Courtroom webcast fight may delay RIAA trial

In an attempt to block the Courtroom View Network (CVN) from broadcasting the RIAA v. Tenenbaum trial, the counsel representing the record labels escalated the affair to the US Court of Appeals.

The legal counsel for the defendant in the copyright infringement suit -- a Harvard Law School class led by Charles Nesson of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society -- moved to have the case broadcast online in January. Developments in this aspect of the case today may lead to the hearing's ultimate delay.

Today, an order has been posted on the docket sheet that could delay the hearing scheduled for February 24. The Court of Appeals wants to hear an oral argument on the petition from the Courtroom View Network, and it is up to the District Court to decide whether or not to continue the case, as scheduled, or allow the Court of Appeals to review CVN's petition.

The order reads:

ORDER entered by Bruce M. Selya, Appellate Judge granting motion to appear at oral argument filed by Amicus Curiae Courtroom View Network; staying district court's order of January 14, 2009 (already temporarily stayed by the district court) permitting narrowcasting, pending disposition of this mandamus petition or further order of this court, whichever first occurs. We recognize that a hearing is currently scheduled in the district court for February 24, 2009 and that trial is scheduled to commence on March 30, 2009. The district court may either stay its proceedings pending our decision on the petition, or it may permit the presently scheduled hearing and/or other proceedings in the case to go forward, but without being narrowcast.

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