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Will Obama's DOJ Intervene To Help RIAA? 546

Posted by kdawson
from the jury-is-out dept.
NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "In SONY BMG Music Entertainment v. Cloud, a Pennsylvania case in which the RIAA's statutory damages theory — seeking from 2,200 to 450,000 times the amount of actual damages — is being tested, the US Department of Justice has just filed papers indicating that it is considering intervening in the case to defend the constitutionality of such awards, and requesting an extension of time (PDF) in which to decide whether such intervention 'is appropriate.' This is an early test of whether President Obama will make good on his promises (a) not to allow industry insiders to participate in cases affecting the industry they represented (the 2nd and 3rd highest DOJ officials are RIAA lawyers) and (b) to look out for ordinary citizens rather than big corporations."
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Will Obama's DOJ Intervene To Help RIAA?

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  • I hope so... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    but I think not...
  • by commodore64_love (1445365) on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @02:45PM (#26891863) Journal

    Let me get this straight. Obama, the man of the people, has a Dept. of Justice filing an amicus brief in order to HELP the extortionate RIAA win their case?

    Oh Lord, I wasted my vote.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by srussia (884021)

      Oh Lord, I wasted my vote.

      "Wasted vote" is a redundancy.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        it was never 'one man, one vote'.

        but rather: one dollar, one vote.

        get hip to how the world works, folks. this isn't a disney movie. the bad guys OFTEN win.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by andy_t_roo (912592)

          yes, its the golden rule - he who has the gold, makes the rules

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Palpitations (1092597) *
        Oh come on. I'm so sick of that argument. Every vote matters. I'm as fed up with mainstream Democrats and Republicans as anyone, both tend to have major flaws... That said, do you really think that McCain/Palin and Obama/Biden are equal? Even if I don't agree with them on many issues, I'll take someone with a constitutional law degree over a senile old man and a far-right nutjob any day.

        That said, I've voted for a third party all of my life. I've never lived in a swing state, so my vote won't change
        • by bigstrat2003 (1058574) * on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @03:20PM (#26892659)

          That said, do you really think that McCain/Palin and Obama/Biden are equal?

          Of course I do. They both had critical flaws which made both of them unsuitable to be our next president. Once we get past that, it doesn't matter what else you can say about them. They were both equal: really bad.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Palpitations (1092597) *

            They both had critical flaws which made both of them unsuitable to be our next president.

            Okay, let's say that we expect a standard of 10, that's what we consider suitable. Neither a 3 nor a 7 meet the standard. That doesn't mean that 3=7.

            Nothing in life is perfect. Inability to compromise is the downfall of Libertarians and Greens everywhere. Both have some great ideas (in my opinion, anything those two group agree on is as good as gold - social issues mainly), but the all-or-nothing attitude that they share keeps them from being taken seriously.

            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by corbettw (214229)

              Libertarians who are willing to compromise their core principles are just Republicans, just as Greens who do so are Democrats.

              • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                Libertarians who are willing to compromise their core principles are just Republicans, just as Greens who do so are Democrats.

                No, they are both just realists.

                • by BoberFett (127537)

                  There's nothing real about spending trillions of dollars we don't have by both parties. In fact that money is the exact opposite of real.

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by Hordeking (1237940)

              They both had critical flaws which made both of them unsuitable to be our next president.

              Okay, let's say that we expect a standard of 10, that's what we consider suitable. Neither a 3 nor a 7 meet the standard. That doesn't mean that 3=7.

              Well, to conservatives, Obama was a 3, and McCain was a 7. To liberals, McCain was a 3 and Obama was a 7. So if you add each one up, you get 10 for each, so it all works out and they are the same, in opposite ways.

              Nothing in life is perfect. Inability to compromise is the downfall of Libertarians and Greens everywhere. Both have some great ideas (in my opinion, anything those two group agree on is as good as gold - social issues mainly), but the all-or-nothing attitude that they share keeps them from being taken seriously.

