Obama adds yet another RIAA attorney to Justice Department roster (now there are 5)

Over at WIRED's Threat Level blog, David Kravets writes,
President Barack Obama is tapping another RIAA attorney into the Justice Department. Monday's naming of Ian Gershengorn, to become the department's deputy assistant attorney of the Civil Division, comes more than a week after nearly two dozen public interest groups, trade pacts and library coalitions urged the new president to quit filling his administration with lawyers plucked from the Recording Industry Association of America. The move brings to five the number of RIAA lawyers Obama has appointed to the Justice Department.
Obama Taps Fifth RIAA Lawyer to Justice Department (blog.wired.com/27bstroke6 via @seanbonner)


  1. I cannot believe that Americans really believed Obama would be any less institutionized (i.e. evil) than Bush. In England we know the Civil Service won’t change between governments, it gives consistency during governmental changeover and a continuation in governance and lawmaking. While the entire US administration is new their ideas, training and methodology isn’t. The Institution of government in the US is what is wrong and unchanging.

    1. I cannot believe that Americans really believed Obama would be any less institutionized (i.e. evil) than Bush.

      Perspective, please. Guantanamo is closing. Stem cell research is back. I used to believe that the President didn’t make much difference because of the inertia of government, but you know what? Bush embroiled us in two foreign wars. Whatever you might think about Clinton, 1992 – 2000 was one of the most peaceful periods in world history. US national debt is sky high. During the Clinton era, we were successfully reducing it.

      Does it suck that Obama is a Company Man? Yes. Is he an evil, war-mongering, IQ-of-85 motherfucker? No.

  2. Because Obama likes to hire the attorneys that bullied college students. You know, the same students that voted for him.

  3. I am curious. Did the fact that he work for the RIAA legal team mean that he shares their particular ‘ideology’ (for want of a better word), or just worked there?

  4. At first I was thinking: What makes an RIAA lawyer than any other lawyer? It’s good money, maybe they don’t agree with the RIAA.

    Then I thought: Wait, they are willing to compromise their ideals for money? They are PERFECT for a high political position.

    Now I don’t know what would be worse.

    1. What makes an RIAA lawyer than any other lawyer?…..Wait, they are willing to compromise their ideals for money?

      Strictly speaking, an attorney’s ideals consist of vigorously pursuing his/her client’s interests. I suspect that the percentage of practicing attorneys whose primary interest is the pursuit of justice might not be that high. Which is why a lot of people go to law school and never practice, or quit after a few years.

  5. I am uncomfortable with judging lawyers by the clients they represent. Lawyers are hired and trained to make the best possible argument for their client, whether that client is a victim of corporate negligence, a seedy criminal defendant, or a recording industry association. I fully expect that RIAA lawyers are in it for the money. Zealous advocacy for the paying client is not “compromising their ideals,” it’s an ethical obligation.

    Full disclosure: In case you couldn’t guess, IAAL.

  6. Before you give Mr. Obama a pass, let’s recall that Bush said back in June 2008 we would close Gitmo. There was zero likelihood that the guests would remain there forever, and certainly not through a full term of any new president. Neither the country nor the world community would stand for it. Yeah, the Christian fundies would like stem cell research cut back, but once Bush started down that slippery slope by continuing to ‘allow’ legacy cells the prohibition on public funding was doomed, too. Obama has lots of time to get us into pointless foreign wars – Bush took 9 months to hatch those babies, and Afghanistan is still a no win. The military still needs wars for promotions and medals so we’ll be seeing them for quite some time yet. Obama took a wrong turn when he had Rick Warren give the inaugural prayer, and apparently is going to continue to spend at least the next 4 years paying back everyone who fronted the cash for his election. Look at Wall Street.

    Is he an evil, war-mongering, IQ-of-125 motherfucker? Maybe.

  7. Below is a comment on the issue of DOJ briefs in the area of statutory damages in RIAA cases against filesharers from attorney Ray Beckerman, in a post on Slashdot from April 10th:
    “I was disappointed in the low grade, obsequious briefs the Justice Department filed in SONY v. Tenenbaum and SONY v. Cloud. I was hoping for “change” but found none in this area. Nevertheless we are early in the game, and the Justice Department RIAA lawyers are all legally recused from dealing with these cases.”
    While they may render ‘legal opinions’ in these matters, they cannot participate in any of the RIAA trials against filesharers in a ‘legal’ capacity. Remember citizens, that the DOJ is primarily an agency focused on criminal, not civil matters.

  8. I’m really not happy with the RIAA lawyers but so far Obama has been better on most issues than Bush. Having a DOJ sympathetic to the RIAA isn’t such an awful price to pay to get Guantanamo closed.

  9. You are all missing the motive behind this- Obama is dismantling the RIAA one lawyer at a time.

  10. I’m much more concerned with the legal opinions that come out of the Obama justice department than who they used to work for. So far it’s been a mixed bag on that front.

  11. how ’bout some EFF or ACLU attys, B.O.? if, that is, you really wanted a team of rivals . . .

  12. you will be making excuses for the Democratic federal government as they hang you with organic hemp rope.

  13. Good old Hopie Changerton, giving out so much tasty government cheese that we don’t even mind the weird politics.

  14. @14- maybe, but I’m willing to bet there are a lot of scumbags just like these guys that will fill their place for the RIAA.

    The problem now becomes that they are polluting the Justice system, even more than normal. You know those plastic liquid dripping sculptures, that spin in the middle, so the liquid can pour through to the bottom? I imagine the RIAA’s influence like that- the government being the upper limit (or bottom limit) that the liquid, or here, human filth can fall to.

    As for Gitmo closing as compromise for these shills? What reality are you living in? First, only a small part of Gitmo is closing- not the whole thing (just camp delta, as I hear). Second, they are totally unrelated to each other- compromise never came into it.

    I’d like to think that since they’re from the RIAA, that Obama PLANNED it that way- hopefully because they’d be really good at manipulating the law- for good this time. My insticts tell me, though, that it IS rewarding, and these people are just human filth- the law is still not what they care about, and their moral rot will infect the DoJ even beyond normal levels.

    Obama could summon a LOT of public good (especially the ACLU & EFF communities) if he got RID of these bastards and appointed people of a more respected background.

  15. I’m assuming that the RIAA has more money than god with which they hire only the best lawyers to try and make their patently absurd charges stick.

    As a result, I’m not especially aggrieved that the President is pulling lawyers in who have worked for the RIAA. These would be the best lawyers. These would be the ones we want, right?

    I mean, we’re stuck with a system that pulls its judges from its field of lawyers (a practice I absolutely disagree with), so we might as well get the best ones.

  16. That Hope Dope gets more expensive by the day.

    Can everyone say –

    B-A-R-A-C-K O-B-A-M-A

    Mickey Mouse! Mickey Mouse!


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