p2pnet news view | P2P | Politics:- A group of 19 public interest groups and trade associations has, unfortunately, stopped short of demanding president Barack Obama re-think his recent appointments to the Department of Justice.
It does, however, want him to diversify future selections to intellectual property policy positions, and create new offices devoted to promoting innovation and free expression.
“The new Obama administration is shaping up to be a disaster for Copyfighters everywhere,” said Alan Wexelblat on Corante when the news broke that the new Department of Justice was, “stacked with lawyers who`ve been on the wrong side of copyright and intellectual property lawsuits for the last eight years”.
He went on »»»
First off, there`s the #3 man at Justice, Thomas Perrelli, accurately described by CNET as beloved by the RIAA. Not only has this guy been on the wrong side in the courtroom, he`s fingered as instrumental in convincing the Copyright Board to strangle Web radio in its crib by imposing impossible fee structures.
Then there`s Neil MacBride, who used to be the Business Software Alliance`s general counsel. The BSA, to its credit, hasn`t been suing teenagers. Generally their name is associated with large-scale raids on companies that are mass-producing illegal copies of software. Still, it`s an industry flak group.
Then there`s the #2 man, currently slated to be David Ogden. If that name only rings a faint bell it`s because you have to cast your mind back to Eldred v Ashcroft, the argument on whether retroactive copyright term extensions were legal. Sitting over there on Ashcroft`s side? That`s Mr. Odgen. For extra-bonus ick points, Ogden also was involved in defending the heinous COPA legislation, fortunately now dead and buried (but not forgotten).
The capper on this line-up of suspicious characters is Donald Verrilli, now up for Associate Deputy Attorney General. This specimen of legal acumen is front and center in the Cartel`s jihad, having appeared for Viacom when it sued YouTube, for the RIAA against Jammie Thomas, single mother. And if we peer back a little farther, we find Verrilli`s dirty fingerprints on MGM v Grokster.
The new coalition is spearheaded by Public Knowledge and includes the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Consumer Electronics Association, the American Library Association, and the Wikimedia Foundation.
It also wants Obama to create new positions at the Patent and Trademark Office, the United States Trade Representative, and the Department of State dedicated to, “promoting innovation and advancing the cause of progress in sciences and the useful arts”.
“While the content industry plays a significant role in our economy, so too do the creators of technology and their force of innovation,” said Gigi B. Sohn, president and co-founder of Public Knowledge.
“And while we recognize the rights of corporate content creators, we might also recognize the rights of consumers lawfully to create their own works and to use their own digital media. It’s that balance the Administration needs to recognize.”
Innovators, artists, and the, “increasingly participatory public are all deeply invested in the future of America’s intellectual property policy,” says the EFF‘s Fred von Lohmann.
“For example, thousands of remix videos are posted to YouTube every day, and they are already an important part of political debate and artistic expression in the 21st century. America needs policymakers who will protect new tools and new artistic works.”
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