Revolving Door of Government & the RIAA

by on April 2, 2011 · 7 comments

Early in President Obama’s term it became clear that efforts to close the revolving door between industry and government weren’t serious or the very least weren’t working.  For a quick refresher on this, check out this ABC news story from August of 2009, which shows how Mr. Obama exempted several officials from rules he claimed would “close the revolving door that lets lobbyists come into government freely” and use their power and position “to promote their own interests over the interests of the American people whom they serve.”

The latest example of this rapidly turning revolving door is covered expertly by Nate Anderson at Ars Technica:

Last week, Washington, DC federal judge Beryl Howell ruled on three mass file-sharing lawsuits. Judges inTexasWest Virginia, and Illinois had all ruled recently that such lawsuits were defective in various ways, but Howell gave her cases the green light; attorneys could use the federal courts to sue thousands of people at once and then issue mass subpoenas to Internet providers. Yes, issues of “joinder” and “jurisdiction” would no doubt arise later, but the initial mass unmasking of alleged file-swappers was legitimate.

Howell isn’t the only judge to believe this, but her important ruling is especially interesting because of Howell’s previous work: lobbying for the recording industry during the time period when the RIAA was engaged in its own campaign of mass lawsuits against individuals.

The bolding above is my own and is meant to underscore an overarching problem in government today of which Judge Howell is just one example. In a government that is expected to regulate nearly every commercial activity imaginable, it should be no surprise that a prime recruiting ground for experts on those subjects are the very industries being regulated.

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