PiracyWatch: Don't look for a webcast of that Harvard file-sharing trial

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PiracyWatch: Don't look for a webcast of that Harvard file-sharing trial

Thu Apr 16, 2009 @ 03:38PM PST

By Eriq Gardner

Piracyi A few updates on some cases we've followed in the past:

  • Things aren't going well for Harvard Professor Charles Nesson, the crazy guy who has organized a classroom project to challenge the legal underpinning for the RIAA's crusade against file-sharing. Previously, Nesson wanted to have the trial of defendant Joel Tenenbaum webcast, but the First Circuit Court of Appeals has just nixed the idea. Here's the decision, based on a narrow reading of state law about the instances when cameras are allowed in the courtroom. This is not just a defeat for Nesson, but also a defeat against those who would like to see courtroom activity opened up to public purview in the Internet era.
  • In the case of street artist Shepard Fairey vs the Associated Press over the right to use a photograph as the basis of an iconic poster of Barack Obama, Fairey has just filed his Answer to the AP's countersuit. The AP's complaint last month was pretty scathing, and Fairey's reply is pretty ho-hum. As expected, he claims fair use and points out that the news organization has engaged in a bit of hypocrisy by claiming rights to photographs of copyrighted art work by others.
  • Late last year, Coldplay was sued by progressive rock guitarist Joe Satriani, who claimed that the song "Viva La Vida" was a rip-off of his 2004 instrumental tune, "If I Could Fly." Last week, Coldplay filed their Answer, denying the allegations.

Also, stay tuned tomorrow because judgement is expected in the closely-watched PirateBay case.

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The Hollywood Reporter, Esq. blog focuses on how the entertainment and media industries are impacted and influenced by the law. It is edited by Matthew Belloni with contributions from veteran legal reporter Eriq Gardner and others. Before joining The Hollywood Reporter, Belloni was a lawyer at an entertainment litigation firm in Los Angeles. He writes a column for THR devoted to entertainment law. Gardner is a New York-based writer and legal journalist. Send tips or comments to [email protected]

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