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Obama DOJ Sides With RIAA Again In Tenenbaum

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the could-make-a-jaded-man-more-jaded dept.

Music 528

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "Despite having had some time to get their act together, Obama's Department of Justice has filed yet another brief defending the RIAA's outlandish statutory damages theory — that someone who downloaded an mp3 with a 99-cent retail value, causing a maximum possible damages of 35 cents, is liable for from $750 to $150,000 for each such file downloaded, in SONY BMG Music Entertainment v. Tenenbaum. The 25- page brief (PDF) continues the DOJ's practice of (a) ignoring the case law which holds that the Supreme Court's due process jurisprudence is applicable to statutory damages, (b) ignoring the law review articles to like effect, (c) ignoring the actual holding of the 1919 case they rely upon, (d) ignoring the fact that the RIAA failed to prove 'distribution' as defined by the Copyright Act, and (e) ignoring the actual wording and reasoning of the Supreme Court in its leading Gore and Campbell decisions. Jon Newton of p2pnet.net attributes the Justice Department's 'oversights' to the 'eye-popping number of people [in its employ] who worked for, and/or are directly connected with, Vivendi Universal, EMI, Warner Music and Sony Music's RIAA.'"

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528 comments

Enjoy your choice (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30837542)

And two party system.

Re:Enjoy your choice (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30837684)

I know it's popular to say that the Democrats and Republicans are exactly the same, but that's simply not true.

The Republicans are at least competent when it comes to pushing through their agenda in spite of the will of the people.

Re:Enjoy your choice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30837912)

Also the Republicans are the 'spend and borrow' party while the Democrates are the 'spend and tax' party.

Re:Enjoy your choice (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30838036)

"Also the Republicans are the 'spend and borrow' party..."

Don't worry. We're in the middle of purging these Democrats in Republicans' clothing from our ranks.

Re:Enjoy your choice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30837996)

So the choice is between incompetently evil or competently evil?

I choose none of the above. There will be a revolution one day to remove the power and control given to corporations.

Unfortunately the public of today are happy enough giving away their freedoms for a few promises and spoon-fed media drivel.
Unless it happens soon it will spill blood. I'm just glad I wont be alive long enough to see it.

Hope and Change, baby! (5, Insightful)

bheer (633842) | more than 3 years ago | (#30837554)

or not. Obama or not, remember that Hollywood greases Republican and Democrat pockets alike. Many of the big guys at the MPAA and RIAA are Democrats too, which must surely help.

As long as Hollywood gives politicians glamour by attending fundraisers, and actual cold hard cash, you won't find anyone in the government willing to speak out against Big Content. The only thing that can change this is public opinion.

Re:Hope and Change, baby! (1)

riff420 (810435) | more than 3 years ago | (#30837692)

Amen. I'm fucking sick of people blaming things on Obama just because he's in office while it's happening. I'm not even talking about the war, specifically. It's not like HE made the decision(s).

Re:Hope and Change, baby! (4, Informative)

Dr. Hellno (1159307) | more than 3 years ago | (#30837826)

He may not have given any direct input on this specific issue, but if I recall correctly, he appointed a lot of the former RIAA law talent now working in the DOJ. I don't know this for sure, but I remember a number of slashdot stories about it.
I like the guy, I think he's doing a fine job, but those appointments really stuck in my craw. They stank, and what we're seeing here is a prime example of why. But, I guess you gotta take the bad with the good. Let's hope the supreme court steps in.

Re:Hope and Change, baby! (3, Interesting)

Plugh (27537) | more than 3 years ago | (#30837742)

Yeah Depublicans! Beat the Remocrats!
It's all so different when the communists control the USA instead of the fascists.

I'm not pessimist. I'm an optimist. I am right in the middle of a real change -- a return to small, Constitution-sized government. It's exciting and fascinating to watch it unfold. If you'd like to see it too, click the link in my sig.

Re:Hope and Change, baby! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30838042)

The worldwide trend is towards bigger companies, bigger banks, bigger military, etc. What gives you the impression that governments, especially the US, will magically shrink like some "back to the land" movement?

