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RIAA Lobbyist Becomes Federal Judge, Rules On File-Sharing Cases 333

suraj.sun writes with this excerpt from Ars Technica: "Last week, Washington, DC federal judge Beryl Howell ruled on three mass file-sharing lawsuits. Judges in Texas, West Virginia, and Illinois had all ruled recently that such lawsuits were defective in various ways, but Howell gave her cases the green light; attorneys could use the federal courts to sue thousands of people at once and then issue mass subpoenas to Internet providers. Beryl Howell isn't the only judge to believe this, but her important ruling is especially interesting because of Howell's previous work: lobbying for the recording industry during the time period when the RIAA was engaged in its own campaign of mass lawsuits against individuals. The news, first reported in a piece at TorrentFreak, nicely illustrates the revolving door between government and industry."
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RIAA Lobbyist Becomes Federal Judge, Rules On File-Sharing Cases

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  • Just an observation (Score:5, Informative)

    by U8MyData ( 1281010 ) on Tuesday March 29, 2011 @05:45PM (#35659076)
    Increasingly, our country is appears to be more like the Corporate States of America. Sad. Can I have my bill of rights, consumer rights, and right to privacy back please? Or is that now subject to subscription services? (plenty of sarcasm intended).
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 29, 2011 @05:53PM (#35659204)
    And confirmed by a Democrat Senate (in the lame duck session, right before the Dems lost some Senate seats in January):

    Beryl A. Howell (born 1956) is a federal District Court judge for the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. She was nominated by President Barack Obama on July 14, 2010 and confirmed by the U.S. Senate on December 27, 2010. (Wikipedia)

    Well, all you YRO types who voted for Obama, this is what you get.

    Too bad I had to post anon due to predictable mod abuse, because I am serious about this topic, not trolling.
  • yet another (Score:5, Informative)

    by Jodka ( 520060 ) on Tuesday March 29, 2011 @05:55PM (#35659230)

    She is an Obama appointee []. And not his first. []

  • Re:Enjoy! (Score:4, Informative)

    by shutdown -p now ( 807394 ) on Tuesday March 29, 2011 @07:15PM (#35660312) Journal

    What on earth are you talking about? Fascism is pretty much the ultimate representation of corporatist ideals.

    The word "corporatist", and what Mussolini meant by "corporate" in his oft-quoted description of fascism, has very little to do with the modern capitalist definition of "corporation". Fascists were more like syndicalists in that respect, and "corporations" were to be more akin to guilds.

  • Re:Payroll (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 29, 2011 @10:05PM (#35661826)

    It sure is, just look at all the copyright legislation she has helped write.

    "She then moved to the Senate, where she served as general counsel for the Senate Judiciary Committee under Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), who has close ties to the copyright industries (Leahy is one of the big backers of the COICA Web censorship law that he guarantees will be passed later this year.)

    There, Howell helped to write CALEA (the law extending wiretap powers to the Internet) along with the No Electronic Theft Act (providing tougher penalties for online copyright crimes), the DMCA (making it illegal to break or bypass DRM, even if you want to rip a movie from a DVD you own to your iPod), and the Digital Theft Deterrence and Copyright Damages Deterrence Act.

    She then moved into private life at Stroz Friedberg, where she began lobbying for the RIAA, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Between 2004-2009, Howell was the only listed lobbyist at the firm; the RIAA was her exclusive lobbying client for most of that time. A lobbyist disclosure form describes her as working on "legislation concerning copyright laws as applied to digital music"—which she would be well-placed to do, having previously helped to write such laws."

    She was also paid quite well by the RIAA up until 2009.

  • Re:Payroll (Score:4, Informative)

    by TheWizardTim ( 599546 ) on Wednesday March 30, 2011 @02:03AM (#35663428) Journal

    We don't need to make threats of violence, we have Article 3 Section 1:

    "The judicial Power of the United States, shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish. The Judges, both of the supreme and inferior Courts, shall hold their Offices during good Behavior, and shall, at stated Times, receive for their Services a Compensation which shall not be diminished during their Continuance in Office."

    This is not good Behavior, and thus is grounds for impeachment.

The optimum committee has no members. -- Norman Augustine