@danacimilluca: Sullivan & Cromwell Hires Former Justice Department Antitrust Head Renata Hesse [aka Songwriter Enemy #1] as Partner in D.C.

Remember the ex-Googler Renata Hesse who managed to get both herself and the Department of Justice sued by SONA over Hesse’s grotesque mishandling of 100% licensing?  Like a good little bureaucrat, she leaves the songwriters to clean up her mess while she skips out to the big money.  Don’t let the revolving door hit you.

And good job avoiding a confirmation hearing…that won’t happen again.

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP is hiring Renata Hesse, formerly head of the antitrust division at the Justice Department, as the law firm prepares for a continued wave of complex, cross-border mergers and other deals.

Ms. Hesse, 52 years old, will join Sullivan & Cromwell as a partner in Washington, D.C., the firm plans to announce Monday. The move is noteworthy not just because of Ms. Hesse’s stature in legal circles, but also because it is rare for Sullivan & Cromwell and other elite law firms to bring in partners from the outside. Until January, Ms. Hesse was acting assistant attorney general in charge of the antitrust division at the Justice Department, a position she has held twice.

Read the post on the Wall Street Journal

@davidclowery: Don’t You Have More Important Things to Do? DOJ Should Drop the 100% Licensing Push

Now that most of the DOJ lawyers who pushed the 100% licensing rule on songwriters are gone, who’s gonna deal with all those feral cats that former Acting Assistant Attorney General Renata Hesse was feeding? Last year, in what can only be described as an elaborate Kabuki, a small group of DOJ lawyers led by […]

via Don’t You Have More Important Things to Do? DOJ Should Drop the 100% Licensing Push — The Trichordist

Funny How that Works: @edchristman reports: Irving Azoff, Top Radio Groups Reach Temporary Licensing Agreement — MUSIC • TECHNOLOGY • POLICY

When two rational actors are economically interdependent on one another, disputes tend to get solved at a market clearing price. So it is with Global Music Rights and the goliath Radio Music License Committee that itself is a member of the even bigger goliath MIC Coalition. (My bet is that the Google-backed MIC Coalition is behind […]

via Funny How that Works: @edchristman reports: Irving Azoff, Top Radio Groups Reach Temporary Licensing Agreement — MUSIC • TECHNOLOGY • POLICY

@andreworlowski: Trump meets Google – exclusive transcript

schmidt_maga_red_2

After meeting Kanye West, President-elect Trump will meet Google and other Silicon Valley leaders today. We’ve imagined how the conversation might go.

RUSHED TRANSCRIPT

TRUMP: So. Peter tells me you’re the smartest guys in America. How do you like the furniture?

PAGE: Very nice Mr President Elect.

TRUMP: Where’s the Russian?

PAGE: Sergey [Brin]?

TRUMP: Yes

SCHMIDT: Sir, the Secret Service detained him. We warned him not to try to get into Trump Tower wearing his Google Glass, but he won’t take them off. Well. We want to thank you for inviting us to Trump Tow—

TRUMP: Let’s just cut the crap. I know you did everything you could do get Hillary [Clinton] elected. I know you worked for Obama’s team, Eric [Schmidt]. I know you hate me and I don’t care. But you have 10 minutes to tell me what you want so I can figure out how useful you can be, and how much damage you can do. Go.

PAGE: Er, right. Well. Top of our agenda is ensuring that America’s wealth-creating technology companies – that’s us – have a vital supply of top technology talent.

SCHMIDT: Mr President, as I said two years ago, ‘we take very, very smart people, bring them into the country, give them a diploma and kick them out where they go on to create companies that compete with us’.

TRUMP: What happens to those companies they create?

SCHMIDT: We buy them and close them down. Or our VC friends close them down. As Peter Thiel says: Monopoly is good.

TRUMP: Well, hmmm.

SCHMIDT: Mr President, engineers are expensive, would you use the most expensive labour you could? Employers need to keep wages down.

TRUMP: Which of course I love. But you see, I just got elected on jobs. That’s how I won. I got 2 million fewer votes than Crooked Hillary, but I got them where it counted, right in her backyard. And you’ve created a two-caste economy. Maybe you can employ some American engineers?

SCHMIDT: Uh. In a global interconnected world, Sir, that would be…

TRUMP: Spare me the Thomas Friedman crap. You’re toxic. The DoJ said your cartel fixed wages for a million workers.

SCHMIDT: We’ve fixed the DoJ now, Sir. We run it.

Read the post on The Register

@jonathantaplin: Forget AT&T. The Real Monopolies Are Google and Facebook.