Re:Hope and Change, baby! (1)

Foobar of Borg (690622) | more than 3 years ago | (#30837744)

Obama or not, remember that Hollywood greases Republican and Democrat pockets alike.

Given some of the scandals we actually know about, I would guess that they are greasing more than just the *pockets* of the Dems and Repubs.

Re:Hope and Change, baby! (5, Insightful)

mangu (126918) | more than 3 years ago | (#30837746)

The only thing that can change this is public opinion.

And public opinion is molded by Big Content. We are fucked.

Re:Hope and Change, baby! (5, Insightful)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 3 years ago | (#30837760)

remember that Hollywood greases Republican and Democrat pockets alike.

Though it should be noted that Hollywood contributes much more to the Democrats than the Republicans.

76% to Dems in 2010 (so far), 78% to Dems in 2008, not less than 62% in any election cycle in the last two decades.

So it's insane to assume that a Democratic administration is going to rein in the entertainment industry. It's not likely that a Republican administration will either, but they're more likely to be able to give up the relatively small amount of money they get from Hollywood than the Dems will.

Re:Hope and Change, baby! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30838158)

But they won't now, will they?

Re:Hope and Change, baby! (1)

Tridus (79566) | more than 3 years ago | (#30837818)

Meet the new government. It's the old one, with different colored lawn signs.

Because blue is a change over red.

Re:Hope and Change, baby! (4, Insightful)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 3 years ago | (#30837830)

or not. Obama or not, remember that Hollywood greases Republican and Democrat pockets alike. .

That is patently false. If you look at political donations from Hollywood, it overwhelmingly favors Democrats. If one looks at executives of RIAA and MPAA companies the imbalance is even greater.

Re:Hope and Change, baby! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30838242)

And oil companies, Fox, and the NRA line the pockets of Republicans. Whoopty friggn whoop.

Re:Hope and Change, baby! (1)

GiveBenADollar (1722738) | more than 3 years ago | (#30837864)

Don't remember McCain getting huge contributions from Hollywood.

Democrats: Get paid by major media, want to support the machine that supports them.

Republicans: Want to show they are tough on crime by punishing the evil pirates.

No mater who wins we still lose.

Re:Hope and Change, baby! (3, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 3 years ago | (#30837958)

I feel like the story of the first year of Obama has been the story of 'leadership deferred.' With the healthcare he has more or less let congress try to do their thing; he said, "this is what I want, now figure it out" instead of bringing a workable plan to the table. As a result, the debate has been over something peripheral, the public option, instead of what he really (at least what he claims) to want, which is making healthcare more affordable and available for everyone. There is widespread public support for this second goal (really: even McCain had a healthcare plan), so if he had pushed for what he actually wanted he could have gotten it. Instead we ended up with various Congresspeople fighting over their pet projects. They had no central leader to rally around.

It will be interesting to see if Obama learns from his mistakes and picks up the leadership. If not, he will accomplish little his remaining three years, and will be replaced (assuming Republicans can come up with a more compelling candidate than Kerry was).

Re:Hope and Change, baby! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30838080)

Indeed. Tag it change, as there's none.

O'bama == bush, once again.

Re:Hope and Change, baby! (5, Insightful)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 3 years ago | (#30838186)

Hope for the best, prepare for the worst. I hoped Obama would be a good President, I feared he would not. He's just a politician, not the god folks were making him out to be.

So far I'm starting to lose hope in him; first the "health care reform" that does nothing but line insurance executives' pockets, now Tanenbaum and the RIAA.

Change, my ass.

Re:Hope and Change, baby! (1)

click2005 (921437) | more than 3 years ago | (#30838246)

So why cant the public unite to create a lobbying organization? Instead of all the bullshit,
people donate money to buy politicians. Its no different to what companies do except it doesn't
hide behind silly names.

I'd be willing to donate $25 to a legalized bribery fund to get my agenda heard.

Really?! (2, Interesting)

Uranium-238 (1586465) | more than 3 years ago | (#30837560)

God sake fucking MAFIAA and now it seems the DoJ is also going that way. Wish the US government wasn't so blantantly rife with corruption and bribery

Really? Seriously? (5, Insightful)

wandazulu (265281) | more than 3 years ago | (#30837562)

I'm having that "meet the new boss, same as the old boss" moment that I really didn't want to have.

