Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Obama filling administration with RIAA insiders


Copyright Alliance urges Obama to continue filling administration with RIAA insiders
Wednesday, April 22, 2009

"The content industry, including the Recording Industry Association of America and the Motion Picture Association of America, are applauding President Barack Obama's appointments of at least five RIAA lawyers to the Justice Department," David Kravets reports for Wired.

"They urged him to continue the trend... [via a] letter [which] comes as the United States negotiates a global intellectual property treaty and as the president mulls whom to choose as the nation's first copyright czar," Kravets reports.

"The communication was also in response to a letter the copyleft, represented by about two dozen public interest groups, sent Obama three weeks ago. That missive urged the president to stop tapping RIAA insiders to his administration," Kravets reports.

"That letter by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Public Knowledge and others fell on deaf ears. Last week, Obama tapped his fifth RIAA lawyer to the Justice Department. The department just wrote in a peer-to-peer music file sharing case that the administration supports monetary damages of up to $150,000 per copyright infringement," Kravets reports.

Declan McCullagh reports for CNET, "Vice President Joe Biden lauded Hollywood at a gala dinner in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday evening, assailed movie piracy, and promised film executives that the Obama administration would pick 'the right person' as its copyright czar."

"An unspoken reason for the MPAA event--which included a symposium earlier in the day with remarks from top House Democrats and Commerce Secretary Gary Locke--was the loss of $246 million in tax breaks when the Senate revised the economic stimulus bill earlier this year. An MPAA report released Tuesday appears designed to avoid a repeat of that setback, listing the number of movies being filmed in each state," McCullagh reports.

"On copyright, President Obama has signaled a more pro-industry approach than his predecessor, which has alarmed advocates of less restrictive laws," McCullagh reports.

"The president chose as top Justice Department officials the music industry attorney who pulled the plug on Grokster and another longtime Recording Industry Association of America ligitator. The Obama administration recently sided with the RIAA in a file-sharing suit, and Biden was a staunch RIAA and MPAA ally as a U.S. senator," McCullagh reports.

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