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RIAA and BSA's Lawyers Taking Top Justice Posts 377

An anonymous reader writes "Following the appointment of RIAA's champion Donald Verrilli as associate deputy attorney general, here's a complete roundup of all the RIAA and BSA-linked lawyers comfortably seated at top posts at the Department of Justice by the new government. Not strange, since US VP Joe Biden is well known for pushing the copyright warmongers' agenda in Washington. Just in case you don't know, Verrilli is the nice man who sued the pants off Jammie Thomas."
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RIAA and BSA's Lawyers Taking Top Justice Posts

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  • by Wonko the Sane ( 25252 ) * on Thursday February 05, 2009 @12:20PM (#26738771) Journal []

    Found on this thread []

  • change (Score:4, Insightful)

    by DoofusOfDeath ( 636671 ) on Thursday February 05, 2009 @12:21PM (#26738801)

    Well, at least this is change I can believe in. As in, it's certainly not hard to believe.


    • Re:change (Score:5, Funny)

      by Hordeking ( 1237940 ) on Thursday February 05, 2009 @12:26PM (#26738901)

      Well, at least this is change I can believe in. As in, it's certainly not hard to believe.


      The more things CHANGE!, the more they stay the same. That's CHANGE! you can HOPE! for.

    • Re:change (Score:4, Insightful)

      by zappepcs ( 820751 ) on Thursday February 05, 2009 @12:30PM (#26738993) Journal

      I don't think that many people in American (or the world for that matter) thought that 'change you can believe in' meant exactly what you imply that it seems to mean. I think the only real change we got was the name plate on the desk in the oval office.

    • by mcgrew ( 92797 ) * on Thursday February 05, 2009 @12:51PM (#26739351) Homepage Journal

      With those who've sold their souls in those positions, maybe they'll make things so bad that the public sits up and takes notice and demands reform to our seriously dysfunctional copyright laws.

      So I, for one, welcome our new plutocratic overlords. At least, I think I do...

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by rssrss ( 686344 )

      "despite everything the world continues to turn in its old corrupt way. And the same idea may now be crossing the minds of those who believed that electing Democrats into power would mean cleaner government, world peace and a high moral tone only to realize that maybe Washington is like a softdrink machine which dispenses orange bug juice no matter what buttons you push."

      -- Richard Fernandez []

    • It's perfect.

      Prior to him getting into office, Slashdot was full of Obama worshippers. They really thought he was going to be a president for nerds. Suckers!

      BTW, since this post surely hits too close to home for many, please keep an eye on the moderation.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Valdrax ( 32670 )

        Hey, I'm a big Obama fan, but I never once believed he'd be an improvement on copyright. There are no friends in Congress on that issue. On the one hand, you have Democrats with strong ties to Hollywood. On the other hand, you have Republicans who are just pro-big business in general, and IP is one of America's biggest export industries. No one gives a crap about the average citizen on this issue.

  • Wait a minute (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Bakobull ( 301976 ) on Thursday February 05, 2009 @12:26PM (#26738881)

    So the lawyers brought these lawsuits not the RIAA. I didn't realize Donald Verrilli brought these lawsuits to protect his copyrights. I don't blame the lawyers for this anymore than I would blame the soldiers for fighting Bush's war.

    • Re:Wait a minute (Score:5, Insightful)

      by geekoid ( 135745 ) <dadinportland&yahoo,com> on Thursday February 05, 2009 @12:30PM (#26738989) Homepage Journal

      But you need to look at the lawyers behavior in doing their job.

      Look for NewYorkCountryLawyer to reply in this thread. He put's it better then I do.

    • Re:Wait a minute (Score:5, Informative)

      by LordKaT ( 619540 ) on Thursday February 05, 2009 @12:32PM (#26739031) Homepage Journal

      It's all about influence. The more influence you can inject into a government, the more you'll see laws that favor your business model.

    • Yeah, because Verrilli had no choice but to file those lawsuits, right? Or is it because being a copyright lawyer was his only way to attain a college education?


    • Re:Wait a minute (Score:5, Insightful)

      by JustNiz ( 692889 ) on Thursday February 05, 2009 @12:38PM (#26739115)

      You're right that its the RIAA not the lawyer, but it still marks him an opportunistic worm that has no scruples.

    • Re:Wait a minute (Score:5, Insightful)

      by dmomo ( 256005 ) on Thursday February 05, 2009 @12:48PM (#26739295)

      These lawyers have a vested interest in keeping this war going as long as possible.

      The soldiers of Bush's war probably want to go home and see their family.

    • Re:Wait a minute (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Yvanhoe ( 564877 ) on Thursday February 05, 2009 @12:52PM (#26739369) Journal
      I think the good question is : what kind of contact, relation and common interest do they still have with their former clients ?
    • Re:Wait a minute (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Kamokazi ( 1080091 ) on Thursday February 05, 2009 @01:06PM (#26739637)

      There's a key difference here, mate:

      Commander: Go to Iraq, soldier!
      Soldier: No sir, I don't want to.
      Commander: Then get out of the military.

      RIAA: Hi lawyer, would you like to sue people for us?
      Lawyer: No, I only accept legitimate cases.
      RIAA: Okay then.