Re:Really? Seriously? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30837628)

Well, how many DOJ people got removed and replaced when the new boss came in? Probably none. /disclaimer: I'm too lazy to look it up if they did replaced people at DOJ. But the "internal government workforce" hardly changes, no matter who is president.

Re:Really? Seriously? (2, Funny)

aztektum (170569) | more than 3 years ago | (#30837662)

I never fully believed it, but for some reason I am rather annoyed that it actually looks that way (over certain things at least). I just went to whitehouse.gov and pasted a link to the /. story along with words of disappointment. Also I may have suggested I'd have been better of writing in Mickey Mouse in 2008 - since, like my hopes for Obama's "change", he too is a figment of my imagination.

Re:Really? Seriously? (1)

dunezone (899268) | more than 3 years ago | (#30837780)

Man: Well, I believe I'll vote for a third-party candidate.
Kang: Go ahead, throw your vote away.
...The next day...
Marge: I don't understand why we have to build a ray gun to aim at a planet I never even heard of.
Homer: Don't blame me, I voted for Kodos.

Re:Really? Seriously? (4, Insightful)

clampolo (1159617) | more than 3 years ago | (#30837834)

I'm having that "meet the new boss, same as the old boss" moment that I really didn't want to have.

Look at all the dirty money he got to fund his campaign with. Goldman Sachs didn't give him all that money because they thought Obama was a reformer.

I still don't get why it is legal in the US to bribe politicians. In other countries a person giving money to an elected official goes in front of a firing squad.

Re:Really? Seriously? (1)

Angst Badger (8636) | more than 3 years ago | (#30837872)

No kidding. But thinking constructively, and not just about this particular case but the many others like it in diverse fields, what we need is a broad approach to the underlying problem, which is the way that industries manage to pack the regulatory agencies that oversee them with their own sympathizers. This probably has a lot less to do with whomever is occupying the Oval Office at the moment than with the sucking chest wound in our democracy that is the US Congress. One of the hazards of being a rich country is that there are an abundance of entities capable of marshaling the favors and outright bribes necessary to corrupt as many legislators as necessary. Until we find a way around that problem, we'll keep seeing crap like this no matter whom we elect.

Re:Really? Seriously? (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 3 years ago | (#30838028)

"I'm having that "meet the new boss, same as the old boss" moment that I really didn't want to have."

I already had the one I expected.

Re:Really? Seriously? (4, Interesting)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 3 years ago | (#30838142)

I'm having that "meet the new boss, same as the old boss" moment that I really didn't want to have.

I wasn't expecting to agree with everything Obama did, that would be simplistic. I just wasn't expecting to find so little to agree with. The same agenda advanced under Bush is advanced under Obama. And it's kind of clear that this isn't Obama's agenda, possessive, implying ownership, any more than it was Bush's -- they're the pitchmen.

Re:Really? Seriously? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30838250)

If you're just now having that moment, as opposed to way back when Obama was elected to the Illinois Senate, then perhaps you should try adding a little variety to your news consumption.

Or . . . (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30837574)

Or maybe is has something to do with the fact that his party receives significant contributions from the entertainment industry.

So? (0, Troll)

laughing rabbit (216615) | more than 3 years ago | (#30837580)

I thought that we were all pretty much aware prior to the election that Obama and his crew were against personal freedom and all for corporate freedom.

Just wait until the courts finish granting natural person status benefits to corporations without imposing natural person responsibilities and liabilities.

Welcome to hell!

Obama was a Constitutional Law Prof. (5, Insightful)

GPLDAN (732269) | more than 3 years ago | (#30837584)

Obama taught, was editor of the Harvard Law Review, and graduated top of his class.


How he can abide this DOJ finding is really unknowable, outside of politics. It is behavior and outcomes like this that cost his party Mass. last night, and may well cost him his re-election bid in 2012. Pollingplace.com showed that last night in Mass., 37% of voters that voted for this independent that won, did so in protest of Democrats favoring Wall Street in the bailout.

