Wednesday, January 21, 2009

More MacBride: BSA anti-piracy attorney will have DOJ IP duties

National Journal's Tech Daily Dose has more on the appointment of Business Software Alliance anti-piracy attorney Neil Mac Bride as Associate Deputy Attorney General and his new responsibilities:
In his new position, MacBride -- who has been BSA's vice president of anti-piracy and general counsel -- will serve on the senior leadership team of Attorney General-designee Eric Holder and will help manage the agency's 115,000 employees and $22 billion budget.

MacBride will also manage the criminal components of the Justice Department, including the 93 United States Attorneys Offices, the Criminal Division, FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration, and Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms and other entities. MacBride will advise the attorney general on criminal justice, law enforcement, and intellectual property issues and oversee the policy and legislative offices in DOJ. Members of BSA include Adobe, Apple, Cisco Systems, Dell, HP, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, and Quest. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, he has lobbied for BSA in the past.

(my emphasis). So there will be a high-ranking Justice Department official advising the AG on IP issues who has deep experience as an anti-piracy attorney. And keep in mind that, in addition to MacBride, Justice will include:

  • Tom Perrelli, a top music-industry litigator
  • David Ogden, whose previous Justice Department experience included defending the constitutionality of the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act
  • David Kris, a high-ranking Time-Warner attorney

Is this the most pro-copyright/anti-piracy DOJ in history? Have I died and gone to heaven?

(Note: the Dose says MacBride will be "Associate Deputy Attorney General"; Above the Law counters with "Assistant Deputy Attorney General." C&C has no clue which job is cooler, but promises to clear up the raging controversy before it threatens to end our new Era of Good Feelings. UPDATE: A reader who knows whereof he speaks points C&C to the Plum Book, which indicates that the position is, as the Dose reported, "Associate Deputy Attorney General.")

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