Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Obama picks RIAA's favorite lawyer for a top Justice post
CNet ^ | January 6, 2009 | Declan McCullagh

Posted on 01/06/2009 7:17:53 PM PST by Notary Sojac

As a presidential candidate, Barack Obama won applause from legal adversaries of the recording industry. Stanford law professor Larry Lessig, the doyen of the "free culture" movement, endorsed the Illinois senator, as did Google CEO Eric Schmidt and even the Pirate Party.

That was then. As president-elect, one of Obama's first tech-related decisions has been to select the Recording Industry Association of America's favorite lawyer to be the third in command at the Justice Department. And Obama's pick as deputy attorney general, the second most senior position, is the lawyer who oversaw the defense of the Copyright Term Extension Act--the same law that Lessig and his allies unsuccessfully sued to overturn.

Obama made both announcements on Monday, saying that his picks "bring the integrity, depth of experience and tenacity that the Department of Justice demands in these uncertain times." The soon-to-be-appointees: Tom Perrelli for associate attorney general and David Ogden for deputy attorney general.

Campaign rhetoric aside, this should be no surprise. Obama's selection of Joe Biden as vice president showed that the presidential hopeful was comfortable with someone with firmly pro-RIAA views. Biden urged the criminal prosecutions of copyright-infringing peer-to-peer users and tried to create a new federal felony involving playing unauthorized music.

Perrelli is currently a partner in the Washington offices of Jenner and Block, where he represented the RIAA in a a slew of cases, including a high-profile bid to unmask file sharers without the requirement of a judge reviewing the evidence first. Verizon initially lost to the RIAA, but eventually prevailed in 2003 when a federal appeals court ruled the record labels' strategy under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act was unlawful.

Perrelli has represented the RIAA in other lawsuits against individual file sharers. One filed in Michigan accuses a university student of distributing "hundreds of sound recordings over his system without the authorization of the copyright owners." A lawsuit against a Princeton University student makes similar arguments; Perrelli and his colleagues also tried to force Charter Communications to give up the names of 93 file-trading subscribers.

A 2004 summary of a Boston lawsuit written by Harvard's Berkman Center--which opposed the RIAA in this and a current case--quotes Perrelli as telling a federal judge that it would be easy to determine who was using a wireless network to share music. "It is correct that the actual downloader may be someone else in the household," he said, but any errors can be determined easily after a "modest amount of discovery."

An article on his law firm's Web site says that Perrelli represented SoundExchange before the Copyright Royalty Board--and obtained a 250 percent increase in the royalty rate for music played over the Internet by companies like AOL and Yahoo. Perrelli previously worked in the Clinton Justice Department.

An article in Legal Times titled "Building an Entertainment Beast in D.C." says that in 2002, Perrelli used Jenner's reputation as an appellate law firm to "get a meeting with officials at the RIAA, at a time when Internet file-sharing entities like Napster were threatening the music business." A year later, in 2003, the law firm recruited Steven Fabrizio, previously the RIAA's senior vice president for business and legal affairs, and business began booming (the RIAA also used the Jenner law firm to write a friend-of-the-court brief in the copyright extension lawsuit).

If confirmed by the Senate, which is unlikely to pose much of a hurdle, Perrelli would oversee the department's civil division, the antitrust division, and the civil rights division.

Obama's choice for deputy attorney general--the second-in-command at Justice--is David Ogden, who's currently a partner at the WilmerHale law firm.

As assistant attorney general for the civil division, Ogden was responsible for organizing the defense of the Child Online Protection Act, or COPA, an antiporn law that has been challenged by the ACLU in court for more than a decade with no resolution. His department also successfully defended the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Ogden's biography at Wilmer Hale says only that he represents the "media and Internet industries, as well as major trade and professional associations," without listing details. The Justice Department, barring exceptional cases, has a duty to defend laws enacted by Congress.

Perrelli, on the other hand, went out of his way to recruit the RIAA as a very lucrative client: his law firm bills some partners' time at a princely $1,000 an hour.

During his confirmation hearing, it will be instructive to see if senators ask whether his zealous anti-file sharing advocacy can make him an objective civil servant--especially when these same politicians want the Justice Department to sue peer-to-peer pirates at taxpayer's expense. (Then again, if that proposal becomes law, Perrelli's surely the right man for the job.)

