Today, Professor Charles Nesson and his team of Harvard Law students filed a motion to broadcast courtroom coverage of the trial on the Internet, which is traditionally prohibited. More specifically, Nesson and his students are hoping to allow audio-visual coverage of the motion and trial proceedings. Nesson is defending Joel Tenenbaum, who has been sued by the RIAA for $1,050,000 for allegedly downloading making available 7 songs in a shared folder when he was 17 years old.
Despite the RIAAâ€™s announcement last week that it is dropping its legal assault, it has not dismissed any of its existing cases, such as Tenenbaumâ€™s. The RIAA’s attorneys will almost certainly oppose Nesson’s motion to allow the case to be broadcast on the Internet.
With the market value of 7 songs from iTunes being $6.93, Nesson has said the RIAA tactics are “a shake-down, itâ€™s an extortion, itâ€™s a blight and its an insult to the Federal Courts and the idea of law and to the poor people who have to work as the cogs of this administration making this machinery work.â€
Ray Beckerman of Recording Industry vs the People has noted that the Supreme Court has previously ruled that “compensatory damages are intended to redress a plaintiffâ€™s concrete loss” which in this case is a mere 35 cents – 70 cents minus 35 saved for not having to distribute it – per each illegally downloaded song. At most 10:1 means $3.50 in damages for each song or a grand total of $24.50 instead of the $1,050,000 the RIAA is seeking.