Former RIAA Lawyer At DOJ Will Only Avoid RIAA Issues For A Year

from the ethics? dept

Plenty of folks have noted that the Justice Department has been the landing place for a number of RIAA lawyers. Some have suggested not to get too worked up about this, given that the Obama administration's ethics rules supposedly forbade those lawyers from being involved in issues related to their former work. However, it looks like the limit on these guys is actually quite narrow and for a very short period of time. We'd already noted that the highest ranking former RIAA lawyer, Thomas Perrelli, in his Senate confirmation hearings, said he hoped to use his position to increase intellectual property enforcement from within the Justice Department.

Now, Pro Publica, an online investigative reporting operation, has published the ethics agreements signed by Obama administration appointees, including Tom Perrelli's agreement, which appears to only preclude him from working on issues that impact his former clients for one year. Also, it seems pretty narrowly focused on the specific clients he worked for, but not other aspects of the same industry. In other words, in less than a year, he can certainly start helping the RIAA from within the Justice Department -- and his Senate testimony suggests he's interested in doing so. That's not quite the ethical separation we were led to believe would exist in the administration.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    icon
    Steve R. (profile), May 1st, 2009 @ 12:08pm

    Souter’s Exit to Give Obama First Opening

    Well the Washington Post says that Souter will be leaving the US Supreme Court. So who will Obama nominate?

    TechDirt could run a contest, the winner gets a cheap prize from EFF.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    A Dan, May 1st, 2009 @ 12:11pm

    Re: Souter's Exit to Give Obama First Opening

    Maybe they could pick a few choices and change the poll. That seems offtopic, though, unless they appoint some industry lobbyist or lawyer. Obama didn't say anything about not appointing industry to judicial positions, did he?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    icon
    Steve R. (profile), May 1st, 2009 @ 12:13pm

    Re: Souter's Exit to Give Obama First Opening

    Oops. That was the New York Times. My apologies.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    icon
    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), May 1st, 2009 @ 12:40pm

    Surprise

    *sigh*

    Did anybody think it would be any different? Especially once Biden was aboard?

    The political major league in the USA has two teams. And both are owned by the same people.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    Tgeigs, May 1st, 2009 @ 12:46pm

    Re: Surprise

    Couldn't agree more. The only difference is that this one is a smoother talker than the last one.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    Tgeigs, May 1st, 2009 @ 12:46pm

    Re: Surprise

    Couldn't agree more. The only difference is that this one is a smoother talker than the last one.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    icon
    Killer_Tofu (profile), May 1st, 2009 @ 12:54pm

    the RIAA

    Why buy laws when you have have most of the DOJ written off to you?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    The infamous Joe, May 1st, 2009 @ 12:59pm

    Sad Panda

    So, let's say I wanted to live in a place with all the rights and freedoms that America was supposed to have-- where would I move to?

    It's that, or revolution.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    Tgeigs, May 1st, 2009 @ 1:04pm

    Re: Sad Panda

    Australia, maybe? Maybe Japan? What does Japanese law look like? I don't hear as much about they're government pissing on their citizens foots, but maybe I'm just not paying attention.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    zcat, May 1st, 2009 @ 1:06pm

    Revolt please. We (the other 96% of the planet) are heartily sick of America pushing it's fucked-up ideals onto every other country through "free trade" agreements, secret treaties or outright military aggression. Stay at home and sort your own shit out. We don't want you here.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    Greg G, May 1st, 2009 @ 1:15pm

    Re:

    Ok, we will. Just tell me what country* you're in so I know never to visit there.

    *void if you live in Belgium, as I do plan to go there just for the beer.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    Beefcake, May 1st, 2009 @ 1:16pm

    ATM

    Makes Schwarzenegger's concern during the primaries that California was nothing but an ATM stop for contributions look a bit silly. It's clear today that an industry largely centered amongst his constituency is reaping the rewards, at a cost to the entire world.

     

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  13.  
    identicon
    Greg G, May 1st, 2009 @ 1:17pm

    Re: Re: Sad Panda

    Nah, Australia would be nice to visit, but they don't have nearly the rights there (they are not legally allowed to own guns, for one) that we have in the States.

     

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  14.  
    identicon
    Greg G, May 1st, 2009 @ 1:17pm

    Re: Re: Sad Panda

    Nah, Australia would be nice to visit, but they don't have nearly the rights there (they are not legally allowed to own guns, for one) that we have in the States.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    Tgeigs, May 1st, 2009 @ 1:19pm

    Re:

    Awesome. We'll remember that the next time a Hitler show's up.

