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RIAA Seeks Web Removal of Courtroom Audio

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 5 years ago | from the afraid-people-might-see-what-they-are-up-to dept.

The Courts 138

suraj.sun writes to tell us that the RIAA has asked a federal judge to order the removal of what they are calling "unauthorized and illegal recordings" by Harvard University's Charles Nesson of pretrial hearings and depositions in a file-sharing lawsuit. "The case concerns former Boston University student Joel Tenenbaum, who Nesson is defending in an RIAA civil lawsuit accusing him of file-sharing copyrighted music. Jury selection is scheduled in three weeks, in what is shaping up to be the RIAA's second of about 30,000 cases against individuals to reach trial. The labels, represented by the RIAA, on Monday cited a series of examples in which they accuse Nesson of violating court orders and privacy laws by posting audio to his blog or to the Berkman site."

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RIAA is right on this one. (4, Informative)

pwnies (1034518) | more than 5 years ago | (#28600257)

As much as I dislike the RIAA, the law is with this one in this case. Even worse is that Nesson has acknowledged the fact,

He labeled as âoegobbledygookâ the felony privacy law that is punishable by up to five years in prison.

but has blatantly said that he's going to refuse to comply with what the law says. That's like acknowledging that your source of evidence for convictions gets its information illegally [arstechnica.com] , but you still choose to use it. Not that I know anyone who'd do that, but just saying.

Re:RIAA is right on this one. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28600331)

I don't see how information presented in court is somehow private information.
It should simply be public information to begin with.

If all court information was private, what stops someone from being sentenced with this private information?
IE: Defendant is charged with a crime, court starts trial, no information on trial, bam -- defendant is guilty ??

So why so much privacy?
RIAA trying to hide the payouts or what?

Re:RIAA is right on this one. (5, Insightful)

fishbowl (7759) | more than 5 years ago | (#28600763)

>I don't see how information presented in court is somehow private information.

There are situations where disclosures can obstruct justice, harm individuals, or violate rights.

Re:RIAA is right on this one. (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 5 years ago | (#28602499)

But this isn't one of the.

WIKILEAKS!!!

Re:RIAA is right on this one. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28602733)

And that's why you have sealed documents/evidence and "in camera" (no recording) court sessions, why do you think there is still a market for sketch artists who cover trials? Personally I think we should mount a camera in every court room and stream it to a youtube site, if something needs to be private (i.e. a child is testifying) then the judge can suspend recording as needed. If I can legally sit in on almost any trial I think we should extend this with technology.

Re:RIAA is right on this one. (1)

TheoMurpse (729043) | more than 5 years ago | (#28604267)

Just a minor correction: "in camera" [wikipedia.org] means "in chambers," not "no recording." I made a similar mistake my first year of law school.

Re:RIAA is right on this one. (1)

Gerzel (240421) | more than 5 years ago | (#28601249)

Still there are many cases where court information should be kept private. Thus the mechanisms for keeping information private at some times while generally having the proceedings be public should be put and kept in place. Our current US system could use a reworking on those grounds.

Re:RIAA is right on this one. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28602475)

Are you retarded? No really. Do you have some sort of cognitive deficiency that prevents your brain from functioning at a high level? That's the only conclusion I can draw from your statement. Either that or public schools have slid do far downhill that any measure of critical thought is discouraged.

Try it. Think critically about your own statement. Think about the huge depth and scope of situations that might occur in a courtroom. Then think if your statement is still a reasonable one.

Re:RIAA is right on this one. (1)

selven (1556643) | more than 5 years ago | (#28600389)

Now we can say "they violated 50 times as many court orders as we did". In a way, it's much more satisfying than 50-0.

Re:RIAA is right on this one. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28605385)

At 50-0 would be better: "they violated infinite times as many court orders as we did"

  Cheers, The math nazi.

Re:RIAA is right on this one. (4, Interesting)

Gat0r30y (957941) | more than 5 years ago | (#28600397)

âoeI certainly donâ(TM)t agree that I am violating any law.â

And his justification:

âoeThat is so outrageously unconstitutional that I would prefer myself to honor the United States Constitution and take my chances that recording a conversation with a judge in a federal case and opposing lawyers is somehow in violation of a Massachusetts statute that makes me a felon,â Nesson said.

While I can certainly see how perhaps there are cases where this sort of behavior would indeed be very bad, in this particular case I think Nesson is right.

Re:RIAA is right on this one. (4, Insightful)

bdenton42 (1313735) | more than 5 years ago | (#28600427)

As long as the information was recorded _in_ Federal court, on US government property, I don't think a Massachusetts statute could apply. But outside of that he's screwed.

Re:RIAA is right on this one. (1)

Gat0r30y (957941) | more than 5 years ago | (#28600581)

He is a lawyer, and this means he will be spending more time in court. Perhaps only for notoriety, but in the long run I suspect he won't be screwed.

