard Law School's Berkman Center, currently the exclusive Internet outlet (and also home to Tenenbaum's counsel). That particular arrangement was one of the grounds for the labels' objection to the webcast, and I agreed with them here on that issue (although I still support the webcast in principle).

One last point: it will come as no surprise that I disagree with virtually every opinion expressed on attorney Ray Beckerman's blog "Recording Industry vs. The People." However, I should point out that it's an indispensable resource for information and documents on the labels' litigation against individual infringers. For that, I give him my thanks.

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