     

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  16.  
    identicon
    TDR, May 1st, 2009 @ 1:19pm

    To those talking about armed resistance, keep something in mind. Who do you think the government will send to fight the homegrown militias that would be formed to oppose them? Our own US troops, fellow Americans who grew up in the same towns, ate the same food, and went to the same schools and so on as we have. Thus, it would not be a revolution, but a civil war. And I don't think I need to remind you all how brutal the last one was. Just tread carefully and keep that in mind, is all.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    Nathan, May 1st, 2009 @ 1:33pm

    Re: Surprise

    Change has come to America.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    identicon
    Tgeigs, May 1st, 2009 @ 1:33pm

    Re:

    Per my country's beloved Constitution, that's exactly what is supposed to happen. And yes, the last one was bloody. And worth it. No one said freedom was easy.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    identicon
    Jason, May 1st, 2009 @ 1:46pm

    Re:

    I certainly DON'T feel motivated in any way toward armed conflict. But in view of your ridiculous hypothetical:

    If they don't give a rat's ass about freedom, then they're not fellow Americans at all.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 1st, 2009 @ 1:51pm

    You are talking about politicians and lawyers and expecting ethics? I hate to burst your bubble, but with little exception, there are NO ethics in those groups.

    Sad but true...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 1st, 2009 @ 1:54pm

    Re: Re:

    "If they don't give a rat's ass about freedom, then they're not fellow Americans at all."

    They don't and they're not. We need to take our country back. Unless it happens one way or another, we can pretty much kiss our Freedom goodbye.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    identicon
    dan, May 1st, 2009 @ 1:59pm

    Re:

    I would rather just see us nuke assholes like you... Fuck you..

    Free Trade agreement. I like this one from jack offs like you. We should just put high tarrifs on products from other nations and let them sell their shit to the chinease... Fuck you asshole....

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 1st, 2009 @ 2:18pm

    Filling childrens minds with man made laws..

    I'm down with the armed conflict I think it would do us (America) some good and that good would bleed (no pun intended) off to the rest of the world I'd hope. Just too bad that "we the people" have let things get as bad as they are. We just sit back on the sidelines saying.. "We'll if that ever happened to me I'd........" Well just wait long enough and it will be YOU. You, me, and everyone else for that matter. Get the torches and pitchforks out (equated to MP5's, and AK's) out and let's do this! (Or you could just go VOTE and be heard!!)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 1st, 2009 @ 4:06pm

    Re: Re:

    The common grunts would only be following orders because that's all they know how to do. Questioning such orders isn't really taught much, I don't think. It's their superiors who are the ones who don't care about freedom and who have the silver tongues to make grunts who should know better follow their orders. The grunts are just pawns to them on their big board. That's all I meant.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    identicon
    Rekrul, May 1st, 2009 @ 4:48pm

    Obama is a two-faced liar. He's a politician, why would would anyone expect him to be be anything else?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
    icon
    Yeebok (profile), May 1st, 2009 @ 5:23pm

    Re: Re: Re: Sad Panda

    Err .. no we're entitled to own guns we just don't think we need one when we're walking the dog. The gun obsession is one thing I really dislike about Americans. You have enough ammo and people to keep yourselves busy for ages - yet you keep invading other places to kill the people there.. What gives ?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    identicon
    Chargone, May 1st, 2009 @ 7:03pm

    heh, in NZ, if memory serves, you can own a tank or ICBM if you really want. ammo and warheads are another story. and you need special dispensation to drive tanks on the roads. [basically, they damage the road a lot more, even with their rubber track cover thingies, so you need to pay more than the normal fuel cost for road maintenance, or some such]

    i don't think you're going to find anywhere where you have all the rights you're Supposed to have in the USA. actually, i think you'll have a hard time finding anywhere where the mentality is such that the majority of people find a few of them to even be legitimate rights.

    [NZ, for example, has had a lot of success with the whole 'guns are heavily regulated' thing. also, Australian(i believe?) and NZ occupation of various places? high on the agenda is a 'gun hunt'. ie: taking every single weapon not currently in the hands of the occupying military OUT of the area. ... the result is a lot more peaceful than arming large numbers of people]

    why is it we never hear such tales of stupid conflicts of interest here, anyway? closest i ever remember was that recent thing with the minister going to India.

    news flash folks: the American constitution mostly serves as yet another angle the lawyers can take in arguing their clients stupid positions. there's not a Lot it's actually protecting you from, at least as seen from outside.

    admittedly, it IS nice to have such an absolute document to refer back to. saying anything about NZ having a constitution is a bit of a joke :) nearest we have is some variation on tradition. [Technically we actually have constitutional documents and all sorts of things, but... legally the only thing making them different is that they're entrenched. and the entrenching laws are NOT entrenched, so it just makes it a two step process rather than one to change anything.]

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 1st, 2009 @ 8:24pm

    Turncoat

    Obama is turning out to be a real turncoat.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 1st, 2009 @ 8:33pm

    Re:

    admittedly, it IS nice to have such an absolute document to refer back to. saying anything about NZ having a constitution is a bit of a joke :) nearest we have is some variation on tradition. [Technically we actually have constitutional documents and all sorts of things, but... legally the only thing making them different is that they're entrenched. and the entrenching laws are NOT entrenched, so it just makes it a two step process rather than one to change anything.]

    The US constitution can be amended and has been several times. So if the government wants to make a law that is against the constitution, it too is a two step process (first amend the constitution, then pass the law).

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
    identicon
    Azrael, May 2nd, 2009 @ 6:19am

    Re: Re:

    Please do, Hitler would have been far better than the jews who now rule the planet.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
    identicon
    Azrael, May 2nd, 2009 @ 6:23am

    Re: Filling childrens minds with man made laws..