Re:RIAA is right on this one. (4, Informative)

bdenton42 (1313735) | more than 5 years ago | (#28600679)

The judges order http://www.scribd.com/doc/16501242/Gertner-Order-of-61609-re-Nesson-Tactics [scribd.com] has some insight: "The Defendant is permitted to record the remaining depositions in any manner consistent with the requirements of Fed. R. Civ. P. 30(b)(3). The parties are cautioned, however, that the decision to publicize any recording, on the internet or otherwise, may be regarded as an effort to taint the jury pool in advance of trial."

Re:RIAA is right on this one. (2, Insightful)

TheoMurpse (729043) | more than 5 years ago | (#28604287)

In some instances, state substantive statutes can apply in federal court if the cause of action giving rise to the lawsuit is a state statute and the federal court has jurisdiction only through diversity of the parties. However, since this case arises out of copyright, there is federal subject matter jurisdiction rather than diversity jurisdiction, so you're right: a Massachusetts statute should not apply in this case.

Re:RIAA is right on this one. (3, Insightful)

IamTheRealMike (537420) | more than 5 years ago | (#28600523)

Maybe so. But seriously, at some point, people have to start following the law.

I mean, campaigning for the law to change is fine. I think nearly all of us would support some kind of copyright reform. Even me, and I am by no means opposed to DRM or the idea of copyright, but reconsidering the duration seems reasonable to me.

But in any civilized society the rule of law must hold. Yes, even when the law is stupid. This is why we have courts that can strike down bad laws. At some point, I have to sympathize with the RIAA - they are in fact just trying to get the current laws enforced. Doesn't seem too unreasonable. They face people like Nesson who blatantly ignore the law (since when is ignorance or "i don't agree" going to let you get away with that?), opponents who lie under oath (jammie thomas), a widespread belief that they don't deserve to get paid for their work, and more. I don't personally understand why these sorts of court actions need to be secret, but I assume there is a reason for it. Nesson is just being an ass if he deliberately ignores court orders.

Re:RIAA is right on this one. (5, Insightful)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 5 years ago | (#28600643)

But in any civilized society the rule of law must hold. Yes, even when the law is stupid. This is why we have courts that can strike down bad laws.

Just how do you think bad laws get struck down without people breaking them?

Causation vs. Correlation (1)

PleaseFearMe (1549865) | more than 5 years ago | (#28603477)

Excellent example. Bad laws are bad because it is possible to break them even when the lawbreaker is doing the right thing. However, striking a bad law down does not require an actual test case to show that a bad law is bad. A test case may help, but it is not necessary. Therefore, it is complete to say that bad laws get struck down when the legislative branch smartens up and changes them. The legislative branch may smarten up by seeing test cases of people breaking them, or it may just smarten up by thinking a law through and not seeing any test cases. Either way, bad laws get struck down.

Re:Causation vs. Correlation (1)

Dog-Cow (21281) | more than 5 years ago | (#28606133)

The U.S. Supreme Court will not judge a law, they only judge cases. Thus, in the U.S., the only way to challenge a Federal law is to break it. I imagine the same is true in most, if not all, of the States.

Re:RIAA is right on this one. (4, Insightful)

Gat0r30y (957941) | more than 5 years ago | (#28600709)

This is why we have courts that can strike down bad laws.

Indeed, someone has to be willing to break a bad law, and go to court in order for it to get heard.

Re:RIAA is right on this one. (5, Insightful)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 5 years ago | (#28600747)

But in any civilized society the rule of law must hold. Yes, even when the law is stupid. This is why we have courts that can strike down bad laws.

Yet the courts can't do that until someone challenges the law, and the only practical way to do that is to violate it.

So, by your standards, reform of stupid, bad laws only comes from those who refuse to be civilized. Perhaps you should be more gracious to those barbarians who would take up that fight for the betterment of society at their own risk and expense.

Courts strike down Unconstitutional laws, not bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28600929)


This is why we have courts that can strike down bad laws.

Courts can't and shouldn't strike down "bad" laws or even stupid laws. They can strike down Unconstitutional laws, but unconstitutional and bad aren't 100% overlapping.

Re:RIAA is right on this one. (4, Informative)

Abreu (173023) | more than 5 years ago | (#28601005)

"In a constitutional republic like the United States, people often think that the proper response to an unjust law is to try to use the political process to change the law, but to obey and respect the law until it is changed. But if the law is itself clearly unjust, and the lawmaking process is not designed to quickly obliterate such unjust laws, then Thoreau says the law deserves no respect and it should be broken."

Henry David Thoreau

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civil_Disobedience_(Thoreau) [wikipedia.org]

Re:RIAA is right on this one. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28601245)

Did Thoreau always refer to himself in the third person?

