Received this press release from Harvard today. In the RIAA case against Joel Tenenbaum, the defense, led by Harvard prof and legendary lawyer Charles Nesson and his team of Harvard Law students, filed a motion to admit the Internet into the courtroom. They want live online streaming of the proceedings.
Tenenbaum is being sued for sharing seven songs over P2P. If the maximum statutory penalties were imposed, that would result in a million-dollar judgment against him.
Here's Nesson's official quote:
The judicial process is essentially an exercise in civil discourse. Given the keen interest of the diverse parties following this litigation closely, and the potential learning value of this case to a broad audience beyond, this case presents an ideal instance in which judicial discretion should be exercised under the auspices of the rule to admit Internet to the courtroom.
The RIAA announced to some fanfare that it was dropping its long-standing legal strategy of mass lawsuits and four-figure settlement offers, in favor of a scheme by which major ISPs would police illegal filesharing on their networks. But the RIAA is not dropping current cases, such as Tenenbaum's.
It's important to put the proceedings on the Internet, Debbie Rosenbaum, one of Nesson’s students, says:
"It’s about embracing digital natives in environments that have traditionally been closed off to them and challenging antiquated systems have yet to catch up to the twenty-first century."