associate deputy attorney general by President Obama. While he is definitely not a household name, Verrilli was the lawyer who represented the music industry in the Grokster case in the U.S. Supreme Court. This appointment by itself wouldn't necessarily stand out, but the Obama administration has now appointed a handful of pro-copyright industry insiders to prominent positions in the Department of Justice, including Tom Perrelli, who was one of the RIAA's top lawyers.Today, Donald B. Verrilli was appointed to the position of
As CNet reports, Verrilli, while working as a senior litigator for the Washington law firm Jenner & Block, also represented the entertainment industry in Viacom's case against Google's YouTube, and he represented the RIAA in its infamous case against Jammie Thomas.
DSLReports notes that Obama's own ethics rules would prohibit these appointees from directly working on copyright issues, as they previously represented the entertainment industry in these cases, but it is somewhat disconcerting that the Obama administration would pick so many industry insiders for these positions. We would have hoped that the administration had chosen a set of appointees with a more progressive attitude towards copyright.