The proposed merger of AT&T and Time Warner has drawn censure from both sides of the political aisle, as well as a Senate hearing that looked into the potential for the combined company to become a monopoly.

But if we are going to examine media monopolies, we should look first at Silicon Valley, not the fading phone business.

Mark Cuban, the internet entrepreneur, said at the meeting of the Senate Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee last week that the truly dominant companies in media distribution these days were Facebook, Google, Apple and Amazon.

“Facebook is without question in a dominant position, if not the dominant position, for content delivery,” he said.

Look at the numbers. Alphabet (the parent company of Google) and Facebook are among the 10 largest companies in the world. Alphabet alone has a market capitalization of around $550 billion. AT&T and Time Warner combined would be about $300 billion.

Read the Post on The New York Times

@RepDougCollins: Collins Writes to Librarian of Congress about Firing of Maria Pallante as Register of Copyrights

WASHINGTON—Congressmen Doug Collins, Vice Chair of the Judiciary Committee’s Intellectual Property Subcommittee, and Tom Graves, Chairman of the Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on the Legislative Branch, have written a letter to the Librarian of Congress regarding Maria Pallante’s departure from the Copyright Office. The content of the letter is below:

The Honorable Carla Hayden

Librarian of Congress

Library of Congress

101 Independence Avenue, SE

Washington, D.C. 20540

Dear Dr. Hayden,

We are writing today regarding the recent departure of Maria Pallante from her position as Register of Copyrights at the United States Copyright Office.

As you know, Ms. Pallante had served in her position for nearly six years, administering copyright law, protecting copyright principles, and expressing a commitment to modernizing the Copyright Office while fulfilling her statutory role.

Ms. Pallante’s recent departure was unexpected, and many questions remain surrounding the circumstances, including her proposed reassignment to a role less relevant to her experience with copyrights and intellectual property and with limited interaction with Members of Congress.

The proposed reassignment and subsequent resignation of Ms. Pallante highlights the need to have further discussion regarding the direction of the Copyright Office. As Members of Committees that have a strong interest in the role and work of the Copyright Office, we believe it is critical that the Copyright Office continue to serve as a guardian of intellectual property rights while working towards modernization that provides the type of access and usability that Americans have rightly come to expect in today’s interconnected world.

Protection of intellectual property, including copyright, was woven into the Constitution by our nation’s Founders. The United States Copyright Office plays a vital role in that protection, and Congress relies on it to provide analysis, guidance, and expertise on copyright issues. Because of the critical role the Copyright Office plays, it is imperative to ensure that current and future leadership at that office demonstrates a clear commitment to ensuring the protection of intellectual property rights while meeting 21st Century needs.

Given the importance of a strong relationship between the Copyright Office and Congress, we encourage you to ensure that recent actions surrounding that office do not limit the ability of the Copyright Office to advise Congress candidly and directly. It is imperative that among the many duties the Copyright Office performs, it continues to be able to “Advise Congress” and “Provide information and assistance to Federal departments and agencies and the Judiciary on national and international issues relating to copyright,” as provided in the Copyright Act. Additionally, we urge you to ensure that the efforts at Copyright Office modernization crafted by the Copyright Office in response to public consultation are continued.

We look forward to having further discussions with you regarding the concerns highlighted above as well as the search process for a new Register of Copyrights.

Sincerely,

Doug Collins                                                                                      Tom Graves

Member of Congress                                                                       Member of Congress

 

@ddayen: Google Gets a Seat on the Trump Transition Team

GOOGLE IS AMONG the many major corporations whose surrogates are getting key roles on Donald Trump’s transition team.

Joshua Wright has been put in charge of transition efforts at the influential Federal Trade Commission after pulling off the rare revolving-door quadruple-play, moving from Google-supported academic work to government – as an FTC commissioner – back to the Google gravy train and now back to the government.

The Intercept has documented how Wright, as a law professor at George Mason University, received Google funding for atleastfour academic papers, all of which supported Google’s position that it did not violate antitrust laws when it favored its own sites in search engine requests and restricted advertisers from running ads on competitors. George Mason received $762,000 in funding from Google from 2011 to 2013.

Wright then became an FTC commissioner in January 2013, agreeing to recuse himself from Google cases for two years, because of his Google-funded research. He lasted at the FTC until August 2015, returning to George Mason’s law school (now named after Antonin Scalia). But Wright also became an “of counsel” at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, Google’s main outside law firm. Wilson Sonsini has represented Google before the FTC.

Wright’s leadership position in the Trump FTC transition flips him back into government work.

Read the post on The Intercept