Re:RIAA is right on this one. (0, Troll)

Dogun (7502) | more than 5 years ago | (#28603605)

Quoting crazy people who live in the boonies and drink their own urine because they're too good for the rest of society is well and good, but original thought has its benefits as well.

Re:RIAA is right on this one. (1)

shiftless (410350) | more than 5 years ago | (#28604317)

So how much original thought did it take for you to come up with your ad hominem attack on Mr. Thoreau?

Re:RIAA is right on this one. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28601053)

When the law is repugnant to the citizens that are subject to the law, it is the law that needs to change.

Just remember the three boxes of democrocy

1. Ballot box

2. Jury box

3. Ammo box.

I hope the second box wins this one

The soap box (2, Insightful)

lmckayjo (532783) | more than 5 years ago | (#28602657)

While your three boxes are neat and tidy, there is one box you've left out that everyone in a representative democracy is supposedly guaranteed above all others - the soap box.

This one is most important here, since the jury hasn't yet been formed, there is nothing in the legislative pipeline that will likely reform copyright if some person or persons is elected, and of course killing people or threatening to do so is way out of line in this case.

Basically what is happening seems to be a conflict between:

  1) somebody's right to limit others' free speech involved in suing (in front of a jury eventually?) to protect their claimed legal copyright to limit others' free speech, and

  2)free speech itself.

Re:RIAA is right on this one. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28601161)

The rule of law is a limitation on government, not on citizens. It means that we are ruled by laws, rather than being ruled by individual men. The government must never depart from that ideal - in both theory and practice, it must rule according to the written laws and not according to the whims of the individuals employed as agents of the government. The rule of law has nothing to do with citizens and their choice to obey or disobey the written law - it has only to do with how the government rules in their cases.

Check wikipedia - it has it right.

Re:RIAA is right on this one. (5, Interesting)

SplashMyBandit (1543257) | more than 5 years ago | (#28601341)

Consider past history. If people obeyed all laws, no matter how ridiculous, then there would be no USA (the separatists defied the dictates of Britain). At one time in Europe the Church had enforceable legal powers which didn't work so well for Galileo and others. The Civil Rights movement in the 60's was founded on disobedience (breaking laws) to highlight how laws were unjustly hurting the progression of society.

Today is no different (present history). You can be pro-business without having to accept and obey laws that a large number of people consider as detrimental to society as a whole. The ability to share 'digitally' has removed the barriers that physical sharing required of 'property'. Sharing music and movies ought to be as illegal as it is to read a book or newspaper in your local library. The reality is that RIAA and MPAA are simply Luddites resisting inevitable change whereby the middleman are removed between the producers (bloggers and musicians) and consumers.

Re:RIAA is right on this one. (4, Interesting)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 5 years ago | (#28602437)

This is why we have courts that can strike down bad laws.

How does a court do that? I am not gay, and have not been harmed by any laws that restrict marriage to be between a man and a woman. How do I have legal standing to strike down those laws with a court case? It's A vs. B. Who is the A and who is the B?

Courts don't strike down "bad laws". People that have been harmed by "bad laws" get prosecuted and appeal their cases based on the incorrectness and/or unconstitutionality of the law that was applied against them. It's more often than not done this way. Somebody has to be harmed first.

Perhaps you are thinking about the legislative branch and that politicians can champion their cause and change the laws outside of the courts.

But in any civilized society the rule of law must hold. Yes, even when the law is stupid.

At one point Kings could just throw someone away into cells with deplorable conditions without any due process. I am sure they considered their society "civilized". Anytime someone says a society is civilized I tend to think it is a value judgment.

When laws are unjust, do not represent people fairly, favor one race over another, are abused, etc. it is the DUTY of a citizen to fight such laws tooth and nail. If that means ignoring them or violating them, so be it. Sometimes that is the only way to challenge a law within society.

According to your logic, African-Americans should have just kept away from the Whites-Only drinking fountains, since that was the civilized thing to do and they should respect "stupid" laws.

The actions of Nesson are irrelevant to your arguments. It does not matter what laws are being broken, your claims that laws must be followed blindly is shortsighted and more than a little offensive to those who feel wronged by unjust laws.

I don't personally understand why these sorts of court actions need to be secret, but I assume there is a reason for it.

You may trust that the government has our best interests, but I do not. My position should not be considered unreasonable either. Having a highly transparent government is a safety feature against corruption and abuses.

What you or I think about Nesson does not matter, and I will not state whether or not I agree with his actions. I simply take issue with your assertion that we should always follows laws regardless. I choose what laws to follow. I don't hide either. I look forward to the day when I can confront it in a courtroom. However, until then I must wait since my only other option is to rely and have "faith" in my legislators.

Re:RIAA is right on this one. (2, Informative)

Will.Woodhull (1038600) | more than 5 years ago | (#28603505)

This is a Federal Court.

The RIAA is attempting to get it to enforce a State law. Not a Federal Law.

