Judge Who Said Lumping Together Unrelated Copyright Cases Is Fine… Is A Former RIAA Lobbyist
from the aren't-you-supposed-to-recuse-yourself? dept
Last week, we noted that judge Beryl Howell seemed to go against numerous other rulings by mass copyright lawsuit filers in saying that it was just fine to lump all the defendants together, despite the fact that each one was totally unrelated to the others. She even went so far as to claim that this benefited the defendants. She also pointed out that this made it easier for the plaintiffs, and seemed particularly concerned that things be as easy as possible for those plaintiffs. As we noted, our legal system isn’t supposed to work that way. The point was making sure that actual due process was allowed, and joining together totally unrelated cases went against that principle.
Of course, perhaps there’s a reason why Howell wanted to make things easier for plaintiffs in mass copyright lawsuits. You see, as TorrentFreak points out, Judge Beryl Howell is a recent appointment to the bench, and prior to that worked as a lawyer for a law firm that did plenty of work for the RIAA, and Howell herself was a lobbyist for the RIAA. It also notes that she helped write the DMCA among other copyright expansion laws from the last decade and a half.
As TorrentFreak notes, this certainly seems like a conflict of interest.