The lesson is simple: Either the DOJ and the Obama administration stop taking sides against Main Street and for the big corporate interest, or they will keep losing.

Re:Obama was a Constitutional Law Prof. (1)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | more than 3 years ago | (#30837616)

The problem is, whoever you vote for is really in with the big boys.

If they are not, we see constant news coverage of what goofballs they are because thew news media are all owned by large corporations these days.

Re:Obama was a Constitutional Law Prof. (1, Interesting)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 3 years ago | (#30837874)

Obama taught, was editor of the Harvard Law Review, and graduated top of his class. .

Upon what do you base the assertion that he graduated "top of his class"? I was unaware of any of his college transcripts being released to date.

Re:Obama was a Constitutional Law Prof. (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30838168)

Just like his birth certificate....

Re:Obama was a Constitutional Law Prof. (1)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 3 years ago | (#30838124)

It is behavior and outcomes like this that cost his party Mass. last night, and may well cost him his re-election bid in 2012. Pollingplace.com showed that last night in Mass., 37% of voters that voted for this independent that won, did so in protest of Democrats favoring Wall Street in the bailout. The lesson is simple: Either the DOJ and the Obama administration stop taking sides against Main Street and for the big corporate interest, or they will keep losing.

Very interesting point, GPLDAN. I focus on the legal side of it, but you make a very good point about the political ramifications of what President Obama is doing when he consistently sides with the major corporations against .... the voters.

Travesty (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30837588)

A travesty of justice. Libraries routinely lend out copies of books, music and videos for free. I guess librarians will be the next victim of the RIAA.

DOJ? or (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30837596)

Looking at their actions i think a new name is in order, how about Department of Corporatism? maybe fascism? thats streching a bit isnt it? for now...

ps. you may mark as flamebait, don't care its my judging of that institution as by their actions wich themselfs help prove my point.

Crap (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30837610)

I don't get it. Who were we supposed to vote for?

Only Obama and McCain had any real chance of winning (sorry guys, the Green Party and Libertarians have been, and always will be, fringe groups run by potheads with a pro-drug agenda) and it was beyond obvious that McCain was willing to run this country into the ground for the sake of the almighty dollar. So I picked Obama, mainly because I love America and want the best for this country. But has he delivered?

Patent reform? No.
Environmental protection? No.
Taxing the middle class when he said the rich would finally be made to pay their taxes? Hell no.
Stopping the war? No.
Stopping the MPAA/RIAA from walking all over American citizens? Nope.

It's frustrating because I want Obama to be great and he is ending up being another Jimmy Carter. A nice guy, and a hell of a diplomat, but completely inept and useless at running the country. I cannot possibly explain how sad this makes me.

Clearly the RIAA is at fault here, and Obama's DOJ is doing as the RIAA instructed them to do. Shameful.

Re:Crap (3, Insightful)

clampolo (1159617) | more than 3 years ago | (#30837942)

Only Obama and McCain had any real chance of winning

They did a study once that a person is more likely to die on the way to the polls than having any meaningful effect on the election. So saying that someone wasted a vote by voting their conscience is nonsense.

Re:Crap (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30838212)

Or potentially we are missing a whole voting block of people who think like this!

Re:Crap (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30837968)

I don't get it. Who were we supposed to vote for?

Only Obama and McCain had any real chance of winning (sorry guys, the Green Party and Libertarians have been, and always will be, fringe groups run by potheads with a pro-drug agenda) and it was beyond obvious that McCain was willing to run this country into the ground for the sake of the almighty dollar. So I picked Obama, mainly because I love America and want the best for this country. But has he delivered?

Then you are to blame. You voted for the guy, and are now reaping the "rewards" of it. You have many choices as there are many parties out there, the only ones who keep them from gaining strength are people like you who say it's hopeless. If you don't like the two parties then vote for a different one. Voting the lesser of two evils is still a vote for evil, and still leavers you responsible. In the end dose it matter if your candidate doesn't get elected? Would you call it a wasted vote if you voted for a republican and lost? How about a democrat? If not then why would you call it a wasted vote if you voted for a third party and found they didn't win? They can win if people weren't so pessimistic about it.

