Former RIAA Lobbyist Turned into File-Sharing Case Judge
Over the last years, file-sharing lawsuits have become instruments of threat and making money for copyright holders. However, this situation began to change as an increasing number of judges started to see right through the poor, weak arguments they have been presented with by record and movie industries against individuals, services and companies. Hence, the dismissal of numerous file-sharing cases found as…unfounded.
But one judge seems to be swimming against the natural current. DC federal judge Beryl Howell recently gave green light to three cases filed by copyright holders. The problem is Howell used to be a RIAA lobbyist.
TorrentFreak points to the foulness at play here, seeing these lawsuits as comfortable ways for copyright owners to arrange out-of-court settlements and squeeze some money off the frightened alleged copyright infringers.
Although judges are deemed to be objective, the above is troubling information which at the least hints at a slight bias in judgement. This is fueled by the fact that less than a week after her investiture ceremony as a judge, Howell opened the door for copyright holders to send out settlements to tens of thousands of alleged file-sharers without first having evidence against them tested in court.
As a lobbyist there was only so much Howell could do, but as a U.S. District Court Judge she can really make a difference it seems.
In layman’s terms her ruling means that copyright holders can easily request the personal details of people who have allegedly downloaded copyrighted works on BitTorrent. With this decision in hand the copyright holders have all they need. After all, the intention of these lawsuits was never to take the defendants to court, but to send them settlement letters to resolve the issue for a few thousand dollars.