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Obama Picks RIAA's Favorite Lawyer For Top DoJ Post 766

The Recording Industry of America's favorite courtroom lawyer, Tom Perrelli, who has sued individual file swappers in multiple federal courts, is President-elect Barack Obama's choice for the third in line at the Justice Department. CNet's Declan McCullagh explores the background of the man who won the RIAA's lucrative business for his DC law firm: "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," not to mention Pandora and Radio Paradise. NewYorkCountryLawyer adds, "Certainly this does not bode well for CowboyNeal's being appointed Copyright Czar."
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Obama Picks RIAA's Favorite Lawyer For Top DoJ Post

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  • by Reverend528 ( 585549 ) * on Tuesday January 06, 2009 @11:08PM (#26352947) Homepage
    He picked their favorite senator as a running mate.
  • Figures (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Bios_Hakr ( 68586 ) <`xptical' `at' `gmail.com'> on Tuesday January 06, 2009 @11:09PM (#26352959)

    Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      But... But... But.. Change, dammit! Change!
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by multisync ( 218450 ) *

      Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss.

      Let us know when you receive that DMCA takedown notice.

  • by Whatsmynickname ( 557867 ) on Tuesday January 06, 2009 @11:09PM (#26352961)

    Between that and this pick [time.com], will all the Slashdot Obama koolaid drinkers who thought he was supposedly pro-tech please stand up and be heard now!

  • by Doghouse Riley ( 1072336 ) on Tuesday January 06, 2009 @11:10PM (#26352973)
    I'm popping a big bowl of Orville's best right now.

    If Chimpy McBushitler had done this, it'd be business as usual on /.

    But now that his O'ness has done it, I'm looking forward to a really entertaining read.
  • And so it begins (Score:5, Insightful)

    by QuantumG ( 50515 ) * <qg@biodome.org> on Tuesday January 06, 2009 @11:11PM (#26352977) Homepage Journal

    I don't know if you wanna count this as the first chink in the army but the fact is no-one is flawless. Obama is being surrounded by the same assholes that have been driving this country into the ground for decades. No matter how good his intentions may be, he'll believe his trusted advisers and they will believe the lobbyists, cause they just don't know any better.

  • Not Surprising (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Rycross ( 836649 ) on Tuesday January 06, 2009 @11:13PM (#26352993)

    The Democrats have always been fairly cozy with the media industries in particular, so it wouldn't surprise me if Obama is likewise fairly cozy with them.

    My question is whether the RIAA stuff is the sum of what this lawyer has done with his career, or if there are other achievements, perhaps more noteworthy. It could be that the lawyer in question is indifferent to the RIAA's ideology and was simply representing them in a professional manner. It definitely doesn't make Obama's pick any less questionable and the lawyer any less scummy, but it would at least assuage my fears that the appointee would be pushing the RIAA's agenda from a position of power.

  • by MWoody ( 222806 ) on Tuesday January 06, 2009 @11:19PM (#26353033)

    Slashdot headline:
    Obama Picks RIAA's Favorite Lawyer For Top DoJ Post

    Original headline:
    Obama picks RIAA's favorite lawyer for a top Justice post

    Quibbling over a single letter might seem pedantic - and /.'s headline is misleading rather than incorrect - but in this case, that's one very important letter. *sigh* The news lately is like a game of blogger's telephone.

  • by John3 ( 85454 ) <john3@@@cornells...com> on Tuesday January 06, 2009 @11:31PM (#26353175) Homepage Journal

    Some noble attorneys take lower paying positions as public defenders, or take on cases pro bono to help a political cause. However, many (most?) take cases based on the financial benefits to be gained. Mr. Perrelli is paid by the RIAA to represent them, he doesn't represent them because he hates file sharers or technology. And he's done a pretty good job for his clients, so hopefully he will do a good job for his new client, the DoJ.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Some noble attorneys take lower paying positions as public defenders, or take on cases pro bono to help a political cause. However, many (most?) take cases based on the financial benefits to be gained. Mr. Perrelli is paid by the RIAA to represent them, he doesn't represent them because he hates file sharers or technology. And he's done a pretty good job for his clients, so hopefully he will do a good job for his new client, the DoJ.

      Most of what the RIAA has done in the courtroom has shown a total lack of ethics and has been judged by many (including many judges) to be illegal. That's the Bush way of running the executive, and it sickens me to see someone like this appointed by Obama.

  • And so it begins (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Broken scope ( 973885 ) on Tuesday January 06, 2009 @11:37PM (#26353243) Homepage

    I can't wait to watch all the hardcore supporters roll back expectations, deny all the claims they made about change, and finally blame the system itself for any failures on the chosen ones part.

    And the rest of us who maybe had a little hope for change are just going to be disappointed with more "new boss".

  • Not Suprised (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 06, 2009 @11:40PM (#26353267)

    I'm laughing to myself, because anyone who thought there was going to be serious change in DC was only deluding themselves. Now the truth is becoming apparent, Obama is no different then any other politician except he has a greater personal charisma.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 06, 2009 @11:43PM (#26353301)
    It deeply saddens me that you have chosen to appoint Tom Perrelli to be the third in command at the Justice Department.

    This is a man who has represented an organization that has hunted down and victimized children and college students using the legal system as a weapon. He has knowingly and willingly attacked America's supply of future skilled labor, and potential doctors, lawyers, scientists, teachers, and more have all been forced to go into debt to pay off what they have been blackmailed out of.

