No, Weev is not an independent security researcher, he is a troll. BUT he used the same tools the researchers uses. It's like passing a law outlawing the use of lockpicks. Surely all thieves would be affected, but it would affect locksmiths too.
If Weev loses the appeal, the traffic on full-disclosure mailing list will drop a lot. If I discover a bug on Paypal website that allows anyone to access a third party's account, and I inform Paypal, I would be guilty.
Even Weev being a troll and thinking on making profits over the AT&T mistake, the problem is shifting the blame for exposing the innocent victims from AT&T to Weev. The way this is going, looks like AT&T did everything right, responsible, blameless, and a evil hacker with super-human powers hacked their NSA-grade secured servers and stole the data, when what really happened was that AT&T didn't even bothered to protect the data in any way.