              No, their downfall is not being able to break enough people away from the main parties, because those said individuals don't want to waste their dilute their vote and potentially have "the really bad one" win (ie I don't like McCain, and I really like Ron Paul, and I really, really hate Obama. If

              • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                by SL Baur (19540)

                Well, to conservatives, Obama was a 3, and McCain was a 7. To liberals, McCain was a 3 and Obama was a 7.

                Except that it wasn't quite like that. McCain was a 3 and Obama was a 1. That was from some issues oriented poll I took at the start of the primaries that rated candidates based on 10 statements on 10 different subjects.

                The only thing I agreed with Obama on was getting the US military the hell out of war and he's backtracked on that.

                This is going to be worse than Bush who actually ran on a decent platform, only to do a total 180 once he got elected. An example of a promise gone bad: I wanted the US out

              • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                by Sj0 (472011)

                I'd have to disagree with your premise. I've been called a "far right wing whackjob", and McCain Palin simply didn't jive.

                Bush in 2000 ran on a platform of smaller government, humble foreign policy, reducing spending and taxes. He ended up increasing budgetted spending more than any president in history, adjusting for inflation, and increasing debt mroe than any president in history adjusting for inflation, and increasing the size of government (he doubled the size of the department of education).

                McCain and

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by phantomfive (622387)
      Not yet. Obama has lots of things to worry about, a big economic crisis, making government more open, a couple wars.......on the scale of importance of things this one is rather low. Heck, on my scale I'd rather have Obama worrying about the high rates of murder in Oakland, CA than worrying about an industry whose music isn't that great anyway.

      So, we don't know if Obama has even looked at the issue at hand yet. All that has happened so far is that they've asked for more time to look at the issue, which
      • by r00t (33219) on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @03:15PM (#26892551) Journal

        What do you think of that treaty that is being negotiated in secret? (the one that has popped up in 2 or 3 slashdot stories over the past half year)

        Obama isn't being open about that one.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by liquidpele (663430)

        Obama worrying about the high rates of murder in Oakland, CA than worrying about an industry whose music isn't that great anyway.

        Obama is 2-faced. He's all against torture at Gitmo, but then turns around and allows the RIAA to torture us with incessant doses of Brittany Spears and Lady GaGa. When will he end this madness?

      • We chose Obama because he is a step in the right direction, a step towards openness, a step towards making friends with the rest of the world, and I would even say a step towards cleaning up corruption (that's the point of openness, right?). We knew he wasn't perfect, that's not why we chose him. We chose him because we wanted a change in direction; that can take time, and won't all happen with one man.

        Thank you.

        He's made some very good pledges about openness and anti-corruption measures, so now's the time for him to live up to them.

        • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @03:40PM (#26893019)

          He's made some very good pledges about openness and anti-corruption measures, so now's the time for him to live up to them.

          Here's some background on Obama's Attorney General, Eric Holder. http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-10110922-38.html [cnet.com]

          Intellectual property piracy: "This is theft"
          Less ambiguous were Holder's arguments for aggressive enforcement of U.S. intellectual property laws. In 1999, he joined the president of Adobe Systems at an event in San Jose, Calif., to announce that digital piracy had become a real problem and would become a "real priority" for the Justice Department.

          "This is theft, pure and simple," Holder said at the time.

          The Business Software Alliance, which counts Adobe Systems and Microsoft as members, applauded Holder's nomination this week. "He's smart, he's dedicated, open minded, he's very tenacious in pursuing the goals of the department," said BSA president Robert Holleyman. "We're very enthusiastic...He's a first rate choice."

          Do not expect any change from the previous administration's stance on IP matters. It's going to be pretty much corporatist justice, if not more so.

        • by Palpitations (1092597) * on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @04:11PM (#26893537)

          He's made some very good pledges about openness and anti-corruption measures, so now's the time for him to live up to them.

