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The Courts

Will Obama's DOJ Intervene To Help RIAA? 546

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "In SONY BMG Music Entertainment v. Cloud, a Pennsylvania case in which the RIAA's statutory damages theory — seeking from 2,200 to 450,000 times the amount of actual damages — is being tested, the US Department of Justice has just filed papers indicating that it is considering intervening in the case to defend the constitutionality of such awards, and requesting an extension of time (PDF) in which to decide whether such intervention 'is appropriate.' This is an early test of whether President Obama will make good on his promises (a) not to allow industry insiders to participate in cases affecting the industry they represented (the 2nd and 3rd highest DOJ officials are RIAA lawyers) and (b) to look out for ordinary citizens rather than big corporations."

$2 Billion For Broadband Cut From Stimulus Bill 658

pdabbadabba points out a CNN report on changes to the planned economic stimulus bill (the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 [PDF]) that will remove the $2 billion allocated to broadband development. The changes also eliminated smaller amounts allocated to NASA, the National Institute for Standards and Technology, and the National Science Foundation. $16 billion in school construction funding was removed, as well as another $3.5 billion for higher education construction. A variety of environmental projects were also cut or reduced (half of the $7 billion set aside for energy-efficient federal buildings, half of the $600 million for hybrid federal vehicles), and over $8 billion in health-related provisions are gone. The bill will likely go to vote in the Senate on Tuesday.

How many Bavarian Illuminati does it take to screw in a lightbulb? Three: one to screw it in, and one to confuse the issue.