    And all of this was not done in the name of profit, but of control. Proof has been shown that the RIAA has done nothing but lose money by attacking their customer base, calling them pirates and thieves, violating their rights, and leveraging out of court settlements out of families who do not believe that they have what it takes to fight this injustice in court.

    The man you have chosen for this position is the wrong choice. Please revert this decision. I and others are deeply afraid of what it means to see you appointing him.
  • by smchris ( 464899 ) on Tuesday January 06, 2009 @11:47PM (#26353329)

    Years ago, I wrote Saint Wellstone that I thought it was ridiculous that I could buy a DVD and be a felon for playing it on a linux machine. The reply I got from Saint Wellstone's office said the DMCA was a great thing and he would vote for it again if he had the chance. Just look at where the money comes from.

    • by Solandri ( 704621 ) on Wednesday January 07, 2009 @12:56AM (#26353887)
      Yeah, I don't understand why people are surprised by this. The Democratic party has always been pro-Hollywood, just like the Republican party has always been pro-business. People spend way too much energy badmouthing the opposing party, and not enough towards cleaning up the party they support. The vast majority of people I meet seem to equate criticizing their party with supporting the opposition, which is just silly. Your duty as a citizen does not stop at supporting the party of your choice; it extends to making sure your voice is heard so that they change to better represent your views.
  • He's unworthy (Score:5, Informative)

    by HermMunster ( 972336 ) on Wednesday January 07, 2009 @12:05AM (#26353469)

    So far the only questionable selection that concerns me.

    The RIAA have been misusing the DMCA for the longest period of time. The person that drafted the law even admits that the RIAA is abusing the law.

    Now we have a lawyer, however intellectual, that has acted utterly un-smart, being appointed from "a lobbying organization"; which are supposed to be an antithesis to the Obama adminstration.

    I mean, really, listen to those videos that made it to the net from those lawyers that were part of the RIAA; those that lobbied to convince law enforcement that copying music is contributory to money laundering. And now you have Obama appointing one of those crazies to an important position.

  • not broken (Score:4, Insightful)

    by servognome ( 738846 ) on Wednesday January 07, 2009 @12:40AM (#26353751)

    Only one thing will fix our broken democracy at this point -- revolution.

    What makes you think it's broken? Just because the results aren't exactly what you like, doesn't mean that the system is horribly broken.

  • by Gandalf_Greyhame ( 44144 ) on Wednesday January 07, 2009 @01:03AM (#26353937) Journal

    Firstly, I am not an American, so please forgive me for any mistakes that I am about to make here.

    From the outside looking in, at least to myself, it appeared to be more a case of who could amass, and consequently spend, the greater amount of political donations.

    I could be wrong here, and I am perfectly willing to accept that, but that is how it appeared to be to me.

    Political donations, or more accurately "bribes," (because that is what they are, regardless of what your government tells you) are used during the campaign to pay for speech writers, spin doctors, and also to pay off the media so that they are cast in a favourable light.

    Then once the vote has been carried out, and the winner decided, all of those people who have donated substantial amounts of money to the campaign, then start demanding their dues. After all it was they who ensured victory, therefore they should be rewarded for their assistance.

    $712M (Banking on becoming President [opensecrets.org]) dollars was spent on the Obama campaign, and you can rest assured that very very VERY little of that was given by your average citizen. So once again, the corporations have elected a president, and now they want something in return.

    I know that democracy is "government for the people, by the people," and I believe that that is what the intention was. However in recent times it has wavered from that ideal, and we are all having our freedoms stripped by our governments on the behest of the corporations (lobbyists, etc) who financially support the campaigns of the political parties.

  • by detritus. ( 46421 ) on Wednesday January 07, 2009 @03:19AM (#26354747)

    I think alot of people are forgetting that lawyers are lawyers. They are paid to represent and fight whatever battle if someone throws enough money at them, regardless of their personal views on the case, much like mercenaries. I think Obama knows this being a Law Professor, so I'm personally not too worried about this appointment and don't see what the big deal is.

    • by eiapoce ( 1049910 ) on Wednesday January 07, 2009 @06:02AM (#26355561)

      When you make a choice in your life you make a personal statement. Every time you decide who is your employer you take a big decision. There is a speech in the movie Clerks where they debate about the workers on the death star killed by the rebellion. They were working class, supposely the people the rebellion was fighting for, but they choose to work for the evil empire so they deserved to die. Well that's the point.

      This guy choose to work for a organization that recklessly goes after private citizens, lobbied the government into absurd laws and hs been twice in judgement for the abuse of RICO tactics ( http://www.p2pnet.net/story/7767 [p2pnet.net] ). This would have rang a bell in any "non sociopathic" human being looking for a job. Me for one would feel very bad in pursuing normal people with small incomes and ruin their lifes just to make a billion dollar industry richer. But this guy looks like he hasn't got these feelings and did indeed choose to work for them. But does being a lawyer qualify you for a moral licence to accept and pratice social unacceptable behavious like those emploed by the RIAA? I don't think so.

      He is a lawyer but I hope not all lawyers are made this way. On slashdot there is a very active member that decided, for instance, to have a carreer standing with the people.

      In other words Obama "for a change" instead of being lobbyed as his predecessors took a step forward and appointed the least qualified to rapresent people in a public institution. Infact this man with his choice has already shown to prefer money over ethics.

      Good luck with your change.

"I prefer the blunted cudgels of the followers of the Serpent God." -- Sean Doran the Younger