Nesson is saying that he thinks the State law is so badly written that it is unconstitutional on its face. But that doesn't matter. Because...

The Judge is saying that Nesson has to comply specifically with the Federal law in this regard, which does not prohibit what he has been doing so long as he does it according to its provisions. And the Judge tells him what he already knows: he will be in deep doo-doo if his publishing of these matters makes it difficult to seat an unbiased jury. What the Judge has NOT said, in a VERY LOUD WAY, is also important: there was no mention at all of the Massachusetts law that the RIAA states Nesson is violating. Federal Judge, Federal Court: Federal law trumps State law. That's as it should be.

Basically the RIAA does not have an argument here that they can bring before the Federal Court. They could charge Nesson in a State Court with violating State law. That would lead to a hell of mess with regard to jurisdiction between the Federal Government and the State... in 225+ years, the Feds and the States have worked very hard together to avoid having to face that kind of mess. No one wants to go there. Some things are best left undefined, such as lines of sovereignty and jurisdiction between Federal agencies and the States that are hosting them.

Re:RIAA is right on this one. (1)

rohan972 (880586) | more than 5 years ago | (#28605415)

I don't personally understand why these sorts of court actions need to be secret, but I assume there is a reason for it.

The reason given is because it may taint the jury pool. When knowing facts makes the jury unsuitable, you've got a problem (Due process arguments notwithstanding). It's also because if effective defence of this type of court action becomes widely known, the RIAA will find it harder to get their way.

In short, it had to be secret so the justice can be more easily perverted.

Re:RIAA is right on this one. (3, Insightful)

ae1294 (1547521) | more than 5 years ago | (#28605713)

The reason given is because it may taint the jury pool. When knowing facts makes the jury unsuitable, you've got a problem (Due process arguments notwithstanding). It's also because if effective defence of this type of court action becomes widely known, the RIAA will find it harder to get their way.

But how does the RIAA's public campaign telling everyone that downloading a song is stealing and kills artists not tainting the jury pool? Why do they get to spread half-truths all day and everyone else has to follow the rules? Maybe a judge should issue a gag-order on the RIAA since they are now in court asking juries to give them $80,000 per song do they can feed the starving artists.

Re:RIAA is right on this one. (0, Flamebait)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 5 years ago | (#28605589)

Oh, go sit at the back of the court with the rest of your kind.

Re:RIAA is right on this one. (1)

CorporateSuit (1319461) | more than 5 years ago | (#28600537)

I agree. I can understand the defendant wanting the court's proceedings to remain private (so those who are ruled as 'not guilty' can keep their reputations untarnished by false allegations) but in all but sexual cases, the prosecution should be in favor of an open trial -- ESPECIALLY when it comes to copyright/trademark defense.

Re:RIAA is right on this one. (4, Insightful)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 5 years ago | (#28600407)

Sometimes, the law is wrong.

Re:RIAA is right on this one. (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28600463)

It's not quite the same. Nesson is saying that the law is unconstitutional and is challenging it. By doing so, if they choose to prosecute, he can get the law changed/repealed.

Re:RIAA is right on this one. (3, Informative)

Rand310 (264407) | more than 5 years ago | (#28600685)

Exactly. This is part of our system. He is challenging what he feels to be an unjust law. Let it be upheld or stricken as to its judicial merits.
 
It is interesting that Massachusetts wiretapping has a two-party consent standard, whereas federal law only requires single-party consent.
 
  US Telephone Recording Laws [wikipedia.org]

Re:RIAA is right on this one. (1)

WNight (23683) | more than 5 years ago | (#28606669)

That's one of those laws I break. If I can hear it, I can record it. It's a law of nature and trumps two-party consent.

I wonder how crazy the legal circumstances could be. If I recorded a phone-threat (without the threatener's permission) could I use it in court? How egregiously wrong could this get? Unable to prove self-defense?

Re:RIAA is right on this one. (5, Insightful)

omeomi (675045) | more than 5 years ago | (#28600489)

If he acknowledges that he is violating the law, and will continue to do so regardless, he is also seemingly willing to accept any consequences that result from his actions, so I see no problem. He is partaking in Civil Disobedience. Part of that is accepting the consequences of your actions. Not that I agree or disagree with his decision. If he has a constitutional argument, maybe he'll be able to change the law, but I'm sure he realizes he's making a gamble.

Re:RIAA is right on this one. (2, Insightful)

mysidia (191772) | more than 5 years ago | (#28602407)

He may be conducting what would be a violation of the Massachusetts privacy law.

However, Massachusetts' laws do not govern the proceedings of federal courts, or courtroom activities. Because the state legislature has no legal jurisdiction in a federal court room.

A state can no more ban a practice like recording in a federal court room, than they can make a law that no rulings by the court may undermine or overrule laws of the state of Massachusetts.

Re:RIAA is right on this one. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28602455)

How about just returning to Daniel J. Cloherty (via email of course dcloherty@dwyercollora.com) the 5 MP3 he wants off the web.

