Keep up with the news by installing RT’s extension for . Never miss a story with this clean and simple app that delivers the latest headlines to you.

 

US copyright czar resigns from White House for job at anti-piracy firm

Published time: August 28, 2013 23:42
Victoria Espinel (AFP Photo / Nicholas Kamm)

Victoria Espinel (AFP Photo / Nicholas Kamm)

Just weeks after resigning from a key position in the White House the United States’ lead copyright officer has joined an ant-piracy trade group that lobbies for influence in the government on behalf of technology corporations.

Victoria Espinel spent four years as the nation’s copyright czar, where she quietly played a role in negotiations between the music industry, film industry, and Internet service providers (ISPs) to disrupt a customer’s internet service if that individual was accused of downloading copyrighted material. Known as the “six-strikes” plan, the law drew harsh criticism from privacy advocates and small business owners. 

The Software Alliance, better known as the BSA, introduced Victoria Espinel as the organization’s new president in a press release Wednesday. The BSA’s website describes the lobby group as “the world’s premier anti-piracy organization.” 

We are thrilled to have Victoria leading BSA forward in an important phase of growth and evolution for the software industry,” Pascal DiFronzo, chairman of the BSA, announced. “Victoria brings an extraordinary wealth of expertise on key issues at the intersection of trade policy, market access and IP protection.” 

As the IP czar, a position created by Congress in 2008 and has remained vacant in the weeks since Espinel’s departure, the outgoing chief oversaw a three-year period that revoked the domains of websites accused of illegally streaming sporting events, sold bootleg clothing and accessories, and provided access to movies and music, among other activities.

Espinel has also taken criticism for her role in the secret negotiations to build the “six-strike” agreement. Her emails, disclosed in 2011 because of a Freedom of Information Act request, show that Espinel spoke with top Hollywood officials using her personal email address.

Time Warner Cable, AT&T, Verizon, Comcast, and other ISPs eventually agreed to cooperate with the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). Espinel was accused of cozying up to the major players in the deal while ignoring smaller companies. 

These kind of backroom voluntary deals are quite scary, particularly because they are not subject to judicial review,” privacy researcher Christopher Sohoian told Wired after the emails were first published. “I wanted to find out what role the White House has played in the negotiation, but unfortunately, the Office of Management and Budget withheld key documents that would shed further light on it.” 

The Software Alliance is made up of Apple, Microsoft, Oracle, and other major software players.


Comments (3)

 

Jeff Harpell 29.08.2013 07:49

Tsars (czars) were the monarchic rulers in Russia before the Russian Revolution. Czar is used in the USA and the UK for a high level civil servant. To use the word czar with communism doesn't make any sense. From this article you see one example of the revolving doors of a closed corrupt system where policy makers and enforcers move into the private sector to promote monied agendas and vice versa even when there is a blatant conflict of interest.

 

John Lee 29.08.2013 07:41

What happened to the Obama administrations pledge for all senior appointees wait a year before taking a private sector job in that would benefit from their public service connections?

 

Scott 29.08.2013 02:02

are we now communist russia with all these CZARS we have?

Add comment

Authorization required for adding comments

Register or

Name

Password

Show password

Register

or Register

Request a new password

Send

or Register

To complete a registration check
your Email:

OK

or Register

A password has been sent to your email address

Edit profile

X

Name

New password

Retype new password

Current password

Save

Cancel

Follow us