Donald Verrilli Jr. – former lawyer for Recording Industry Association of America – was nominated by president Barack Obama to serve as the nation’s solicitor general.
All that Donald needs now, before occupying the empty chair once resided by Elena Kagan – who was promoted to the Supreme Court -, is the confirmation of the Senate. His job would be to defend the government before the Supreme Court, and files friend-of-the court briefs in cases in which the government believes there is a significant legal issue. The office also determines which cases it will bring to the Supreme Court for review.
Verrilli’s fierce reputation consists in leading of the recording industry’s legal charge against music and the victory against the late movie-sharing website Grokster. Not long ago, he was also in charge of Viacom’s $1 billion copyright-infringement fight against YouTube. However, the case was dismissed last year, but Viacom is not giving up. Viacom believes that YouTube did not bother to police uploads made by their users, in order to avoid the sharing of copyright materials.
In 2008, Verrilli told a federal judge in Minnesota that uploading copyright materials on sharing networks is itself a copyright infringement and that no proof of someone downloading those files is required.
This argument was also used in the Jamie Thomas’s file-sharing case. The judge declared a mistrial of the first jury’s $220.000 civil judgment for sharing 24 songs on Kazaa. It took two more trials and a third jury for a verdict of almost $2 million to be rendered against Thomas. Justice is blind.