          It may or may not be a token gesture, but it certainly makes me smile to read the White House's new Copyright Policy [whitehouse.gov]:

          Except where otherwise noted, third-party content on this site is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. Visitors to this website agree to grant a non-exclusive, irrevocable, royalty-free license to the rest of the world for their submissions to Whitehouse.gov under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

      • by macraig (621737) <`mark.a.craig' `at' `gmail.com'> on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @03:35PM (#26892929)

        Have you not noticed or already blanked-out the fact that it was Obama's new administration that placed these RIAA lawyers in the DOJ in the first place? A Slashdot reminder of that fact was linked right in the article above.

        You call it "optimism", but I call it "delusion".

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by tsm_sf (545316)
          Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act

          Obama might be the first black president, but this will be his real legacy. That's not delusion.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by cayenne8 (626475)
        "We chose Obama because he is a step in the right direction, a step towards openness, a step towards making friends with the rest of the world, and I would even say a step towards cleaning up corruption (that's the point of openness, right?)."

        Goodness, I wish I had your youthful optimism about the world.

        *Sigh*....well, just give it a few years, with experience and seeing how it all works, that optimism and hope for the world fades. Enjoy it while you have you illusions. After that, you learn to just look

        • We chose Obama because he is a step in the right direction, a step towards openness, a step towards making friends with the rest of the world, and I would even say a step towards cleaning up corruption (that's the point of openness, right?)."

          Goodness, I wish I had your youthful optimism about the world. *Sigh*....well, just give it a few years, with experience and seeing how it all works, that optimism and hope for the world fades. Enjoy it while you have you illusions. After that, you learn to just look out for yourself.

          Well I agreed with that comment a hundred percent. And I'm 60. You can call my optimism dumb, but you can't call it youthful.

    • by LameAssTheMity (998266) <william.brien@gmail.com> on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @03:01PM (#26892217)

      Voting for either "side" in this broken two party corporate governance is a waste, the best you can hope for is that the guy who wins will fuck you less than the other guy.

      that is unless we take control of our federal government by utilizing our state power, but who really paid attention to the local elections? Last time I checked, they were installed by the same corporations/banks that paid for McCain AND Obama!

      Don't take my word for it, look it up yourself at opensecrets.org [opensecrets.org]

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by liquidpele (663430)
        Indeed. A system such as IRV [instantrunoff.com] would do this country wonders - especially for local and state elections.
      • by thedonger (1317951) on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @03:49PM (#26893173)

        The problem isn't the two-party system. That is a symptom. We as a nation have allowed the federal government to assume more and more of our states' powers in return for pledges to "fix" various societal ills. We have all forgotten the intention of the founders/framers to protect us from an overreaching federal bureaucracy, either through laziness or lack of education.

        I would much rather have my state and federal taxes reversed, i.e., pay thousands to my state but only hundreds to the fed, that way my money would work for me and those near me, rather than to help subsidize loads crap 3000 miles away. It would also take some of the power out of the US Congress and make state senators and representatives more important.

    • by DragonWriter (970822) on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @03:02PM (#26892225)

      Let me get this straight. Obama, the man of the people, has a Dept. of Justice filing an amicus brief in order to HELP the extortionate RIAA win their case?

      No, the Obama Administration's DOJ is considering filing an amicus brief supporting statutory damages even when they greatly exceed demonstrable actual damages. While that theory being struck down in the instant case might be bad for the RIAA and no one else immediately, if such a precedent were established, it would greatly limit the use of statutory damages in most of the places where they are used, which are often in places where the easily quantifiable portion of direct harms is very small, but the diffuse impact may be very large. This does not benefit only, or even primarily, big corporations, its very common in laws that principally benefit individuals against big corporations (like many consumer protection laws) and other powerful interests (civil actions under many civil rights laws).

      Amicus briefs are often filed by parties whose interest in legal precedent that could be set is largely tangential to the interests of the parties in the case; if parties have a direct interest in the case, they probably ought to be intervenors, not amici.

      • by jedidiah (1196) on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @04:47PM (#26894145) Homepage

        This would be by no means a bad thing.

        TORTS are supposed to right wrongs, not be a payday. So it is logical
        and obvious that damages awarded in lawsuits have some relationship to
        actual proven harm. That's that civil courts are for: to prove harm and
        resolve the harm.