It will also be instructive to see if this week's news prompts some of the RIAA's longtime adversaries to moderate their enthusiasm for Obama's technology policies.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: 1stamendment; achillwind; bho2008; bhodaj; bhodoj; bigmedia; constitution; copyright; copyrightlaw; davidogden; doj; fairuse; filesharing; firstamendment; freerepublic; ivorytower; justicedepartment; obama; obamatransitionfile; perrelli; riaa
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-59 next last
Should be fun to follow on DU, even more so on Slashdot and BoingBoing.
1 posted on 01/06/2009 7:17:54 PM PST by Notary Sojac
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Notary Sojac

Terrible news!!

Two weeks left to use PirateBay. News groups are looking more attractive by the minute. lol


2 posted on 01/06/2009 7:22:10 PM PST by KoRn
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Notary Sojac

What is RIAA?


3 posted on 01/06/2009 7:25:16 PM PST by golfisnr1 (Democrats are like roaches - hard to get rid of.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

Comment #4 Removed by Moderator

To: Notary Sojac

Oh my! The free sharemusic downloaders are gonna FREAK!

This guy is like Public Enemy Number One them.


5 posted on 01/06/2009 7:28:27 PM PST by autumnraine
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Notary Sojac

We all knew this guy was all about PAYOLA

He is a Chicago Pol


6 posted on 01/06/2009 7:29:12 PM PST by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: KoRn

I use Mininova and he’s only THIRD in command at DOJ, so no panic for me. A lot of freeware groups will surely challenge this hack and bring the case to the SC if they ever want to challenge peer-to-peer downloads.


7 posted on 01/06/2009 7:29:25 PM PST by max americana
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: KoRn

I thought piratebay was already gone


8 posted on 01/06/2009 7:30:21 PM PST by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Notary Sojac

Oh /. is gonna be comedy gold for sure.


9 posted on 01/06/2009 7:30:33 PM PST by VanDeKoik
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Baynative

I miss Audiogalaxy. I downloaded tons of great old recordings from that back in the day. And it was through an open browser, didn’t have to use PtoP.


10 posted on 01/06/2009 7:31:47 PM PST by deannadurbin
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Notary Sojac

It should also make the front page of Digg, with the caption, “Good job Diggers.”


11 posted on 01/06/2009 7:35:40 PM PST by kc8ukw
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Notary Sojac
Should be fun to follow on DU, even more so on Slashdot and BoingBoing.

Found on Slashdot posted by Larry Bagina:

Obama wants to change the system. But in order to do that, he needs insiders, clinton retreads, lobbyists, and big corporate stooges that know how to get shit done. Once he's surrounded by them, he'll be able to change the system.

Pretty good.

12 posted on 01/06/2009 7:36:40 PM PST by dalight
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Notary Sojac

It’s going to be hilarious when thousands of young liberals who campaigned for Obama and promoted Obama and voted for Obama start being sued for thousands of dollars for copyright infringements by the same administration they voted for! FOOLS!


13 posted on 01/06/2009 7:37:40 PM PST by deannadurbin
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Notary Sojac
0 just threw every twenty-something that flogged his campaign under The Bus.

On the other hand, lawyers basically do what they're told. They aren't bound to any ideology other than the Deep Pocket ideology.

14 posted on 01/06/2009 7:41:36 PM PST by the invisib1e hand (revolution is in the air.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: deannadurbin

ditto.


15 posted on 01/06/2009 7:42:30 PM PST by the invisib1e hand (revolution is in the air.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: dalight
Obama wants to change the system. But in order to do that, he needs insiders, clinton retreads, lobbyists, and big corporate stooges that know how to get shit done. Once he's surrounded by them, he'll be able to change the system.

Your realize that this is quintissential leftist delusion, don't you?

16 posted on 01/06/2009 7:43:39 PM PST by the invisib1e hand (revolution is in the air.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: KoRn
Two weeks left to use PirateBay. News groups are looking more attractive by the minute. lol

When we recall that Joe Biden is also pro-RIAA, I'm bettuing that now that we can no longer use Guantanamo for terrorists, the new administration will fill it with music downloaders.