Re:RIAA is right on this one. (1)

Will.Woodhull (1038600) | more than 5 years ago | (#28603265)

As much as I dislike the RIAA, the law is with this one in this case.

I'm not so sure that this is true.

Is a state law (Massachusetts law making it a felony to record a conversation without prior consent of all parties) binding on a Federal Court? I think probably not; I think a Federal Court would be in the same circumstance as a VA Medical Center or other Federal reservation: by policy it would comply with local laws to the extent that these do not interfere with its mission, but there is no agreement that State law is enforceable on a Federal agency operating in the State. My understanding is that both states and the Federal government have historically gone to considerable length to avoid resolving the ambiguities of sovereignty.

I think that the RIAA might need to do this as a separate action in a Massachusetts Court, since it is a Massachusetts law. Which would probably lead to a jurisdictional nightmare. Which is exactly the kind of thing that the courts have been attempting to avoid for 225 years or so. Some legal questions are better left undefined.

Re:RIAA is right on this one. (1)

the simurgh (1327825) | more than 5 years ago | (#28603733)

Joel Tenenbaum becuase of his lawyers actions has grounds for a retrial i'll give him that.

Re:RIAA is right on this one. (1)

argent (18001) | more than 5 years ago | (#28604787)

Mod parent up... oh, it's already at 5. :)

Yep, I can't imagine what the hell he's thinking. The standard of consent for recording conversations is pretty much always "at least one side has to know". Plus, he's illegally recording the judge who's going to be ruling on his case?

The only thing that makes ANY sense at all is if he's TRYING to get the case thrown out as a mistrial. But I can't see that possibly working in his favor.

They probably want to get a license fee for it... (0, Redundant)

Yaa 101 (664725) | more than 5 years ago | (#28600287)

n/t

Re:They probably want to get a license fee for it. (2, Funny)

oneirophrenos (1500619) | more than 5 years ago | (#28600325)

Coming up next, RIAA applies for patent for human voice. All speech will be licensed, $0.99 a sentence.

Re:They probably want to get a license fee for it. (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 5 years ago | (#28600475)

Coming up next, RIAA applies for patent for human voice. All speech will be licensed, $0.99 a sentence.

If that happens, I'd say the vow of silence will come back into vogue very quickly.

Re:They probably want to get a license fee for it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28601185)

They already have copyrighted silence. In the cover of 4'33" by John Cage, it claims the piece can be played for any length of time, with any instrument, including the human voice.

Re:They probably want to get a license fee for it. (2, Interesting)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 5 years ago | (#28601247)

If that happens, I'd say the vow of silence will come back into vogue very quickly.

Too late. 4 minutes 33 seconds of silence is copyright 1952 by John Cage (deceased 1992), and infringing derivative works of it of varying lengths have been successfully prosecuted by his estate on more than one occasion, and you can expect them still to be until 2047 (1952 + 95 because 1952 1978).

Re:They probably want to get a license fee for it. (1)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 5 years ago | (#28601435)

4 minutes 33 seconds of silence is copyright 1952 by John Cage

And it's a hell of a lot better than the drivel they call music these days...

Re:They probably want to get a license fee for it. (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 5 years ago | (#28601491)

and you can expect them still to be until 2047 (1952 + 95 because 1952 < 1978).

I fixed that for me: I forgot to entify the less-than sign.

Re:They probably want to get a license fee for it. (2, Informative)

omeomi (675045) | more than 5 years ago | (#28600513)

Don't they already demand royalties for recordings whether they own the rights or not?

Re:They probably want to get a license fee for it. (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 5 years ago | (#28603181)

Yes, they do. See Internet Radio and the Canadian tax on blank optical media, among other things. Also, the permanent extension of copyrights which is nothing less than outright theft of our entire culture.

Unlike music piracy, the eternal copyright actually deprives people of content they are entitled to, so it is theft. It is different from illicit copying.

Unfortunately the only cure is to abolish copyright altogether, or as near as can be accomplished without rewriting the constitution.

Re:They probably want to get a license fee for it. (1)

tenton (181778) | more than 5 years ago | (#28601205)

My middle finger is royalty-free.

Re:They probably want to get a license fee for it. (2, Interesting)

selven (1556643) | more than 5 years ago | (#28601617)

Coming up next, RIAA applies for patent for human voice. All speech will be licensed, $0.99 a sentence.

That seems like a very good idea, because human voice is an invention of nature and since nature is not present the RIAA can be appointed as its representative, like the laws in some countries where if no one claims copyright for a work some benevolent copyright managing organization takes hold of it so that no bad people pirate it until the real owner comes and takes it, although often when the real owner comes to take it the benevolent organization may not give the copyright back, but that's okay since they're benevolent and need the money to keep carrying out their benevolence, and also we have freedom of speech but the question is how can you speak freely when anyone can just copy what you say - look at China, they have no copyright and no one is willing to speak out against the government because if they do people would just steal it, because some people are bad and it only takes one person to let all the other bad people pirate your speech (to be continued...)