        They aren't meant for social crusading.

        Any ambulance chaser who isn't fodder for Lawyer jokes would tell you that.

        If there is a public policy reason to FINE people and corporations then
        the law should allow for that explicitly. It should not be done as a back
        door hack for something that isn't meant for the use you're putting it to.

        Want megabuck fines for piracy? Fine, make it a proper criminal offense with
        the state being the only entity with standing and a proper burden of proof.

        Something that is not serious enough for society to pay attention to and take
        seriously should not have severe draconian consequences attached to it.

        • TORTS are supposed to right wrongs, not be a payday. So it is logical and obvious that damages awarded in lawsuits have some relationship to actual proven harm. That's that civil courts are for: to prove harm and resolve the harm. They aren't meant for social crusading. Any ambulance chaser who isn't fodder for Lawyer jokes would tell you that. If there is a public policy reason to FINE people and corporations then the law should allow for that explicitly. It should not be done as a back door hack for something that isn't meant for the use you're putting it to. Want megabuck fines for piracy? Fine, make it a proper criminal offense with the state being the only entity with standing and a proper burden of proof.

          Well said, jedidiah. Thank you. That is the issue that will be argued in SONY v. Tenenbaum, when the First Circuit sorts out whether the argument can be streamed over the internet. It is a very important discussion we need to have about the RIAA's interpretation of copyright law.

    • the problem I see is that Bush while supported corporations seemed truly to protect the country and did what he thought best. So far all I see is Obama ceding authority and decisions to others. He seems adept at not taking action himself or taking responsibility. He is after face time and "credit" but credit without owning anything. The stimulus bill was handed over to Pelosi and Reid and he flew around campaigning with doom and gloom if it wasn't signed. Bush just stayed either out of sight or just sa

  • by elrous0 (869638) * on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @02:47PM (#26891893)

    Come on, really?!? Believing Obama isn't in the pockets of Hollywood (incl. the MPAA and RIAA), trial lawyers, and the unions is as naive as believing Goerge Bush wasn't in the pockets of Wall Street, big oil, and the bible-thumpers.

    Every politician is someone's bitch. Hollywood most assuredly produced the carton of cigarettes to buy Obama. And you can bet that they expect results.

    • by furby076 (1461805) on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @02:54PM (#26892047) Homepage
      The thing is, he is president right now, he could say "Thanks for the donations...SUCKERS" and then vote for the people. A popular president not getting re-elected is highly unlikely - even if he doesn't have a huge donation base...he has the WH megaphone for free (or at least free for him).
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by jmorris42 (1458) *

      > Who is dumb enough to believe a politician?

      80% of Slashdot bought into HopeyMcChange's schtick. It is going to be fun (in a tragic comedy sense) watching the disillusionment after a couple of years of increasingly violent denials that Yup, he is just a politician.... and while possessing great oratary skills not all that bright in the end.

      But to put off that awakening watch the NewSpeak in the media as they try to explain away the fast breaking campaign promises. Bipartisan, open, new politics turned

      • by Vancorps (746090) on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @04:29PM (#26893847)

        I don't get it, where do you people get that everyone thought of Obama as a messiah? I don't know anyone that did and I know a lot of people that voted for him.

        No one in their right mind thought Obama would solve all the problems but that he would cease the landslide that Bush was causing and so far this seems to be true with the closing of Gitmo.

        Of course Gitmo isn't closed yet so the jury is still out there.

        As for the stimulus bill you seem to be confused about who's pushing for what. The vast majority of Americans are asking for a giant pork bill. Whether that is good or bad for the population should be debated heavily as there are far reaching consequences to borrowing that much money which was previously something the former administration liked doing. Obama never asked for 800 billion, that all came from Pelosi as you say and I've seen a number of republicans acting quite childishly about how it is being developed without their input. If they didn't act like such babies about it I'd be more inclined to believe them or at least feel bad for them since it's good to have opposing viewpoints in a debate.

        Of course the idea of borrowing several billion dollars to give people a tax cut is also quite absurd as we have to pay that money back somehow which will be in higher taxes down the road. This is of course what the republican agenda is all sore about right now as they want more tax cuts.

        I think we can all agree that fear and panic are emotions that should not be involved in bill making especially with a stimulus bill as large as the one on the table. It's forcing all of congress to move too quickly and they will end up making even more poor decisions. Remember, congress had an even lower approval rating than Bush did and for good reason! I wish I could say Pelosi was helping to change that but she is just as ineffective as the republican she replaced.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by jmorris42 (1458) *

          > Of course the idea of borrowing several billion dollars to give people a tax cut is also quite absurd..

          No, it's worse. We are in a crisis which everybody agrees is a credit crunch, credit isn't available and it is causing pain everywhere. So what is their answer? Borrow a Trillion dollars and give it to every democratic wish list item ever floated. The problem was the housing bubble (chiefly caused by Democrats, even Bill Clinton fessed up on that one) blew out and scuttled the banks who had writte

  • by erroneus (253617) on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @02:49PM (#26891929) Homepage

    Going to various Obama web sites where public submission of comments are facilitated is exactly where people should go to voice their view on these matters. If it is clear to Obama that people are watching and responding, he will have a much more difficult time ignoring the situation and the people and will have an even more difficult time going back on his word. People are still up in the air about Obama's credibility and one negative is worth more than a hundred positives and I know he is well aware of that fact. This early in his presidency, he cannot afford to let his credibility slip. He can't make excuses. He has little choice but to respond as he would be expected.

    • Going to various Obama web sites where public submission of comments are facilitated is exactly where people should go to voice their view on these matters.

      Exactly. Here [whitehouse.gov]'s the one I know of. If there are others, would appreciate the links.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @03:24PM (#26892731)

        Here's what I wrote to them using your link - thank you NYCL...

        Are you going to allow ex-RIAA lawyers, now members of your Department of Justice staff, intercede on behalf of the RIAA in cases where they are finally being brought to task in regard to their unconstitutional attacks on ordinary citizens?

        You did know that the RIAA hired companies to act as Private Investigators in states they held no credentials to act as such, right?

        You did know that the RIAA has brought copyright infringement cases against 80+ year old grandmothers who never had a computer?

        You did know that the RIAA has brought copyright infringement cases against deceased people, then tried to get the 10 year child of said deceased individual alone to scare them into saying they did something, when they may or may not have?

        You did know that the RIAA has continuously cried about losses (to piracy) during years that they've made their highest levels of profit, which was mostly due to people who have lent songs for others to listen to (much like yesterday's radio)?

        You did know that the RIAA has (as a conglomerate of Recording Companies) continually raises the flag that piracy hurts the recording artists, which habitually it's the recording companies that immorally force contracts onto artists that strip them of most of the money they could make - such as charging them for media, distribution (shipping) fees and breakage - for ELECTRONIC downloads of their songs - which have NO media, NO distribution fees, and NO breakage?

        The RIAA (and it's movie industry equivelent, the MPAA) are abominations to the citizens of this country, whose outdated business models leave them gasping for breath, trying to find any way they can possibly survive, which has led them to file law-suit after frivolous law-suit (nearly every time someone has stood up to them with any merit whatsoever, they've dropped the cases), tying up the court systems, in an effort to get the government to force the public to keep funding these dinosaur business relics which are better off extinct.

        Thanks for your time and patience.

  • by snarfies (115214) on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @02:49PM (#26891953) Homepage

    You can track the progress of Obama's many campaign promises at http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/promises/ [politifact.com] - its pretty interesting.

    • by Rycross (836649)
      That is an awesome link. Thank you for that.
    • by furby076 (1461805)
      And I think this site is maintained by our /. editor overlords. It has bill 234 listed twice as promises broken.
      • by daveime (1253762)
        kdawson strikes again huh ?
      • by Fozzyuw (950608)

        And I think this site is maintained by our /. editor overlords. It has bill 234 listed twice as promises broken.

