Webcam To Cover Music Suit
January 15, 2009 at 5:16 AM (PT)
In the first such ruling in the federal judiciary in MASSACHUSETTS, a judge in BOSTON agreed YESTERDAY (1/14) to allow video cameras in the courtroom to provide live Internet coverage of a high-interest lawsuit against a BOSTON UNIVERSITY graduate student accused of downloading music illegally, reports THE BOSTON GLOBE.
US District Court Judge NANCY GERTNER said she will allow COURTROOM VIEW NETWORK -- a NEW YORK-based company that webcasts trials, primarily in state courts -- to chronicle a key hearing JANUARY 22nd in the suit against the student, JOEL TENENBAUM, by a group that represents the U.S. recording industry.
The Judicial Conference, which sets policy for the federal judiciary, has long banned cameras and recording equipment in courtrooms, with narrow exceptions. But GERTNER said she believes the prohibition is advisory and should be set aside in a case that has garnered keen interest on the Web, particularly among young people.
"In many ways, this case is about the so-called Internet generation, the generation that has grown up with computer technology in general and the Internet in particular, as commonplace," GERTNER wrote in an 11-page order. "It is reportedly a generation that does not read newspapers or watch the evening news, but gets its information largely, if not almost exclusively, over the Internet."
TENENBAUM, accused of downloading seven songs illegally from a peer-to-peer network, faces potential damages of more than $1 million.