      Lawyers can turn down cases and keep their job.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        Lawyers can turn down cases and keep their job.

        I love it when somebody thinks our all volunteer military is somehow full of pitiful victims who are being railroaded into shooting innocent women and babies by their evil overlords. What a load of tripe!

        When you join the U.S. military, you take an oath with full understanding of the meaning of that oath. If you don't, you're a fool who deserves whatever you get, but that's a separate argument. If people join because they think they'll get free travel, pretty uniforms, college tuition, and so forth, they

        • Woah...if this was directed at me, that isn't what I was insinuating at all.

          I was just saying the GP's comparison of a lawyer to a soldier is invalid, because lawyers have a LOT more choice in which cases they take.

      • Re:Wait a minute (Score:5, Informative)

        by bleh-of-the-huns ( 17740 ) on Thursday February 05, 2009 @01:51PM (#26740557)

        There's a key difference here, mate:

        Commander: Go to Iraq, soldier!
        Soldier: No sir, I don't want to.
        Commander: Then get out of the military.

        You are incorrect here.. very very incorrect. If you are ordered to do something or go somewhere, and you disobey.. you get a court martial.

        You sign up for the military, you do as you are told till your obligation ends, then you get out.

    • People can dress it up all they want to, but when you pick up a gun and follow orders it doesn't absolve you of responsibility for what you do. I know the majority of the people in the world just plain worship violentism, but that doesn't change a thing. There is no glory in fighting and killing is wrong, period.

      And even the law isn't so blind as to be able to be otherwise. Invading Iraq was immoral and illegal and ALL of the people who participated in it, from top to bottom, committed a crime. Pure and sim

      • by anagama ( 611277 )
        Wish I hadn't posted already cause I'd mod you up. Well put.
      • by prisoner-of-enigma ( 535770 ) on Thursday February 05, 2009 @01:57PM (#26740695) Homepage

        There is no glory in fighting and killing is wrong, period.

        If someone is bent on killing you and the only means you have to defend yourself is with deadly force, is it wrong to exercise that force? Or would you stand on your morals and be slaughtered like an animal?

        Your lofty rhetoric doesn't stand up to real-world scenarios, I'm afraid.

        • See, the way I see it, your response is perfectly understandable, but it fails to make sense when you take a more holistic view of things.

          One cannot effectively defend oneself unless one is PREPARED to defend oneself. That might at first glance seem to be merely a sensible thing to do, be prepared (hey I was even a Boy Scout once, lol).

          The problem is that being prepared consists of being armed. Once you arm yourself, you ARE by definition now a threat to everyone else. Thus they must arm themselves. Thus ev

          • by r00t ( 33219 )

            At a shooting range or gun-related event, people are really nice to each other. They don't get in fights.

            At the international level, notice how there has never been war between a pair of countries with nuclear weapons.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by MozeeToby ( 1163751 )

      Except that people who sign up for the armed services make a years long commitment to serving and defending their country. That meas that even if they don't agree with the current mission they made a commitment follow legal orders to the best of their abilities.

      The RIAA lawyers, on the other hand, signed up to make money. They were asked to do something that 95% of people out there would identify as ethically wrong (or at least questionable) and yet they didn't walk away. They have a choice in the matter

    • Re:Wait a minute (Score:5, Insightful)

      by The Moof ( 859402 ) on Thursday February 05, 2009 @01:08PM (#26739685)
      The RIAA didn't create the legal tactics with the lawyers being their drones following instruction. The lawyers came up with the tactics and loopholes and abused them to the fullest extent. They also walked a very fine line on the legality of what they were doing. You want someone who practices law like that to be in a position of authority in terms of justice?

      Also, the soldier analogy is terrible. Soldiers get arrested for going AWOL. There are a few options to get out of service on a moral basis, but I imagine they're difficult to pull off (interesting approach taken by this guy []). There also also repercussions for doing so. Lawyers just turn a client down and don't get paid.
    • Lawyers are hired guns. Does anybody think the RIAA lawyers actually believed in the cause they were litigating over? No, they were doing what they were told. Redirecting some of the most competent RIAA lawyers' efforts into more productive work could actually be a good thing.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      Posting RIAA lawyers to high government jobs makes no more sense than tobacco lawyers. Did they merely do the job put before them with due diligence? Sure. But the lawyers in the attorney general's office should have more scruples. Similarly, a lawyer defending a tobacco company should give up all hope of running for public office.
  • by Clever7Devil ( 985356 ) on Thursday February 05, 2009 @12:28PM (#26738949)
    I suppose putting the attack dogs for anti-competitive businesses in the DOJ is better than putting tax evaders in charge of the IRS...
    • Not sure about that. I already don't trust the IRS. I'd like to make the Justice Department more honest.
  • With two lawyers (Score:5, Insightful)

    by LittleLebowskiUrbanA ( 619114 ) on Thursday February 05, 2009 @12:37PM (#26739105) Homepage Journal

    as President and Vice President, what do you expect? Perhaps all of that Hollywood support from actors and musicians bought something from Obama and Biden.....