17 posted on 01/06/2009 7:45:15 PM PST by BlazingArizona
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: mylife

nope, and demonoid came back as well


18 posted on 01/06/2009 7:47:02 PM PST by Grig
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: deannadurbin

yeah, that was the best ever.


19 posted on 01/06/2009 7:48:25 PM PST by Grig
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: the invisib1e hand

Changing the system from within.


20 posted on 01/06/2009 7:48:32 PM PST by unkus
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

Comment #21 Removed by Moderator

marking for later.


22 posted on 01/06/2009 7:49:12 PM PST by MrFred
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Grig

Well, I’ll be!

Demoniod is great for obscure rock.

I sure miss Bluegrassbox.com


23 posted on 01/06/2009 7:49:31 PM PST by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: unkus

you’re joking, right?


24 posted on 01/06/2009 7:51:04 PM PST by the invisib1e hand (revolution is in the air.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: Notary Sojac
This ought to make the fur fly...
25 posted on 01/06/2009 7:52:14 PM PST by the invisib1e hand (revolution is in the air.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: the invisib1e hand

DRM was such a POS idea, but I doubt its dead


26 posted on 01/06/2009 7:54:11 PM PST by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: unkus

I thought that was an old lefty tactic.


27 posted on 01/06/2009 7:55:47 PM PST by unkus
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: deannadurbin

AG was my download site of choice too. Myspace more recently worked the same way, but they’ve had to change their format around.


28 posted on 01/06/2009 7:56:53 PM PST by E Rocc (Molon Labe)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: mylife

property rights and all; who needs ‘em, right?


29 posted on 01/06/2009 7:57:11 PM PST by the invisib1e hand (revolution is in the air.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: mylife
"I thought piratebay was already gone"

I haven't tried to use it in so long, I wouldn't know. lol

30 posted on 01/06/2009 7:59:56 PM PST by KoRn
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: ShadowAce

Tech PING


31 posted on 01/06/2009 8:00:50 PM PST by CedarDave (Under Obama, yesterday's pork-laden earmarks have become tomorrow's economic stimulus projects)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: the invisib1e hand

Ive had this argument 1000 times.

If I buy an lp or tape like 5 times and it wears out due to planned obsolescence or shoddy product, I dont feel real bad about dloading a facsimile of what I HAVE PAID FOR OVER AND OVER, THAT ONLY MEETS 1/1OTH THE AURAL QUALITY OF THE ORIGINAL


32 posted on 01/06/2009 8:02:54 PM PST by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

To: deannadurbin

33 posted on 01/06/2009 8:03:27 PM PST by ari-freedom
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: the invisib1e hand
You're on of them guys that would make me pay to sing "copyrighted" songs around the campfire aren't you? ☺
34 posted on 01/06/2009 8:05:13 PM PST by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

To: autumnraine

I live by limewire. ‘course, I’ve never downloaded something I would have bought. I am usually downloading something that is not copyrighted or something I already own on vinyl, tape or CD.

But I don’t expect this to have any impact anyway.


35 posted on 01/06/2009 8:07:56 PM PST by RobRoy (Islam is a greater threat to the world today than Nazism was in the 1930's.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Notary Sojac

Change you can believe in!

Now RIAA wishes will be DOJ policy. Thanks, Obama.


36 posted on 01/06/2009 8:11:23 PM PST by antiRepublicrat
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: the invisib1e hand
Your realize that this is quintissential leftist delusion, don't you?

I am wondering if you ever heard of the word "sarcasm."

37 posted on 01/06/2009 8:13:36 PM PST by dalight
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: dalight
I am wondering if you ever heard of the word "sarcasm."

It usually announces itself.

38 posted on 01/06/2009 8:14:46 PM PST by the invisib1e hand (revolution is in the air.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 37 | View Replies]

To: the invisib1e hand
It usually announces itself.

Well, this is dry and wry.. from a guy who just sees the great big hypocrite horses tail section who was elected by so many who believed he wasn't the biggest pawn of the "system" that ever existed.

Obama's record has been continuously one of voting present except when it was time to take a moral stand, then you could be sure he would pick the wrong stand.

