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? 

 
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quiknkoldpoor girl. poor victims. rather focus on them then the shooter. giving too much thought to the monster takes away from the victims.10/24/2014 - 10:15pm
Andrew EisenFor what it's worth, early reports are painting the motive as "he was pissed that a particular girl wouldn't date him."10/24/2014 - 10:12pm
quiknkoldwell then I suck as a man cause I ask for help when necessary :P10/24/2014 - 10:07pm
Technogeek(That said, mostly I was making the smartass evopsych comment because your post seemed like the kind of just-so story that has come to dominate 99% of its usage.)10/24/2014 - 10:04pm
TechnogeekHell, Liam Neeson built his modern career around it. Cultural factors likely play a far greater role than you appear willing to admit.10/24/2014 - 10:03pm
TechnogeekSeriously, though, the idea of "because women are protectors and that's why they never commit school shootings" is, at best, grossly overreductive. There's nothing inherently feminine about being willing to kill in order to protect one's offspring.10/24/2014 - 10:03pm
MechaCrashThe "toxic masculinity" thing refers to how you have to SUCK IT UP AND BE A MAN because seeking help is seen as weakness, which means you suck at manliness, so it builds and builds and builds until something finally snaps.10/24/2014 - 10:01pm
quiknkoldthere, I'm done. And thats what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown10/24/2014 - 9:54pm
quiknkoldand I am not spouting Evopsych, technogeek. tbh I never heard the phrase till you said it. I'm going off my observations.10/24/2014 - 9:54pm
quiknkoldmoreover, the guy who did this isnt even white. He was native american according to the news report I read. Also that he went for a specific target. That's a much different picture than a certain Sandy Hook guy who will not be named10/24/2014 - 9:53pm
quiknkoldbut I am also certain nobody in their right mind is committing these shootings singing the Machoman song. these are sick individuals who have given up on life10/24/2014 - 9:51pm
Technogeekevopsych lol10/24/2014 - 9:49pm
quiknkoldWhen you suffer from mental illness, youre more likely to go by instinct. yes. I came off as sexist.10/24/2014 - 9:46pm
quiknkoldmore on somthing they are fixated on. Post Partum Depression is an example. This is why a woman is less likely to go off on a rampage.10/24/2014 - 9:44pm
quiknkoldA Mother will fight to protect her children or her mate. This does not mean they are any different then males when it comes to destruction and mental illness. A Woman has just enough opportunity to be sick like a man. The difference is they will focus10/24/2014 - 9:43pm
quiknkoldsociologist. I've spent years observing and I've come to the conclusion that a big reason men and women are different is because Women are Protectors. Women wont wantonly kill because they are all about protecting what they care about. They are wired this10/24/2014 - 9:43pm
james_fudgeYeah having a penis probably doesn't have a lot to do with it10/24/2014 - 9:32pm
quiknkoldIts Mental Illness. Nobody who is actually sane would willingly walk into a school and commit that. its Mental Illness topped with Teenage Angst. and I'm going to say something that may be construed as sexist, but I dont mean it as such. I mean it as a...10/24/2014 - 9:29pm
Matthew WilsonIt is a worth while discussion, but I dont agree with here premise. I dont belive it has anything to do with masculinity.10/24/2014 - 9:13pm
Andrew EisenAgreed but it's not untrue either. I think it's worth examining and discussing why mass shootings are almost always (if not literally always) committed by males.10/24/2014 - 8:57pm
 

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