        It's listed twice in "recently rated" section. There's still only 1 broken promise listed on the meter.

    • by Red Flayer (890720) on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @03:10PM (#26892435) Journal
      politifact.com: owned by St. Petersburg Times

      St. Petersburg Times: owned by the Poynter Institute

      The Poynter Institute is a journalism school well know for its uncommon (in today's world) approach of unbiased reporting and the primacy of fact over sensationalism.

      Gotta say, props to you for linking to a neutral site, when there are so many sites "Obama broken promises" sites maintained by partisan hacks.
      • by Snerdley (98439) on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @04:24PM (#26893763)

        ACK! ACK ACK ACK!

        Living in Clearwater (and having the St. Pete Times as my newspaper), I assure you that they are NOT neutral in any sense of the word.

        In addition to their editorial page being constantly slanted left, they regularly spin their new stories in the same way.

        I have been following the politifact.com site since I found it weeks ago. In fact, I subscribe to the RSS feed here: http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/feeds/updates/ [politifact.com]

        My main problem with this site in particular is that they count broken promises as "in progress" or "compromise", and they add new promises all the time. This doesn't just track promises made during the campaign: if he says (as president) he'll do something next week, and then he does it, it counts as a "Promise Kept". This ensures that their numbers always skew to the "Promise Kept" side.

        That said, I find the site entertaining, if irritating. I just hate the idea that anyone things it's "Fair" or "Neutral".

  • I can only hope that Obama steps in, because this sets a dangerous precedent of things to come.
  • No.

    I am surprised they aren't getting a bailout as well. The RIAA are professional fear mongers. With the economy in shambles this is their time to shine. I expect it to get worse.

    In fact I see this moving to the SCO model of business. They will just give up on music, and just sue people for money. It worked for them. We can only hope, as at least that way the RIAA dinosaur would go extinct and the music industry could move forward into the present reality.

    • by DarthVain (724186)

      Or Yes.

      Title confused me for a second. Whichever is corporate greed, and fear and using the system against the people, go for that one.

  • I agree this is a great concern. The article would do well to cite these promises, though. I do recall these being brought up, but it would be nice to post the evidence. Anyone have a link to support for these claims? So far I've found this:

    http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/promises/promise/240/tougher-rules-against-revolving-door-for-lobbyists/ [politifact.com]

  • For the naive to realize that Obama is nothing more than A LOT MORE of the same...

    *sighs*

    If you wanted change, you should have voted for Ron Paul.

  • by thirty-seven (568076) on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @03:05PM (#26892295)
    Just because the US federal administration argues that something is constitutional does not necessarily mean that they think it is a good or fair policy.
    • by Stray7Xi (698337) on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @04:52PM (#26894227)

      Just because the US federal administration argues that something is constitutional does not necessarily mean that they think it is a good or fair policy.

      The issue isn't the argument, the issue is their conflict of interest.

      You shouldn't use your job as VP to award no-bid-contracts to companies you used to run.
      You shouldn't use your job at DoJ to aid a plaintiff you used to represent.

      It reeks of corruption and distracts from the argument when it's brought to light.

  • Tsk, tsk (Score:3, Insightful)

    by drquoz (1199407) on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @03:06PM (#26892307)
    Obama repeatedly made sure that we knew that his campaign was funded entirely by us the citizens, not lobbyists or businesses. Therefore he should be using the DOJ to protect us from the RIAA, not the other way around. I sure hope he can fix the economy, because this is a strike against him.
  • by Xest (935314) on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @03:08PM (#26892359)

    Yes I know they worked for the RIAA before. But do they still do so?

    If they don't also still work for the RIAA are we sure these lawyers actually even give a damn about the RIAA? Unless they have stocks and shares or whatever in the RIAA companies then what's in it for them if they no longer work for them?

    It is possible that these lawyers were just doing it for the money and don't actually give a damn about the company they were working for.

    Does anything have anything more damning than that they used to work for the RIAA? do they still? are they receiving money or incentives still from the RIAA?