Can anyone say... (1)

orkybash (1013349) | more than 5 years ago | (#28600299)

"Streisand Effect"?

Re:Can anyone say... (3, Insightful)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 5 years ago | (#28600329)

"Streisand Effect"?

Not until someone replies to, "Links, please?"

Links, please!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28600521)

Had to be said. Self-fulfilling prophecy.

Re:Can anyone say... (4, Informative)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 5 years ago | (#28600945)

Re:Can anyone say... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28601173)

Mod parent up! Informative links to files!!

Too late (4, Insightful)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 5 years ago | (#28600327)

It's the internet -- the cat never goes back in the bag.

Re:Too late (2, Insightful)

cbiltcliffe (186293) | more than 5 years ago | (#28600347)

It's the internet -- the cat never goes back in the bag.

Sure it does. You've just got to somehow manage to fit the entire Internet in the bag with the cat.

Re:Too late (1)

omeomi (675045) | more than 5 years ago | (#28600515)

Sure it does. You've just got to somehow manage to fit the entire Internet in the bag with the cat.

Perhaps some sort of Visual Basic GUI?

Re:Too late (1)

etherlad (410990) | more than 5 years ago | (#28602403)

If it works for CSI, it'll work for me!

No wait, Visual Basic GUIs are only good for tracing IP addresses.

Re:Too late (1)

cbiltcliffe (186293) | more than 5 years ago | (#28606457)

That's only without any extra libraries.

catbag.bas will probably do what you want.

Re:Too late (1)

EventHorizon_pc (1306663) | more than 5 years ago | (#28600663)

The real question, however, is determining whether the cat will be alive, dead, both, or can has cheezburger before opening the bag again to check on it.

Re:Too late (1)

scolbe (236243) | more than 5 years ago | (#28606469)

Sure it does. You've just got to somehow manage to fit the entire Internet in the bag with the cat.

oh well that's easy done.
turn bag inside out.. tie up bag... taadaa, the cat is back in the bag along with almost everything else.

Re:Too late (1)

basementman (1475159) | more than 5 years ago | (#28600461)

Serious question, would we ever know if the cat did go back in the bag? Controlling the flow of content on the internet isn't the impossibility some people make it out to be, child porn being the prime example.

Re:Too late (2, Interesting)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 5 years ago | (#28602171)

Serious question, would we ever know if the cat did go back in the bag?

If you truly understood the metaphor, it wouldn't matter if it did.

  1. There's a bag. You don't know what's in it.
  2. What was in it gets out and you see it is a cat.
  3. The cat is put back in the bag.
  4. There's a bag. You know what's in it: a cat.

The bag is secrecy, the cat is the secret. Once the secret is out, it is known and can never again be unknown. Even if a shell game was performed with identical bags, you'd still know about the cat.

If you can see the cat being put back in the bag and not know what's in the bag, you (a) are a child without a sense of object permanence, (b) have a damaged hippocampus, and/or (c) you're ripe for living in Orwell's 1984 as you won't believe your own memories without external corroboration.

Re:Too late (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28603623)

Nobody knows the origin of the phrase "to let the cat out of the bag", so your metaphorical interpretation is spurious (though close to the best guess origin, which has to do with selling pigs in small bags called "pokes", and the potential for chicanery if cats were placed in said bags. )

Re:Too late (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 5 years ago | (#28605783)

Or d) You're Schroedinger.

If the cat could be alive or dead, couldn't the cat also be alive, or a small Czechoslovakian traffic warden?

If there's anything MAFIAA are known for... (1)

Lead Butthead (321013) | more than 5 years ago | (#28600531)

It's the internet -- the cat never goes back in the bag.

If there's anything MAFIAA are know for, it's fighting a lost cause.

Re:Too late (0)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 5 years ago | (#28601937)

It's the internet -- the cat never goes back in the bag.

That's... really not the right use of the metaphor. My cat likes to play inside bags and needs very little inducement to go inside one. Sometimes he does it spontaneously.

I think you've confused "letting the cat out of the bag" with "putting the genie back in the bottle".

Re:Too late (1)

megrims (839585) | more than 5 years ago | (#28606679)

We're not talking about domesticated cats here. Most of these sayings come from slightly different world-views.

Re:Too late (1)

Dragonslicer (991472) | more than 5 years ago | (#28602103)

It's the internet -- the cat never goes back in the bag.

Are you sure? There must be dozens of counterexamples on Lolcats.

AAAAAAAUUUGHHHH ! [Re:Too late] (0)

o'reor (581921) | more than 5 years ago | (#28604743)

I *know* this is Slashdot, but if I see yet another intahwebz-style lolcat-Schrödinger-cat-in-the-bag-of-worms metaphor beneath this comment... I swear I'll kill your dog.