Re:Crap (2, Informative)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 3 years ago | (#30838120)

It's better to vote your conscience and lose than to vote for "the lesser evil" and be stuck with evil. Whenever someone says that they won't vote for a third party because they have "no chance of winning," remember that Mccain didn't either.

Deep breaths here people (5, Insightful)

nenya (557317) | more than 3 years ago | (#30837640)

This is the President's job folks: to defend the laws passed by Congress and signed into law by a sitting President. It's implied by the Oath of Office [wikipedia.org]. Presidents ignoring laws they don't like by refusing to defend them in court--which is what the DOJ is doing here--would be a pretty flagrant violation of the obligations of the executive.

This is not the first time and will not be the last that a President, through his officers, defends a law he isn't thrilled about. Just because DOJ lawyers show up with a brief in support of a law does not mean that the President--or even the DOJ lawyers, for crying out loud--believe either 1) that the law is worth defending, or 2) the validity of their own arguments. They're just doing their jobs.

Re:Deep breaths here people (3, Insightful)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 3 years ago | (#30837786)

This is the President's job folks: to defend the laws passed by Congress

The requirement to defend the Constitution comes first. Unreasonable fines or punishment or something?

Re:Deep breaths here people (1, Insightful)

Knara (9377) | more than 3 years ago | (#30837842)

The DOJ defends the laws. The courts decide on Constitutionality.

I realize that "emotional appeals" and what not are en vogue lately when it comes to politics, though I dunno what exactly people think it helps.

It'd be far worse if the DOJ started picking and choosing which laws they wanted to enforce/defend.

Re:Deep breaths here people (1)

Late Adopter (1492849) | more than 3 years ago | (#30837976)

It'd be far worse if the DOJ started picking and choosing which laws they wanted to enforce/defend.

Medical marijuana?

Re:Deep breaths here people (1)

Knara (9377) | more than 3 years ago | (#30838062)

Do you have a court case where the DOJ said, "yeah it's a law, but we think it shouldn't be" in that regard?

Again, funding and priorities are one thing, and can be directed by the chief executive. Defending laws against litigation, however, is another thing entirely. Picking and choosing what to defend in court leads to some very potentially dark results.

Re:Deep breaths here people (1)

introspekt.i (1233118) | more than 3 years ago | (#30838260)

Story about DOJ Picking Who to Prosecute [huffingtonpost.com]The Obama administration is saying that it will only bother with people who violate both state and federal law, yet those who are consuming marijuana in accordance with state law may be running afoul of federal law. Regardless, the Obama admin is going to turn a blind eye. As for "having a court case" how could you have a court case if nobody brings a case to prosecute BECAUSE they're choosing not to prosecute?

Re:Deep breaths here people (1)

Alaren (682568) | more than 3 years ago | (#30838108)

It'd be far worse if the DOJ started picking and choosing which laws they wanted to enforce/defend.

They already do that. It's called "prosecutorial discretion" (and is occasionally characterized by a marked absence of rational discretion, but there you have it). We talk a mean streak about "rule of law" but in the end, someone still has to make the choice (and that's okay).

There are only so many resources to go around. They flat-out cannot prosecute every instance of a perceived crime. There is also an overabundance of laws, enabling them to prosecute virtually anyone.

For the most part, the system works--I think most prosecutors exercise their requisite discretion well enough. But that's no excuse to ignore abuses or problem cases when they do occur, and this is definitely one such instance. I think the DOJ got this one wrong.

Re:Deep breaths here people (1)

Knara (9377) | more than 3 years ago | (#30838240)

Sure. And, to be sure, this is a more complex discussion than is easy to express on a forum.

However, in this situation, where the question is "do we think that the law as legally passed is constitutional", the DOJ is obliged to say, "yes, we do," because they are the legal representatives of the body that passed the law.

Re:Deep breaths here people (2, Informative)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 3 years ago | (#30838216)

This is the President's job folks: to defend the laws passed by Congress

The requirement to defend the Constitution comes first.

Exactly, Culture20. The Constitution is our highest law, and the Supreme Court has made it clear that the 5th Amendment does not tolerate excessive 'punitive awards'.

Re:Deep breaths here people (1)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 3 years ago | (#30837966)

They're just doing their jobs.

