Thursday, February 5, 2009

CNET: 'Obama DOJ pick: RIAA lawyer who killed Grokster'

CNET's Declan McCullagh has a good piece on the appointment of Jenner & Block partner Don Verrilli as Associate Deputy Attorney General, focusing on Verrilli's representation of record labels in copyright suits, including the Grokster litigation. (McCullagh apparently did not get the message that Verrilli failed to "win.") McCullagh highlights that Verrilli may have a few conflict issues to navigate:

One reason why [the Jammie Thomas] case is especially relevant to Verrilli's new job is that the Justice Department intervened in the Thomas case on behalf of the RIAA.

That has already caused some tech lobbyists to wonder privately about whether or not Verrilli will recuse himself from matters that affect their former clients. Another example of a relevant case involves the Supreme Court asking the Justice Department for input on a case involving Cablevision--another lawsuit that Verrilli was part of on behalf of copyright holders.

McCullagh also refects on what this appointment (and those of other anti-piracy attorneys) says about President Obama:

During the campaign, when CNET News asked Obama for his views on copyright, he replied: "As policymakers, we are in a constant process of examining our laws to ensure that the protections we place on intellectual property are sufficient to encourage invention without hindering innovation that builds on previous work or unfairly limiting consumers from using the goods they purchase in a way that is fair to creators."

That was, unfortunately, rather vague. Now it's a bit more clear where he stands.

But remember: there's still one more big test.

1 comment:

  1. Can anyone say Gustapo? The best way not to get caught using torrents is to use a proxy or a hacked cable modem (because of the anonymity). Or if you dont have neither look for an allofmp3 copy cat in Europe. I have literally found hundreds. It would be hilarious if the RIAA spent a ton of money suing these companies for $2 Trillion dollars. Just to have the judge side with the site..LOL. I use because of the 8 cents a song. I used mp3fiesta for over a year and a half and never have had a virus from them. So FU RIAA.. And cant forget....fu too itunes.


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