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Live audio broadcast permitted in Microsoft appeal

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    NMU         D.C.

    NMU         D.C. CIRCUIT         Broadcasting         Feb 22, 2001    

Live audio broadcast permitted in Microsoft appeal

  • A federal court takes an unprecedented step toward greater media access in a landmark antitrust case.

The importance of a landmark antitrust case has convinced the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia for the first time to allow a live audio broadcast of oral arguments.

On Feb. 26 and 27, the court will hear seven hours of argument in Microsoft’s appeal of a lower court’s ruling that it illegally protected its software monopoly and should be divided into two companies.

“Due to the widespread public interest in this case and the limited seating, live audio-feeds of the arguments will be made available to the news media through the Network Pool,” the court said Feb. 12.

Only a few federal appeals courts allow live broadcast of arguments and such access is rare.

Along with distribution through the television network pool, the broadcast will be available on the Internet at www.abcnews.com and www.c-span.org. In addition to the live feed, reporters can record the arguments using a “mult-box” hookup in the press room. A mult-box splits the audio signal allowing multiple users to plug into the audio feed. Recording equipment will not be allowed in any other part of the courthouse.

The broadcast will begin at 9:30 a.m. on each day of the hearings.

(United States v. Microsoft) EH

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