Fans of live music received a helping hand from Judge Harold Baer Jr today as he struck down a lawsuit brought against a New York record dealer. Under previous Bootleg law, the RIAA had brought a lawsuit against the dealer for selling recordings of live shows; the dealer was convicted in 2003 yet appealed the ruling.
He was convicted of "unauthorised recordings of live performances by certain music artists through his business". However, with today's ruling the decision was over turned. Judge Baer Jr commented that the previous law had provided "seemingly perpetual protection" and was thus invalid. He also described it as "unfair".
The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), an industry lobby group, announced that they were disappointed with the ruling, and would be reviewing the decision. Spokesman Jonathan Lamy said "It stands in marked contrast to existing law and prior decisions that have determined that Congress was well within its constitutional authority to adopt legislation that prevented trafficking in copies of unauthorised performances of live music."