RIAA, BSA lawyers fill top Justice spots

Obama has filled several of the highest positions in the Justice Departments with industry lawyers with deep connections to RIAA, software publishers.
Written by Richard Koman, Contributor

Democrats have long been supporters of Hollywood interests. Hollywood was crazy for Bill Clinton and some of the most hated copyright legislation like DMCA was created by Clintonites. Now that President Obama has made several top Justice Dept. appointments, copylefters may feel justified in feeling that little will change.

News.com reports that Obama has picked Neil McBride, the Business Software Association's top antipiracy lawyer, as associated deputy attorney general.

Second in command is David Ogden, formerly assistant attorney general for the civil division, and the person who represented the government in litigation of the Child Online Protection Act (now dead) and the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act (see Eldred v Ashcroft).

Another top pick is Tom Perrelli, who represented the RIAA in numerous cases and is currently a partner with Jenner and Block. He also represented SoundExchange in the horrible webcasting royalty battle.

Says Declan:

Two days into an administration is far too soon to evaluate its policies, of course, especially when important vacancies exist. But it may be possible that when Candidate Obama offeredthe usefully vague promise that he would "reform our copyright and patent systems," he had in mind something rather different than what many of his most enthusiastic Internet supporters did.

Editorial standards