BitTorrent Case Judge a Former RIAA Lobbyist

March 28, 2011 -

From the this-is-probably-a-conflict-of-interest-department comes a story from TorrentFreak on U.S. District Court Judge Beryl Howell. Apparently, before she was a U.S. District Court judge, Howell was a Recording Industry Association of America lobbyist and helped with the DMCA.

Howell’s resume shows that she is very familiar with U.S. copyright laws. In fact, she may have helped write some of them. She served as General Counsel of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary and helped draft several prominent intellectual property protection laws, including the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), Digital Theft Deterrence and Copyright Damages Deterrence Act and the No Electronic Theft Act - according to TorrentFreak.

This may explain a ruling she made last week in which she gave lawyers representing rights holders carte blanche to retrieve the identities of thousands of BitTorrent users. Attorney Robert Cashman, who represents several defendants in similar cases, calls her decision an unfortunate precedent:

“I believe the judge is giving the plaintiff attorneys the benefit of the doubt on all accounts, which is unfortunate because she is turning a blind eye to the abuses defendants are suffering with threats and harassment while plaintiff attorneys attempt to scare them into a settlement,” Cashman told TorrentFreak.

Up until 2009 Howe was Executive Managing Director and General Counsel at Stroz Friedberg, a consulting firm that specializes in the management of digital crimes. Certainly, her decision will help that firm in its efforts to crack down on file-sharers. TorrentFreak adds that the leading lobbyist on record for the RIAA was Beryl Howell, who was paid $415,000 between 2004 and 2008.

How Howe has not recused herself from this case is beyond me. Is she hoping to have one of her many copyright infringement cases kicked up to the Supreme Court for review? If that is what she intends then congratulations to Howe, because it's going to happen eventually.

Source: TorrentFreak


Comments

Re: BitTorrent Case Judge a Former RIAA Lobbyist

The SCOTUS has basically said that corporations are people, and apparently people with more rights than those of us with flesh and blood.

So, this shouldn't surprise anybody in the least. :(

Re: BitTorrent Case Judge a Former RIAA Lobbyist

Re: BitTorrent Case Judge a Former RIAA Lobbyist

This is why some countries have made lobbying illegal.

Re: BitTorrent Case Judge a Former RIAA Lobbyist

Yeeeeah. Not gonna happen here, Too many asshats in office get too much money from them to eliminate them..

Hunting the shadows of the troubled dreams.

Hunting the shadows of the troubled dreams.

Re: BitTorrent Case Judge a Former RIAA Lobbyist

welcome to the united states justice system, where judges can be bought!

Re: BitTorrent Case Judge a Former RIAA Lobbyist

Where is JT when you need him? 

 
Forgot your password?
Username :
Password :

Poll

Who's responsible for crappy Netflix performance on Verizon?:

Shout box

You're not permitted to post shouts.
ZenWrote up a story about people wanting Nintendo to drop the GamePad...and why I think it needs to stop. :) http://bit.ly/1raIQvv Let me know what you think!07/23/2014 - 10:53pm
MaskedPixelanteHey, so remember that "redeem your Sims 2 key on Origin for a free copy of the all-in-one edition" promotion? Well, it didn't work, so to make up for it, just go into your Origin profile and redeem the product key "I-LOVE-THE-SIMS" for your free Sims 2.07/23/2014 - 9:12pm
Andrew EisenThe Steam controller may have changed again. http://www.vg247.com/2014/07/23/steam-controller-valve/07/23/2014 - 6:46pm
james_fudgePlease use the comments section for bitching about specific articles :) We do read them, after all.07/23/2014 - 10:52am
Andrew EisenThat's unfair but thank you for the tip on the Reddit thread containing the Kickstarter message to backers. The article has been updated.07/23/2014 - 10:50am
SleakerHere's the message Areal backers recieved from Kickstarter: http://www.reddit.com/r/Games/comments/2beqlc/areal_kickstarter_suspended/07/23/2014 - 8:52am
Sleaker@MW - I still think Cogent/Level3 hookups were lacking prior to the comcast switch, but I do think verizon is being dumb here.07/23/2014 - 12:06am
Andrew EisenOf course it's a question. It's got a question mark and everything!07/22/2014 - 6:43pm
Matthew WilsonHate to say it, but that poll is not even a question. there is too much evidence that points to Verizon. http://www.extremetech.com/computing/186576-verizon-caught-throttling-netflix-traffic-even-after-its-pays-for-more-bandwidth07/22/2014 - 6:23pm
Andrew EisenHuh. The new Battlefield has been delayed to early next year. Are you feeling okay, EA? http://blogs.battlefield.com/2014/07/bfh-will-launch-2015/07/22/2014 - 6:11pm
SleakerWest End Games - Areal developers just got their Kickstarter suspended. Might want to dump that 'fully funded' status.07/22/2014 - 12:08pm
MaskedPixelanteHas anyone who bought it gotten their Sims 2 Ultimate Edition upgrade yet? Still waiting on mine, especially since they're supposed to be out by today.07/22/2014 - 10:45am
IanCDynasty Warriors 8 for the PS4 finally has the option to turn off the OTT depth of field that made the game look like a blurry mess. Only a few months behind the JP version patch...07/22/2014 - 10:17am
NeenekoI see nothing in Section 111 that would exclude IP transmission. It even explicitly includes 'other transmission methods'07/22/2014 - 9:28am
ZippyDSMleehttp://www.afterdawn.com/news/article.cfm/2014/07/19/ruling_aereo_is_not_a_cable_company07/22/2014 - 8:13am
ZippyDSMleelul what?07/22/2014 - 7:53am
ZippyDSMleehttp://arstechnica.com/gaming/2014/07/bungie-cross-generation-destiny-wouldnt-be-fair-to-low-res-players/07/22/2014 - 7:53am
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.joystiq.com/2014/07/22/wii-u-update-adds-system-to-system-transfers/ The latest Wii U update allows you to do the system transfer between two Wii Us. Still not true accounts, but getting there.07/22/2014 - 7:39am
Papa MidnightSpeculation from PC Gamer. Don't hold your breath. http://www.pcgamer.com/2014/07/21/microsoft-job-listing-says-nice-things-about-pc-gaming-isnt-clear-if-it-means-them/07/21/2014 - 5:58pm
 

Be Heard - Contact Your Politician