Monday27 March 2023

The US Attorney Handling the Megaupload Case, Neil MacBride, Worked At the BSA Until His Appointment in 2009...

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Well, well, well, it seems the plot thickens as things unravel in the case against Megaupload. This morning we noticed a post on Megaupload founder, Kim Dotcom’s Twitter feed asking if there was any truth to the claim that US District Attorney Neil MacBride was still employed by a lobbying agency within one year of his appointment. We took a look and found something rather interesting which could indicate a little bit of bias in the way MacBride is dealing with the case and also may lend a little validation to Dotcom’s claims that the whole case was cooked up by the copyright Lobby.

As most of you already know the MPPA, RIAA and other copyright holders have asked the US to seize and prosecute Megaupload, founder Kim Dotcom and several other members of management. They allege conspiracy to commit and encourage piracy, money laundering and more. They have seized all assets of the company and Dotcom’s (including a rather over the top raid on Dotcom’s house). As the weeks have passed we have also found out that the US cannot produce the evidence that was needed for the original raid, the warrants were illegal and should not have been executed (which made the raid illegal too), and that the FBI removed evidence illegally as well. Things are not looking too good at this point and they are not going to be any better.

The US District Attorney that is handling the case was Vice President for Anti-Piracy and General Counsel of the Business Software Alliance. On January 22 2009 MacBride was appointed to the position of Associate Deputy Attorney General at the US Department of Justice. But wait it gets better, before he was working for the BSA he was an Assistant US Attorney in the criminal division of the US DoJ. He also worked as then Senator Joseph Biden’s chief counsel and staff director. While there he worked on many anti-piracy laws. In his new position he is working with a former RIAA lawyer Tom Perrelli.

So we have two members of the copyright lobby occupying positions of power in the department of justice one that worked for Vice President Joe Biden (who has his own history of cooperation with the MPAA and RIAA) as well. We have said this before based on the available evidence then and will say it more clearly with the evidence that exists now; there is an unethical if no illegal exchange of personnel between the different branches of the US government and the copyright industry (the MPAA, RIAA, and BSA). This is a mix that does nothing to foster innovation, but to stifle it in the name of getting reelected and maintaining an outdated revenue stream. In the end it is the consumer that suffers as the corporations find new ways to mix staff back and forth. The two appointments to these high posts at the DoJ do not require confirmation from the Senate so they are arbitrary and do not appear to be subject to oversight or some of the other ethics laws that bind other members of the government. This loophole does not make this type of behavior any more ethical or right if anything it makes it worse.

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Last modified on Friday, 07 September 2012 15:56

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