No they aren't. Their job is to uphold the constitution and by extension, the will of the people; not blindly uphold every decision regardless. Damages in excess of 10,000 times the value of actual loss is clearly unconstitutional. Period.

Re:Deep breaths here people (1)

Knara (9377) | more than 3 years ago | (#30838074)

The DOJ's job is not to determine if something is constitutional. That's the court system's job.

Re:Deep breaths here people (1)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 3 years ago | (#30838198)

Then would you care to explain why the DOJ ignored points a-e in regard to previous supreme court decisions?

Re:Deep breaths here people (1)

Knara (9377) | more than 3 years ago | (#30838264)

Because their job is to present the case as they see it, in the best interests of their clients (Congress) who passed the law.

No they aren't (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30838076)

If the DOJ were doing their jobs, they would NOT be doing any of the following:

(a) ignoring the case law which holds that the Supreme Court's due process jurisprudence is applicable to statutory damages,
(b) ignoring the law review articles to like effect,
(c) ignoring the actual holding of the 1919 case they rely upon,
(d) ignoring the fact that the RIAA failed to prove 'distribution' as defined by the Copyright Act,
(e) ignoring the actual wording and reasoning of the Supreme Court in its leading Gore and Campbell decisions.

It is their job to pay attention to these precedents, and if they had done so then their decision would be much different by logical necessity.

Re:Deep breaths here people (1)

cptdondo (59460) | more than 3 years ago | (#30838218)

The DOJ can choose to allocate resources to certain things. They have, in the past, chosen not to defend a particular law vigorously. Conversely, they seem to be putting a lot of effort and resources behind this law.

They can choose not to file a brief and simply allow the court to rule but they've chosen to devote resources to this battle.

Hope they remember that in Canada... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30837656)

Hopefully they remember $750 to $150,000 per song when they go to court in Canada over the 300,000 songs they did not pay the artists for.

That'll be $225,000,000 to $45,000,000,000. ($225 million to $45 billion)

And since they were selling the songs, I'd suspect it should be the high end of that scale.

Newsflash: DOJ's Job in Litigation Against US Law (4, Insightful)

Knara (9377) | more than 3 years ago | (#30837698)

People, the DOJ's job is to defend the laws as standing as passed. They would not be doing their jobs if they said, "nah, you're right, this law should be overturned."

Lrn2USLegalSystem and US Government, please.

Re:Newsflash: DOJ's Job in Litigation Against US L (4, Insightful)

locallyunscene (1000523) | more than 3 years ago | (#30837892)

That's not really an excuse. Didn't Obama publically state that he wouldn't be spending Federal Funds to go after state licensed medical marijuana growers? That sounds a a lot like not defending the laws as passed.

I'll cut Obama slack when he has to choose the lesser of two evils. This is not one of those cases.

Re:Newsflash: DOJ's Job in Litigation Against US L (1)

Knara (9377) | more than 3 years ago | (#30837972)

Obama can't decide which laws to defend in court. It's an entirely different thing.

One is defending a program that is within his power to do, so long as the program is in the purview of the executive branch. The other is picking and choosing which laws (passed legally by the legislature) the executive branch will choose to defend.

If you will recall, the GWB administration tried to get around this with signing statements. If you will recall, they were *slightly* controversial.

Re:Newsflash: DOJ's Job in Litigation Against US L (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 3 years ago | (#30837930)

People, the DOJ's job is to defend the laws as standing as passed.

No, its job is to defend the Constitution first, the laws second.

Note, for the record, that very few DOJs have bothered with that nasty old Constitution thing.
Though FDR's early DOJ prevented him from doing a few things that were unconstitutional, and GWB's actually argued once to overturn a law due to unconstitutionality....

Re:Newsflash: DOJ's Job in Litigation Against US L (3, Informative)

Knara (9377) | more than 3 years ago | (#30838106)

The DOJ's job is not to determine if a *law as passed* is constitutional. That's the court system's job. They can, indeed, argue that something is unconstitutional, but if the federal government is party to a lawsuit, the DOJ's job is to defend it.

