Thursday, January 8, 2009

Former Hollywood copyright cop Garfield invited guest at Obama speech; more cozying up to Big Content?

National Journal's Tech Daily Dose engages in a fascinating bit of transition kremlinology, reporting that Dean Garfield, a former top copyright cop at the RIAA and MPAA, was invited to attend today's President-elect Obama's major economic speech "by the transition team."

Garfield, who served as Vice President, Legal Affairs at the RIAA and then Executive Vice President and Chief Strategic Officer at the MPAA, last October took the helm of the Information Technology Industry Council, a Washington-based trade group that counts major technology companies including AMD, HP, Apple, and Cisco among its members. Garfield is one of the chief architects of the entertainment industry's litigation strategy over the past decade, including its 9-0 victory at the Supreme Court in the Grokster case.

National Journal's item contains no actual indication that Garfield is up for a spot in the Obama Administration, and it would be somewhat surprising if he left his brand new post at the ITIC. But Garfield's apparently close relationship with the Obama team can't be too comforting to the copyleft, which is already none too pleased with signs emanating from the transition.

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