  • Obama is wonderful! He's taking RIAA's and BSA's lawyers away from them and giving them productive jobs, and now the RIAA and BSA won't be able to sue helpless people!


    • Re:OIW (Score:4, Insightful)

      by sumdumass ( 711423 ) on Thursday February 05, 2009 @02:07PM (#26740909) Journal

      The scary part is that we have more to lose from the government then we do from the BSA and RIAA. This is sort of scary when you consider the type of firepower the government is stocking up on. I mean people who have taken single mothers and blind grandmas to court and dragged them around quite capably. Now we can rest assured that knowing that the government now has people skilled in this area. It sort of balances the power out that has been lopsided towards the people for the last 230 plus years.

      Now that's change we can believe in. HOPE and all that shit.

  • by Dr.Dubious DDQ ( 11968 ) on Thursday February 05, 2009 @12:50PM (#26739337) Homepage
    Cheney|Halliburton = Biden|RIAA
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 05, 2009 @12:54PM (#26739393)

    If our Dear Leader likes these picks, then I like them too.

    From all of the negative comments I read, I can only conclude that pirates are racist.

  • As a Brit... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Xest ( 935314 ) on Thursday February 05, 2009 @01:08PM (#26739669)

    I'm currently more interested in this as a real test of the Obama administration's sincerity: []

    If Obama can't come forward and say to us "Yes, your courts can now open that evidence" then it is evidence of one important fact. Obama is a fraud.

    He cannot possibly on one hand talk of bringing those guilty of torture to justice and then prevent us doing so on the other.

    I think that it's actually our government that's playing up here because they do not want it coming out in the open that our security services were equally guilty of assisting in torture, but all Obama needs to do to make that clear is come forward. By the sounds of it our foreign secretary hasn't even approached the Obama administration yet and if that's true then it's a local issue, if that's not true then the world has bigger problems.

    If he can't then yeah, I think he's a fraud and yeah, I think these RIAA appointments possibly are more than just a case of hiring experienced lawyers (i.e. did they work for the RIAA because they believed the cause, or for the money?).

    I truly hope it's not too much to ask to at last have an important world leader that can walk the walk not just talk the talk.

  • by Giant Electronic Bra ( 1229876 ) on Thursday February 05, 2009 @01:12PM (#26739775)

    Not only is the RIAA now apparently synonymous with the Justice Department, but we STILL have renditions and we still have a President that believes he has the authority to spy on us (and by extension of the same logic essentially ignore any law or any provision of the Constitution by the same argument).

    It was unacceptable when GWB did it, and it is STILL unacceptable and it is still the responsibility of the citizens of the US to put a stop to it.

    But hey, Barak Obama is a great guy, we don't need civil liberties.


  • by Simonetta ( 207550 ) on Thursday February 05, 2009 @01:14PM (#26739789)

    When grasping the fact that the copyright barons are taking over the Justice Dept, remember that there is fundamental shift happening in the media industry.

    The media industry is basically a 20th-century phenomenon. The technology of the 20th-century created a structure where the best musicians of the world sold their musical in the format of fixed recordings through a centralized company. The recordings are the product. Under this structure, the musicians (and actors) become stars or mini-deities.

      The main idea here is that the recordings (of music or filmed performance) are the product that is sold on concept of a fixed price regardless of the 'artist' or the quality of the performance. The unnoticed aspect of this model is that there is NO interactivity between the recordings and the people who buy the recordings.

      The 21st-century entertainment media model is one of increasing interactivity between the recording and the person buying the recording. Starting with crude television-based video games in the 1980s, there has been a strong increase in the amount of interaction between the person 'consuming' the entertainment product and the entertainment product itself. The RIAA/MPAA can't reproduce this interactivity, neither can the companies who create fixed product (audio CDs, films). But this interactivity is becoming the key aspect of the entertainment experience that people (especially young people in their teens and twenties) are willing to pay for.

      The more that the RIAA/MPAA are successful at forcing people away from obtaining low-cost fixed recordings, the more that they drive their core consumer base into interactive entertainment products that they don't control. They don't seem to realize this, primarily because the RIAA/MPAA companies are stuck in the 20th-century. The Slashdaughters generally grasp this concept, but they are mostly young and technologically oriented. They are the demographic most likely to copy RIAA/MPAA product, this is true, but they are also the first people to move beyond RIAA/MPAA product to meet their entertainment needs.

      As the economic structure of the 20th-century fades, then so will the influence (and bullying ability) of the global media companies. As long as the RIAA/MPAA lawyers don't understand or control the emerging fields of interactive entertainment, it doesn't matter if the control the US Justice Department. They will remain 20th-century wolves chasing 20th-century sheep.

  • Him being VP and the possibility that Obama my be in the frame of mind on these issues made it very hard to vote for this team. Just the thought that Biden is a heartbeat from being President gave and still gives me nightmares.

  • This isn't change!

  • Anyone else notice the bias around here?

    Years of pointing out the Orrin Hatch is the most evil Senator in Washington and all this time Biden was his evil twin? Of course now that the Dems are in charge everyone thought there was really going to be a change? *snerk, giggle, guffaw*

"I will make no bargains with terrorist hardware." -- Peter da Silva