We conclude that any order restricting OpenCourt's ability to publish -- by "streaming live" over the Internet, publicly archiving on the Web site or otherwise -- existing audio and video recordings of court room proceedings represents a form of prior restraint on the freedoms of the press and speech protected by the First Amendment and art. 16 of the Massachusetts Declaration of Rights, as amended by art. 77 of the Amendments to the Massachusetts Constitution. Such an order may be upheld only if it is the least restrictive, reasonable measure necessary to protect a compelling governmental interest.In the two challenges at issue here, the SJC held that neither case satisfied the standard to justify the prior restraint:
In the Barnes case, we vacate the order of the District Court judge requiring the redaction of the name of the minor alleged victim. We expect and anticipate that OpenCourt will continue to adhere to its policy of not publishing the name of the minor, but agree that on the record of this case, the judge's order was unconstitutional because the Commonwealth did not provide an adequate demonstration that this particular minor's privacy or psychological well-being would be harmed by publication of her name, or that a prior restraint was the least restrictive reasonable method to protect those interests. In the Diorio case, we conclude that Diorio has not met the heavy burden of justifying an order of prior restraint with respect to the specific proceedings at issue in his petition for relief.Notably, the SJC went on to request that its Judiciary-Media Committee (on which I serve as the representative of the Massachusetts Newspaper Publishers Association) submit for the SJC's approval a set of guidelines for the operation of the OpenCourt pilot project.