Section Five Hundred Four Says (3, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 5 years ago | (#28600361)

second of about 30,000 cases

Let's assume that's 20 songs per case on unrelated albums. According to section 504.c.1 [copyright.gov] each work can cost the defendent between $750 and $30,000. And if the first trial was any indication, $30,000 per song is actually the low end once you've gotten past lawyer fees. Ok so by the letter of the law the RIAA is looking to get anywhere from $450 million to $18 billion. I hope to god that Nesson stops upsetting the court [arstechnica.com] and sets some better precedent than the first case. I don't care if he wants to post courtroom audio. That's a great idea and I appreciate where his heart is but that's not what this is about! I do care that he works to either reduce these unrealistic damage amounts or redefine copyright violation. So far he's just been really good at upsetting people--and not the right people!

Well, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28600507)

Somebody get this on Wikileaks yet? While posting this is illegal, sure, posting much of anything is similarly illegal in the People's Republic of China right now, too. Not saying it'd be the right thing to do, but if the RIAA and their contemporaries are allowed to censor potentially adverse information about their practices as a matter of habit (silly, considering their tactics are no great secret), how is the general public supposed to defend themselves from future predatory litigation from these folks? Oh, silly me, of course....they're NOT. We truly have the best legal system money can buy, after all......

Re:Well, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28600893)

It's only illegal with respects to Massachusetts State law. The Judge has indicated that it was legit with respects to the Federal laws regarding this but that publication in any form may be deemed as an attempt to poison the Jury Pool, with the commensurate sanctions associated with such an act.

Not illegal- but with some nasty consequences if there's anything that might screw his position within the case.

Nevermind about RIAA censorship, what about /.'s? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28600673)

nt

when dealing with legal issues (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28600771)

One is well advised not to fuck with harvard, espescially when they're openly defying law. I've got a feeling Nesson knows exactly what he's doing.

Re:when dealing with legal issues (1)

TheoMurpse (729043) | more than 5 years ago | (#28604387)

You know the lawyer who lost Jammie Thomas's trial is the youngest graduate ever of Harvard Law, right? I may be speaking out of turn, but it didn't seem like her massive penalty supports what you say.

Re:when dealing with legal issues (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 5 years ago | (#28605791)

Youngest graduate != best lawyer for the job.

Burning legal question (5, Interesting)

JobyOne (1578377) | more than 5 years ago | (#28600839)

I gots one! I didn't read TFA, but this question still burns hot in my brain-mind.

If a state legislature passes a law that is unconstitutional, can that law be enforced? Let's say a state legislature passes a law stating that shoplifters must have their hands chopped off, is it now legal to start choppin' hands? If it is legal to start choppin' hands, whose heads will get chopped once it gets to federal court to be overturned as cruel and unusual?

It seems to me that there is no accountability for the idiots who pass unconstitutional laws in the first place.

Re:Burning legal question (4, Informative)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 5 years ago | (#28601243)

If a state legislature passes a law that is unconstitutional, can that law be enforced?

Yes.
But normally someone sues immediately after the law is passed and gets a restraining order to prevent its enforcement until the State/Federal Supreme Court can decide the Constitutionality.

It seems to me that there is no accountability for the idiots who pass unconstitutional laws in the first place.

Pretty much.
All you can do is vote them out of office unless their actions rise to the level of criminality.

Re:Burning legal question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28601651)

You are referring to Incorporation [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Burning legal question (3, Informative)

Dragonslicer (991472) | more than 5 years ago | (#28602145)

As far as constitutionality goes, a state law is basically the same as a federal law. A state law can be challenged and appealed up to the state's supreme court if it violates the state's constitution, or all the way to the United States Supreme Court if it violates the United States Constitution. I might be wrong on this part, but I think that if you challenge a state law based on a violation of the US Constitution, it would skip the state supreme court and go directly to the federal courts.

Re:Burning legal question (1)

sgladfelter (889576) | more than 5 years ago | (#28603327)

You are correct, in that the federal courts have jurisdiction in constitutional law. However, I think that what gp was really questioning was, "what happens to the legislators who pass unconstitutional laws?" The answer is, nothing [short of they may get voted out of office for passing such a law].

The state is accountable for the actions its employees, but the legislators themselves hold no personal liability to the actions of the state. Though I'm not sure about the executive branch- which in this case would actually do the chopping off of the hands. Is "just administering the law" really a get-out-of-jail-free card for doing anything, no matter how obviously bad? I think not since it didn't work in Nuremberg.

Re:Burning legal question (1)

Dragonslicer (991472) | more than 5 years ago | (#28603409)

As much as I'd love to see legislators impeached and removed from office for writing and/or voting for some of the horrible laws, I can see where you'd run into problems with laws that aren't blatantly evil but still get struck down as being unconstitutional, especially when the legislators voting for it didn't think the law violated a constitution. You'd end up with legislators too scared to vote on anything (yeah, I know, that might not necessarily be a bad thing). It's kinda like the tenure rules for professors.

