Obama Appointments RIAA-Friendly
President-elect Barack Obama announced Monday his appointment of two RIAA-friendly new members of his political team-Tom Perrelli and David Ogden. This comes as surprising news to many, including “free culture” proponent Larry Lessig, who endorsed Obama’s stance against the music industry during his campaign
Obama selected Perrelli, the “RIAA’s favorite lawyer,” for the associate attorney general spot, which makes him third in command at the justice department. As for Ogden, Obama appointed the lawyer most famously known for successfully defending the Copyright Term Extension Act to deputy attorney general, the Justice Department’s second most powerful position.
The soon-to-be president explained his decisions, stating that both men “bring the integrity, depth of experience and tenacity that the Department of Justice demands in these uncertain times.”
Perrelli has recently maintained close ties with the RIAA, frequently representing the association in lawsuits against citizens accused of illegal file-sharing. This is not his first time in the Justice Department-he held a similar job in the Clinton administration.
Ogden, on the other hand, has been involved with more varied cases, such as defending both the Child Online Protection Act (an anti-porn law strongly challenged by the ACLU) and the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act. His biography from WilmerHale, where he is currently a partner, states that he represents “media and Internet industries, as well as major trade and professional associations.”
Perrelli and Ogden are not the only anti-piracy members of Obama’s camp. In fact, Vice President-Elect Joe Biden, Obama’s right hand man himself, is an avid supporter of enforcing piracy laws through criminal prosecution.
Many are already skeptical of these appointments, but only time will tell whether the stance Obama held towards the music industry during his campaign will remain the same during his presidency.