    VOTE ? that's funny if you look how the last vote ended.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
    identicon
    Thomas, May 2nd, 2009 @ 6:32am

    Lawyers loyalty..

    is always to whoever pays the most. The RIAA owns those lawyers and will continue to pay they one way or another until they can actively help the RIAA in the DOJ. They get around ethics by giving the money to 'non-profit' organizations controlled by the people they want to benefit. Ethics is a dirty word for most of those lawyers.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
    identicon
    zev goldman, May 2nd, 2009 @ 10:26am

    Re: TDR

    Great, a distinction without a difference. Our civil war wasn't an attempt by the south to change the form of government,a revolution. It sought to form a union of slave states through secession.
    No matter what name a war is known by one is just as dead in a civil war as in a revolution.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
    identicon
    Tgeigs, May 3rd, 2009 @ 4:46am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Outstanding mis-generalization of the lower grades of the armed forces. Yes, those of us that never made it past E6(US Navy) are mindless, idiotic drones that can't be bothered with things like thought and morality.

    And FYI, grunts? Did you ever serve? When you talk about US Armed Forces, it isn't a damned video game. They are PEOPLE.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35.  
    identicon
    Tgeigs, May 3rd, 2009 @ 4:50am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Sad Panda

    The right to ownership of guns was written into the constitution as a way for the people to protect themselves against OUR Government, not for use in invading others. In the revolutionary war, the only reason we were able to hold our own until we received support from the French was because of our ARMED colonial militia.

    If we attempted a revolution today, it wouldn't work. They say things like, "we have to outlaw certain weapons and ammunition, because the only thing they're really used for is to kill policemen and armed forces". They seem to forget that that's the entire point (not ADVOCATING killing cops, but the rather the right to protect ourselves from our government).

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
    identicon
    Tgeigs, May 3rd, 2009 @ 4:55am

    Re: Re: Re:

    BWA HAHAHAHAHA, Jews, ruling the planet?

    Did they just sleep through that whole Holocaust thing? And why are they allowing the Disney Corp. & Ford to continue existing, w/such deep-rooted anti-Sematism? I have to tell you, if there IS a Jewish Cabal ruling the world, they are some of the most idiotic rulers of all time, leaving all of these dissenters around.

    Or maybe there is no cabal. What do YOU think, Skeeter?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37.  
    identicon
    Houston lawyer, May 3rd, 2009 @ 9:32am

    I could not agree with you more.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38.  
    identicon
    Myrdek, May 3rd, 2009 @ 11:59am

    I think a lot of you would love to read this

    http://www.usnews.com/usnews/news/articles/070430/30murphyqa.htm

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  39.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 3rd, 2009 @ 1:49pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Yes, those of us that never made it past E6(US Navy) are mindless, idiotic drones that can't be bothered with things like thought and morality.

    And that's why you aren't held responsible for participating in unjustified wars. Otherwise it would it could be said that you were individually morally responsible.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40.  
    identicon
    Lynn, May 3rd, 2009 @ 2:29pm

    Re: Re: Surprise

    He's only a smoother talker because he's always using a teleprompter..have you heard him without one? Yikes! he stumbles all over the place....he's somebody's robot..but whose?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41.  
    identicon
    thomas, May 3rd, 2009 @ 8:20pm

    Re: the RIAA

    Sad to see that the DOJ is becoming a tool for the **AA. The **AA doesn't give a **** if terrorists kill millions, as long as people don't copy their junk. Having *AA lawyers running DOJ is a huge boon to terrorists.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 3rd, 2009 @ 10:33pm

    pirate party

    I find it rather funny that the "Pirate Party" endorsed Obama ( http://www.pirate-party.us/node/29 ). Could it possible that people now started paying attention to what is going on, instead of blindly voting for "change"?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  43.  
    identicon
    Tgeigs, May 4th, 2009 @ 6:40am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    And you, sir, were clearly never in the service.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  44.  
    identicon
    me, May 6th, 2009 @ 12:42am

    Re:

    why don't you go live in a real country were you actually have a say in the world, instead of moaning about how much your country sucks, if your so upset about it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  45.  
    identicon
    dentist falls church, Oct 12th, 2010 @ 8:29am

    Huh

    That is interesting. Thanks for the article. I hadn't really heard about this until now and I am curious to know what has happened since then. Did he get what he deserved or was it all for not?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  46.  
    identicon
    Malcom Reynolds, Oct 12th, 2010 @ 4:22pm

    A-1 Mini Storage | Mini Storage Tucker, GA

    Yeah, of course Obama is a turncoat. Is anybody really surprised by this? The only reason he won the election was because he is black. Everyone was so hyped to have a not-white president that they completely forgot that he was really qualified in any way to be our nation's leader. Hopefully they'll remember this lesson when old Hillary decides to take a stab at the white house.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  47.  
    identicon
    Baby Roswell, GA, Oct 13th, 2010 @ 4:15pm

    I think it's a good rule of thumb not to have lawyers return to work that they have previously worked on. They bring biases with them.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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