Anyway, over on Slashdot folks are doing the old Ha Ha...and this was one of the most cutting I have seen.

Now if you see the RIAA as law and justice, I guess you might say folks who think their blackmail tactics stink are leftists.. but frankly.. their tactics stink. Worse, Copyright has become something that is in complete defiance of what was intended by the framers.

39 posted on 01/06/2009 8:23:09 PM PST by dalight
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 38 | View Replies]

To: dalight

Thomas Jefferson didn’t even believe in copyrights.


40 posted on 01/06/2009 8:37:23 PM PST by deannadurbin
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 39 | View Replies]

To: deannadurbin
Thomas Jefferson didn’t even believe in copyrights.

There was a controversy, but there is a place for copyrights and there are reasons for setting the period of protection to a long period of time, but it should be limited and less than the lifetime of a human.

41 posted on 01/06/2009 10:52:03 PM PST by dalight
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 40 | View Replies]

To: VanDeKoik

Ding!

I’ll be rubbing this in the nose of an Obama supporter who hates the RIAA later. He’s more sophisticated than slashdot, he’s a kuro5hin.org type.

This ought to be fun.


42 posted on 01/07/2009 4:27:51 AM PST by FreedomPoster (Obama: Carter's only chance to avoid going down in history as the worst U.S. president ever.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: rdb3; Calvinist_Dark_Lord; GodGunsandGuts; CyberCowboy777; Salo; Bobsat; JosephW; ...

43 posted on 01/07/2009 5:17:02 AM PST by ShadowAce (Linux -- The Ultimate Windows Service Pack)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: dalight
Slashdotter "benzacar" has put up the best post I have ever seen on that site.

Question:
What about that website Obama's been running? Does it have a way to mod this guy down?

Answer:
It is very much different than here on Slashdot.

You get moderator points only once every 4 years.
Everyone gets moderator points at the same time.
You only get 1 moderator point.
It lasts only 1 day (half actually).
You get to moderate posts of only 2 posters.

Rest of those 4 years all your posts are automatically moderated as -1 Overrated+Troll, and nobody reads them.

But if you happen to have a s**tload of money - you can buy yourself golden undemoteable +5 Insightful+Informative posts.

44 posted on 01/07/2009 6:00:53 AM PST by Notary Sojac
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: the invisib1e hand

Clearly posted by one of the few undaunted conservatives (in whose company I count myself) on Slashdot.


45 posted on 01/07/2009 6:03:32 AM PST by Notary Sojac
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: dalight

The US Constitution says for limited times. When copyrights were first enacted in America they were for 14 years and another 14 years if you renewed. Then public domain forever. The way today’s laws have been going copyrights can last for 150 years or more. Several generations. That’s completely unConstitutional.


46 posted on 01/07/2009 7:08:07 AM PST by deannadurbin
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 41 | View Replies]

To: dalight
Obama wants to change the system. But in order to do that, he needs insiders, clinton retreads, lobbyists, and big corporate stooges that know how to get shit done. Once he's surrounded by them, he'll be able to change the system.

I know we've joked about the Cult of Obama, but this is classic cult psychology. A disappointment with the predictions of the cult (that Obama will bring "change") does not come with disillusionment, but with rationalization and even an increased adherence to the cult.

47 posted on 01/07/2009 7:37:37 AM PST by antiRepublicrat
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: the invisib1e hand
property rights and all; who needs ‘em, right?

I might agree with your sentiment if music were actually property.

48 posted on 01/07/2009 7:39:13 AM PST by antiRepublicrat
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

To: dalight
and there are reasons for setting the period of protection to a long period of time, but it should be limited and less than the lifetime of a human.

Right there was one of Jefferson's practical objections to copyright. He knew that the power of monopoly is dangerous and would in time be abused, but Madison thought the will of the people would prevent that abuse. Guess who was right.

49 posted on 01/07/2009 7:42:09 AM PST by antiRepublicrat
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 41 | View Replies]

To: Notary Sojac

I think this guy thoroughly understands our system.


50 posted on 01/07/2009 7:44:19 AM PST by antiRepublicrat
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 44 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-59 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson