Obama Appoints Former RIAA Lawyer To Associate Attorney General

from the good-lawyer,-bad-client dept

Amidst a number of high profile appointments today was the position of associate attorney general. The high-ranking position has been awarded to Tom Perrelli of the prominent law firm Jenner & Block. By all accounts, Perrelli has led an impressive legal career spanning public service and private practice. However, his most recent tenure in private practice has had him representing the recording industry. Although specifics are hard to come by, according to his official biography, “Mr. Perrelli regularly represents the recording industry in cutting-edge intellectual property, technology, and anti-piracy litigation. He has represented the recording industry in a host of cases arising under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), as well as in copyright infringement and digital piracy litigation. He has also represented the record industry and recording artists in a series of copyright royalty proceedings before the Copyright Royalty Board.”

Of course, Mr. Perrelli’s job was to represent the interest of his clients, but given the questionable legal tactics the RIAA has pursued in its litigation and the problems with the Copyright Royalty Board, there is reason to pause regarding his appointment. But, as Matt Yglesias writes, since the RIAA has relied so heavily on litigation, it’s probably a good bet that they chose the best lawyers they could.

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Companies: jenner & block, riaa

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Comments on “Obama Appoints Former RIAA Lawyer To Associate Attorney General”

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some old guy (user link) says:

ok, thats it. we're fucked.

Grate, so obama has just officially admitted to having drank the **AA Kool Aid.

We’re all fucked (in an intellectual rights kinda way) for the next 4-8 years.

Thanks Obama. /sigh

Oh, and there is no positive way to spin this. Any attempt to spin this as a tradesman just doing his best for the client of the day comes off as plain ignorant. If you’re completely sold your soul (knowingly perverting laws to strip citizens of the very rights that those laws were created to protect) for the sake of a dollar, then you are just not someone who should be trusted with public office.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Well that really isn’t any change at all.

You voted for Obama? And, you thought you’d get change?….

Yolo Pallino says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

His loyal supporters fall into one of three groups, those two stupid to realize that he’s a communist, those to stupid to realize communism doesn’t work, and those to who don’t give a shit about anyone but their own misguided interests.

Your argument loses any hope of having merit when you are too stupid to use proper grammar and spelling.

chris (profile) says:

the dems love hollywood

always have.

the republicans love big business and love family values, so we saw lots of moves that favor defense contractors and telcos and censor hollywood.

the dems love free speech, so we will see our withdrawal from iraq and progress on the net neutrality and censorship fronts at the expense of some serious pro hollywood/silicon valley moves.

the only difference in the two parties is which industries sign the checks.

Overcast says:

Just the right corporate man for the job!

the republicans love big business and love family values, so we saw lots of moves that favor defense contractors and telcos and censor hollywood.

the dems love free speech, so we will see our withdrawal from iraq and progress on the net neutrality and censorship fronts at the expense of some serious pro hollywood/silicon valley moves.

That’s how the media ‘spins’ it. In reality – in politics they both LOVE money, control, and power. They just gotta make us think they are ‘different’.

So they’ll do whatever makes the elite bankers and investors happy.

Funny, Obama ran on a platform with one board; Change.

And not really – it just means they will ‘change’ whatever they have said to fit whatever axe grinder they have for the day.

Different Day, Different People, Same Crap.

eleete (user link) says:

Re: Re:

Well said. Both parties love to pit the people against one another, divided we fall yet we are too blind to see that. When you no longer trust either party because of how they both ACT, not what they SAY, it is hard to press you for your credentials. I am not liberal nor am I conservative. I am independent. Although those polluticians don’t think or act like it THEY ARE MY/OUR SERVANTS, NOT the other way around.

Anonymous Coward says:

A few words on change

I notice a lot of people, before he’s even been able to do anything, harping on Obama for saying he will bring “Change” and getting all these old players into positions.

First, almost anything is a change compared to how Bush/Cheney ran things. We’ve yet to see if its going well or bad.

Second, you can’t bring change without having people that know how to get the job done. Like in everything, a good leader has to have experienced people he can count on to get the job done and to advise him.

Until policies actually start coming out, I’m waiting on calling him a hypocrite. If I thought certain people would do as I say, and have experience at working the system, I’d appoint them too.

The thing to worry about is if he’s going to try for change, and if his underlings are going to listen. Things are just too uncertain still to be bitching as heavily as people are. But I guess people handle nervousness differently.

eleete (user link) says:

Re: A few words on change

Aside from my disagreement that placing the same ole names of Washington DC into power could ever be seen as change (dems OR repubs). I find it odd that after pointing out all of Hilldogs shortcomings, he places her in one of the highest positions in his administration. Perhaps one day during these next four years someone will be enlightened enough to ask, “hey, if we keep doing what we’ve been doing….”

Mr. Change says:

The Thing about Change...

The thing about change is… it can go either way.

If you’re impoverished, lying on a street begging for money and you ask for change, I could reach down, stand you up, give you a job and a place to stay. That would be change.

Alternately, I could reach down, grab you by the throat, haul you up against the wall and proceed to choke the life out of you.

Both are examples of change. Change is not always good… so be careful what you ask for.

Optimist (profile) says:

Sharks like to feed

Don’t forget, lawyers are opportunists, just like the rest of us. Obama clearly has chosen a very experienced lawyer, with a clear understanding of one of the most adversarial industries in the entire world.

Just like the hacker turned security expert, or the criminal turned law enforcement consultant, Tom Perrelli has the opportunity and capacity to turn every single dirty trick he was ever taught against the very people who asked him to use them.

I’m not saying we should all be happy about this appointment … but there could be a few good surpises.

pegr (profile) says:

Don't worry!

People seem to forget that lawyers are whores. They will represent anyone willing to pay, regardless of the validity of the position, and those are the “honest” ones!

As Associate AG, this gentlemen will do what he’s told (regardless of the validity of the position). Do you really think a lawyer takes the philisophical position of their clients? Put another way, do you really think lawyers actually believe what they themselves say? So don’t worry about him, worry about Obama.

(I can’t wait for the “hope” and “change” crowd to realize that Obama is just another politician.)

Anonymous Coward says:

He already fulfilled his obligation to bring change. He is the first black(ish) man to be elected. The rest is smoke filled coffee house crap.

No matter how you shovel it, package it,or brand it, it is still crap.

Way to go Amerika… the soviet socilist dems are eating their cake too. It is supposed to be a power struggle, not a land slide. This is how we get real positive change.

mslade says:


It’s funny cause when he won the election the first thing I said is “Now we have 8 years of anybody who didn’t vote for him pointing at every choice he makes and saying SEE? HE’S A BAD PRESIDENT.” I hadn’t predicted that the “Look at how he failed to change anything!” to start before he even took office. That makes me laugh a little 🙂 Thank goodness you there weren’t enough of you folks to botch up the election on game day.

anymouse says:


“You voted for Obama? And, you thought you’d get change?….”

lets fix this to match reality….

You voted? And, you thought you’d get change?….

There, much more accurate.

There are 2 sides on every coin, but you wouldn’t expect anyone to value it differently just because you turned it over, do you? So why does anyone think that either ‘side’ of the political system is any different? It’s a false adversarial relationship established to make the sheeple (TM pending) feel like they actually have some voice in the matter. Reality is we the sheeple are going to get screwed no matter which ‘side’ is in power, the only question is how hard, how long, and are we going to enjoy the ride…

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