File Sharing Lawyer's Stunts Shock Peers

'Insane' Nesson posts absolutely everything in copyright case online
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 8, 2009 1:29 PM CDT
Boston University student, Joel Tannenbaum, left, and Harvard Law professor Charles Nesson, pose in Nesson's office in Cambridge, Mass., Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2008.   (AP Photo/Josh Reynolds)
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(Newser) – Charles Nesson has thrown out the standard playbook in his defense of a Boston University student being sued by the RIAA for file sharing. The storied Harvard Law professor is posting everything related to the case online, including a secretly taped conversation with the judge and opposing counsel, and even emails from fellow academics who disagree with his case. “It’s off the charts, in terms of unconventionality,” said one copyright lawyer, “and I’m being kind.”

Another lawyer who opposes the RIAA isn’t as kind, calling Nesson “insane.” But Nesson says he’s just trying to reflect the transparency that he thinks is central to his client’s case. “Joel committed no crime … he has no need for secrecy.” An RIAA spokesman counters that the case is “about a Harvard professor’s crusade to gut the copyright laws…and transform a courtroom into a circus.”