Re:Newsflash: DOJ's Job in Litigation Against US L (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30837946)

Funny. I thought the D.O.J. was merely an extension of the Military Industrial Complex, a lapdog for Corporate entitlement, and hell-hound for Big Oil. Now I can add Copyright bitch to my list government pet names.

Re:Newsflash: DOJ's Job in Litigation Against US L (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30838034)

Someone please tell Jerry Brown that.

Re:Newsflash: DOJ's Job in Litigation Against US L (2, Insightful)

NewYorkCountryLawyer (912032) | more than 3 years ago | (#30838172)

People, the DOJ's job is to defend the laws as standing as passed.

Yes. PS The Constitution of the United States happens to be one of our laws. In fact, it's our highest law. Any "law" which conflicts with it is invalid.

They would not be doing their jobs if they said, "nah, you're right, this law should be overturned."

Yes they would be doing their jobs. By ignoring the Constitution, they are failing to do their jobs. The United States Supreme Court has spoken loudly and clearly that punitive awards of this nature violate the Constitution.

just returning the favor (3, Interesting)

exabrial (818005) | more than 3 years ago | (#30837714)

The media fell in love with Obama during his election campaign. Don't think they won't come asking for favors later, and don't be surprised at the response. My new voting strategy: Find out who Tom Cruise is voting for. Vote for the other guy.

Re:just returning the favor (1)

jimbobborg (128330) | more than 3 years ago | (#30837796)

You're just learning this lesson now? I don't claim affiliation to either of the big parties, but I saw through this guy right before he announced he was running. The whole 2008 election was ridiculous and completely run by news organizations. Obama should not be sitting where he is now, and quite frankly, he, like a lot of people in office (Pelosi), should be run out of office. The only reason any of them are in office is due to the backlash against GW Bush. I'm really tired of voting against someone, I would really rather vot for some one.

Re:just returning the favor (0, Flamebait)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 3 years ago | (#30838026)

That's the dumbest voting strategy I've ever heard. My great-grandma used to vote for candidates based on how handsome they were. At least she got something out of it: she got to look at someone kind of nice. You don't get anything out of it, you don't even get a choice: someone else is making your choice. That's why your strategy is dumber than hers. I hope you don't vote until you learn a better way to figure out what is good and what is not.

A quote comes to mind... (2, Interesting)

PSandusky (740962) | more than 3 years ago | (#30837732)

Jon Newton of p2pnet.net attributes the Justice Department's 'oversights' to the 'eye-popping number of people [in its employ] who worked for, and/or are directly connected with, Vivendi Universal, EMI, Warner Music and Sony Music's RIAA.'

"I believe in coincidences. Coincidences happen every day. But I don't trust coincidences."
--Garak, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine "Cardassians"

Copyright is a scam (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30837828)

Most works of art are copied from or influenced by something. Imagine you're an artist and you have to worry about whether you have express permission rights or not before you pick up the brush.

What did you expect? (3, Insightful)

acoustix (123925) | more than 3 years ago | (#30837854)

Lawyers run the DOJ. Lawyers run Congress. Of course they want to be able to sue for large amounts.

Off topic perhaps, but this is why we won't see meaningful tort reform in the near future.

"Obama DOJ"? Come on... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30837868)

Why is it the "Obama DOJ" when last year it wasn't the "Bush DOJ"?

Like other folks have already noted, the RIAA has massive, continuous lobbying working both parties all the time. This is a (poor) decisions by "the idiots at the DOJ", not something that should be politicized like this unless your argument is that the President (of whatever party) should review all DOJ decisions and essentially dictate what law they should make rather than letting them do their jobs based on established law and precedent.

Now, I do think there's clearly something rotten there if this is the decision they came to, and the President (if he even gets wind of it) should instruct his appointees in-charge to review the situation, but this is in no way directly related to Obama.