Re:Burning legal question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28603541)

It is a federal offense for a state employee to violate a person's civil rights. You may recall the police in the Rodney King case were acquitted in state court. However, they were retried in federal court where they were convicted.

Dear RIAA defendants, (-1, Troll)

WiglyWorm (1139035) | more than 5 years ago | (#28601025)

We are all very grateful that you have the guts to stick up to the *IAA and put copyright laws under scrutiny. I truly believe that the more of these go to court, the more likely we are to see copyright reform that favors the people, because these suits and those arguing them tend to do a good job of getting in to the press just how absurd copyright law can be.

That being said, can you please all drop the crusader attitude for just a second? Perhaps you could start by not commiting felonies in contempt of the proceedings against you. I doubt you have the money to follow that felony case through to the supreme court, and in the mean time, you're only going to disenfranchise yourself to the jury and public at large.

Can we please get some defendants who are willing to act like an average citizen for the duration of their suit before going back to being a raging crusader? Think of it as taking on a secret identity to help your cause. You might actually win if you don't look like a complete social misfit to the jury.

Thanks,

WiglyWorm

Gotta give them credit (2, Funny)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 5 years ago | (#28601055)

They are consistent if nothing else.

Nesson looks slimy to me (1)

bartwol (117819) | more than 5 years ago | (#28603403)

Listen to this recording [harvard.edu] that he made. He enters a phone conversation with a judge and other parties to the litigation, and fails at the outset to let any of them know that he is recording the conversation along with a room full of students listening in. This bit of eavesdropping only comes to light when the judge asks him pointedly if the call is being recorded. That is when Mr. "Openness" admits that he is in fact recording the conversation with the presence of his students.

It seems to me that Mr. Openness, an obviously deceitful person, only turns to honesty in the face of a room full of witnesses, a very astute judge, and his own potential criminal liability for illegal wiretapping and contempt of court. Translation: his ass over his principles.

Great and open guy, that Nesson character is. Hard to miss it.

Re:Nesson looks slimy to me (1)

Dogun (7502) | more than 5 years ago | (#28603581)

Well, the thinking probably resembles this:
If you were willing to say it to my face, you certainly expect me to react and remember it. What's good enough for ME ought to be good enough for others.

Really! And RIAA is a breath of honesty? (2, Insightful)

Mathinker (909784) | more than 5 years ago | (#28604307)

FYI, only 12 out of 50 states forbid recording a conversation you have without the other party knowing. From URL http://www.callcorder.com/phone-recording-law-america.htm [callcorder.com] :

The U.S. federal law allows recording of phone calls and other electronic communications with the consent of at least one party to the call. A majority of the states and territories have adopted wiretapping statutes based on the federal law, although most have also extended the law to cover in-person conversations. 38 states and the D.C. permit recording telephone conversations to which they are a party without informing the other parties that they are doing so.

12 states require, under most circumstances, the consent of all parties to a conversation. Those jurisdictions are California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and Washington.

In the vast majority of the US, what he has done is perfectly acceptable, at least with regards to letting the other party know or not know about the conversation being recorded. Just because your personal ethical framework doesn't agree, this doesn't make Nesson a douchebag.

A lot of people think RIAA is "slimy" for all of the collateral damage they are causing to society while trying to preserve their dying business model. Personally, I'm undecided whether their actions are actually unethical --- but I'm certain that they are dangerous and detrimental to society.

Why don't courts record hearings themselves (1)

kanweg (771128) | more than 5 years ago | (#28603647)

I've been bitten in a judicial process, where the other party said one thing in one court and another thing in another. It would have worked greatly to our advantage if we'd been able to use this lying. Also, in one of the courts the judge acted like he was a member of the other party. With audio tapes .

I hope there is a lawyer here (and sticks around for a few rounds of discussion). Why do laws prohibit to make recordings in court? I think it would help to keep parties (and judges) honest. Any pointers to relevant websites are also welcome.

Bert

This is NOT about recording in the courtroom (1)

belmolis (702863) | more than 5 years ago | (#28604333)

Several commenters have made arguments based on the assumption that the recordings in question were made in a federal courtroom. That is not the case. If you RTFA, you will discover that what is at issue are recordings of depositions, which are normally taken in the offices of law or sometimes in a hotel room, and of telephone calls between the parties and the judge, where only the latter may have been in the courtroom. The argument that Massachusetts law governing recordings does not apply because the recordings were made in a federal courtroom is therefore wrong.

Screenshots?? WTF (1)

underplay16 (950404) | more than 5 years ago | (#28605425)

They had screenshots of his shareza folder MAJOR invasion of privacy...case closed?
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