    • by argent (18001) <peter@NOsPam.slashdot.2006.taronga.com> on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @03:33PM (#26892899) Homepage Journal

      Doesn't matter, there's an implied conflict of interest in intervening on behalf of former employers.

  • DOJ should intervene on the side of customers.

  • Oh dear! (Score:3, Funny)

    by BCW2 (168187) on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @03:13PM (#26892491) Journal
    A politician lied?

    Why is anyone surprised?
    You actually were dumb enough to expect different?
  • by castorvx (1424163) on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @03:14PM (#26892523)

    In SONY BMG Music Entertainment v. Cloud,...

    So they've finally done it. The RIAA's legal expertise has lead them to sue the internet.

  • by boguslinks (1117203) on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @03:38PM (#26893005)
    look out for ordinary citizens rather than big corporations

    Just because Party A is an "ordinary citizen" and Party B is a "big corporation" doesn't mean that Party A should be able to harm Party B with impunity.

    NewYorkCountryLawyer, for all the good work he is doing, seems to include verbiage like this in almost every post that makes it to the front page. Over and over... the industry is suing "ordinary folks"... they should stop suing "ordinary folks"... evil big corporation vs. noble, innocent ordinary folks...

    I happen to be in the camp that the historical reasons for copyright are no longer extant and that massive reform should be done. But this verbiage disturbs me.

    Our legal system should provide facilities for party A to address grievances with party B, whether B is big and A is small, or vice versa. It shouldn't be the goal (as the verbiage seems to suggest) that the legal system should be rigged to favor the smaller party in a dispute.
    • by navyjeff (900138) on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @03:59PM (#26893341) Homepage Journal
      I would agree with you if it were that simple. The problem is that the legal system evolves and favors those who have the resources to contend in court.

      A regular person does not have resources to fight civil lawsuits that may last indefinitely. It is not in an individual's best interest (typically) to drag out a proceeding and exhaust every legal option in pursuit of a victory. A big corporation, however, does and can benefit from it.

      If the system were rigged towards the smaller party, I agree it probably would be equally injust (see the current state of patent law).

      It would probably be helpful to the average working man if judges limited the scope of the better-funded party's arguments in a case. But that wouldn't make it just.

  • by UnknowingFool (672806) on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @03:54PM (#26893259)

    Here's how I understand the motion. Can a lawyer comment if the DOJ's request is just standard procedure? On October 29, 2008, the Defendant (Denise Cloud) challenges the constitutionality of the statutory damages section of 17 U.S.C 504c. Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 5.1a says that the Attorney General can intervene in any constitutional challenge within 60 days. This motion requests more time for the DOJ to study whether they should intervene beyond the 60 days. The DOJ may have 3 outcomes: They can reject the challenge. They can allow the challenge to proceed and not interfere. They can also support the challenge.

    It is a new administration so we can't be sure which way they will lean. However it maybe that this administration is just more diligent and attentive than the previous administrations to this issue. The Bush administration seemed to be more focused on other legal issues.

  • You have two lawyers with proven track records of a) using evidence that was obtained illegally, and b) suing people with no evidence at all, c) suing the wrong people, and d) participating in a campaign of frivolous litigation.

    The only way the administration could have done worse was to appoint Jack Thompson.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      You have two lawyers with proven track records of a) using evidence that was obtained illegally, and b) suing people with no evidence at all, c) suing the wrong people, and d) participating in a campaign of frivolous litigation.

      Yeah but other than that, what do you have against them? Picky, picky.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by jamstar7 (694492)

      The only way the administration could have done worse was to appoint Jack Thompson.

      To be not giving them any ideas, now, eh?

      Besides, I kinda doubt a presidential pardon would trump a disbarment...

  • by untouchableForce (927584) on Tuesday February 17, 2009 @09:06PM (#26897165)
    Anyone think that's it's a bit too coincidental that this was announced on the same day the stimulus bill was signed and troops were ordered to Afghanistan? Pretty much guaranteed to not get a single lick of major press.

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