Feeds

Obama to promote RIAA's favourite lawyer

'He's in danger of losing the Internet!'

Security for virtualized datacentres

The prosecutor who spanked the World's Dumbest File Sharer, Jammie Thomas, is set to be the US' next Solicitor General.

The Solicitor General represents the US Government in Supreme Court cases, and there's a vacancy after the current incumbent Elena Kagan became the latest Court appointment.

Don Verrilli also led the successful prosecution of Grokster in a court case brought by MGM five years ago, and kicked off the ongoing GooTube litigation on behalf of Viacom. He's currently assistant Solicitor General.

Although Verrilli represents a counterweight to the Google lobby embedded in the Obama White House (which appears to be running its own parallel administration) the prospect of his promotion has caused convulsions amongst anti-copyright campaigners, who weirdly presumed that Obama was "one of us".

This is a very strange idea. Why would anyone think that Obama was a secret freetard? The idea is pretty ludicrous.

Obama at Google HQ. But not all White House staff are Oompa Loompas

But the anti-copyright crowd has always been eager to feel victimised, and the mood of despair is captured by Alex Pareene writing in Salon. Pareene offers an early candidate for overstatement of the year:

"Between this appointment and his anti-iPad rhetoric, Barack Obama is in danger of losing the Internet entirely," he concludes.

Who is this "Internet" of which he speaks? Presumably it does not include small indie labels, independent movie makers, or songwriters and composers, who after years of being squeezed by major industry players have now found themselves lumped in with the Axis of Evil by file sharers. Pareene's evocation reminds me of Harvey in the Jimmy Stewart movie of the same name ('my invisible friend is bigger than yours'), although in the movie the Pooka was real.

Recently an Irish High Court Judge called the freetards' bluff with a remarkably clear-headed judgement. He refused to criminalise copyright infringement, regarding it as a simple breach of a civil contract. But he also refuted the idea that the internet is a Temporary Autonomous Zone, a place beyond any kind of jurisdiction. The internet that Judge Charleton described - "thickly populated by fraudsters, pornographers of the worst kind and cranks" - is certainly how future historians will remember it, and is a lot closer to the reality we experience than Pareene's giant imaginary rabbit.

Maybe Obama isn't frightened of the rabbit because he doesn't care about the consequences of angering it. And maybe Obama doesn't care about this corner of opinion, because - as we've seen in the UK - it doesn't matter that much. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Bono apologises for iTunes album dump
Megalomania, generosity and FEAR of irrelevance drove group to Apple deal
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.