Hello?... (5, Insightful)

Genda (560240) | more than 3 years ago | (#30837878)

Folks, what part of "The RIAA is in your pocket, and in your life" are you not getting? For the love of Pete, the Vice President is a media hit-man... what do they have to do before it's clear, carve their initials in your forehead? There is no law, no juris-prudence, no honest, decent, or rational bit of thinking that the RIAA won't pave over, pay to have overturned, ignored, or publicly gutted, to protect their charges' strangle hold on media. Once they are finished with this little piece of business, they can move to the next piece. Make all use public or private payable, maybe they can even get a tax passed on the presumed number of people at anytime who my be humming a tune to themselves. That and make all new music created from that day forward, which is not owned by an affiliate of the RIAA illegal to listen to. They want a monopoly on sound, and they want to own your ears, and they want to utterly destroy anybody who get's in the way of what they want. CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW...

Hope my @ss. (4, Insightful)

oDDmON oUT (231200) | more than 3 years ago | (#30837890)

I smelled this coming when he sided with the Telcos on the wiretapping.
I knew we were in for it when he kept Gitmo going.
ACTA secrecy pretty much cemented my opinion.
This is just icing on the cake.

And yes ladies and gentlemens, I voted for him...hoping he wouldn't be what he's showing himself to be...just another crooked pol, interested in being elected and nailing a sweet deal speaking deal once he's thrown out on his ear.

meh.

It's Better This Way (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30837924)

Although I certainly don't agree with current copyright laws, I'm glad our administration upholds them. If we allowed the DOJ to selectively enforce laws there would be no point in creating laws in the first place. So, until the laws are actually changed, I would prefer they be enforced the way they were intended.

Tyrants (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30838020)

Who defines this? The people suffering under tyranny? Or the tyrant lords themselves?

The Constitution I know and love dictates that I strike these tyrants down in cold blood, that is my right, nay, my obligation as a citizen of the US.

The founding fathers of this once great nation did this. Then they talked about it for years afterward. Then they wrote scores of literature on the subject, such that no one should ever forget the costs of the freedoms we once enjoyed; freedoms and liberties that are currently being stripped away by our current Tyrant Lords.

The reason for the large fines (0, Troll)

sn00pers (1005173) | more than 3 years ago | (#30838070)

The fine's arne't simply based on the damages on the download of the individual song itself. When someone downloads those songs with the file sharing client, almost always it then makes that song available or downloading by others. So the damages done by that person are far more than the cost o a single song. The damage don is how many copies of that song are then downloaded from that copy which could be in the 1000's easily. But of course everyone would much prefer to pretend there's some big government conspiracy because that's so much easier than actually looking at the details of the issue.

The Obama administration siding with corporations? (1)

smchris (464899) | more than 3 years ago | (#30838084)

Huh. Who'd'a thought. Wonder how that Wednesday morning Massachusetts hangover feels.

Re:The Obama administration siding with corporatio (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30838166)

Obama is siding with the LAW. Is that too complicated for you guys?

Gee (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#30838090)

And Obama is still wondering why his approval rating is crap. Another DLC fail. Change doesn't mean Republican-lite instead of honest Republican.

Although the buck stops at the WH... (1)

JerryLove (1158461) | more than 3 years ago | (#30838110)

Might it be possible that, with UHC, Afghanistan, Iraq, now Hati, re-election campaigns, issues of open-government, Gitmo, bailouts, unemployment, etc.... might it be possible that awards to the RIAA simply aren't on Obama's radar at all?

Couldn't this just be the people of the Justice Department, most of whom predate Obama and who Obama has never met, being (as pointed out) in the music-industry's pocket?

Don't get me wrong: I don't know where the president stands on this issue, and he may indeed support the RIAA position... I just don't see that this instance establishes that.

Obama's DOJ? (1)

mehemiah (971799) | more than 3 years ago | (#30838150)

I don't remember all the stories about the government during the bush administration reading Bush's X it was the Bush administration's X. Just because Most people actually like him instead of hate him doesn't mean bash him harder, or that every thing's his fault.

Why is this "Obama's" department of justice? (2, Insightful)

uslurper (459546) | more than 3 years ago | (#30838176)

It was never "Bush's" doj or "Clinton's" doj before.
It used to just be the Department of Justice.
Why is it that suddenly everything one disagrees with is Obama's fault?

So, what part of this surprises anyone? (1)

mmell (832646) | more than 3 years ago | (#30838268)

I mean, the man is just another Chicago politician. Duhh...
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