June 24, 2014 9:58am PT by Carolyn Giardina
Mitch Singer Named Special Adviser at Content Protection Tech Company Verance (Exclusive)
Mitch Singer — Sony Pictures Entertainment’s former chief digital strategy officer and current president of the Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem consortium — has been named special adviser, industry affairs at content protection technology developer Verance.
As president of DECE, the 75-member consortium behind "digital locker" system UltraViolet, Singer leads the effort to create open standards for digital entertainment distribution allowing consumers to access their content anytime on a range of devices.
At Sony, Singer served as chief digital strategy officer and executive vp of SPE’s digital policy group until he left the studio last March. As part of his responsibilities, he played a key role in Sony Pictures’ anti-digital theft and digital rights management efforts, for which he served as lead negotiator in content protection technology licensing issues.
At Verance, Singer will work to expand Verance’s commercial relationships, as well as use of its Cinavia content protection and consumer referral technology, which has been incorporated in more than 100 million devices since its launch in 2006.
The Cinavia technology was created to limit the use of pirated movies by blocking playback of unauthorized copies. A recently launched update provides blocked consumers with immediate access to legitimate copies of the content they want to watch.
Singer was an early proponent of Cinavia. “At Sony Pictures, I saw firsthand how the Cinavia content protection technology drives additional sales by changing consumer viewing habits from piracy to purchase,” Singer said. “As digital convergence makes both of these options available on more devices in more places, Cinavia provides a critical tool for channeling mainstream consumers to the legitimate services on which the industry’s future relies.”
Said Verance CEO Nil Shah of Singer’s appointment: “As a visionary executive on the frontlines of digital policy, Mitch’s experience will be invaluable as he works with the industry to grow a robust marketplace for filmed entertainment.”
Singer formally sat on the boards of Motion Picture Laboratories, DVD CCA, Entertainment Technology Center @ USC and the HDBaseT Alliance. He also was appointed to the copyright committee for The National Academies’ Board on Science, Technology and Economic Policy.