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 :

Shout box

You're not permitted to post shouts.
Matthew WilsonUC berkeley won, and they 3 years of free tuition for winning.04/26/2015 - 11:26pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://espn.go.com/watchespn/…/id/2497649/Heroes-of-the-Dorm heroes of the storm is being broadcast live on espn 2 never thought a moba would get a time slot like this on tv.04/26/2015 - 9:30pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://reason.com/archives/2015/04/09/the-dmca-chill-factor this is why the dmca should be changed or gotten rid off.04/26/2015 - 6:41pm
PHX Corphttp://www.thejimquisition.com/2015/04/assassins-creed-chronicles-china-review/ anyone seen this04/26/2015 - 4:19pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://www.destructoid.com/director-del-toro-says-silent-hi… Can not say I am surprised sadly. I feel bad for del Toro because every time he tries to do a video game project it falls apart.04/26/2015 - 1:42pm
InfophileAnyone play any of the following games: War Thunder, Infinite Crisis, or Strife? Got a card for a big chunk of money in them with my new computer which I won't need and looking to give it away if anyone wants it.04/26/2015 - 9:02am
Mattsworknamei I hope there is, I love that series.04/25/2015 - 5:59pm
Matthew Wilson@matt I am sure there will never be a armored core game04/25/2015 - 5:24pm
Mattsworknameof From softwares recent games, bloodborne is the best work they have done yet, though they really need to get to work on armored core 604/25/2015 - 5:10pm
Matthew WilsonLost Kingdoms came out in 2002 this day. I played that game. I did not relize it was made by From Software. Lost Kingdoms was a good unique hard game.04/25/2015 - 4:56pm
MattsworknameOff topic, but, who heres playing Bloodborne, and if so, is it mercillesly murdering you every chance it gets?04/25/2015 - 7:35am
Matthew WilsonI think its a good article, and devs can take some lessons from life is strange.04/24/2015 - 10:24pm
Andrew EisenI tinyURL'd it. The world is safe!04/24/2015 - 10:23pm
Matthew Wilson@AE my bad there is nothing I can do about that.04/24/2015 - 10:21pm
Andrew EisenLooks like the spoiler is right there in the URL.04/24/2015 - 10:20pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://tinyurl.com/ok9pf6b a interesting opinion piece on the life is strange episode 2, and a dark event that happens in it. full warning major spoilers.04/24/2015 - 10:11pm
Matthew Wilson@mech no just she, nor her co workers have not. she never said it is not real.04/24/2015 - 8:58pm
MechaCrashWas she saying "I haven't experienced it," or "I haven't experienced it therefore it does not exist"?04/24/2015 - 8:31pm
ZippyDSMleeoy the skyrim paid mod thing is going over well. My 2 lints, I would not mind if Skyrim had a full SDK and not a crappy lil editor....04/24/2015 - 6:46pm
Andrew EisenWell, that is indeed crappy and nonsensical.04/24/2015 - 3:45pm
 

Be Heard - Contact Your Politician