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US Appeals Court Orders Expedited Briefs in Webcast Challenge

Posted Jan 22, 2009 11:30 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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A federal appeals court has ordered expedited briefing in a challenge to a Boston judge’s order allowing a live Internet broadcast of a hearing in an illegal downloading suit.

The hearing—which would have been the first free broadcast of a federal court session live on the Internet—had originally been scheduled for today, the Boston Globe reports.

The Boston-based 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued the order Wednesday after U.S. District Judge Nancy Gertner delayed the hearing until Feb. 24. Gertner said her stay will give the appeals court time to consider the request for a writ of mandamus to block the planned webcast, the Globe says.

Gertner approved the webcam in response to a request by Harvard law professor Charles Nesson. Lawyers for the Recording Industry Association of America, which is suing a Boston University grad student for illegal music downloads, are asking the 1st Circuit to bar Gertner from allowing the so-called narrowcast.

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