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President Obama Nominates New 'Piracy Czar'

He would coordinate the administration's antipiracy and intellectual property policy

Danny Marti Headshot - P 2014
Courtesy of Kilpatrick Townsend
Danny Marti

President Barack Obama has nominated Danny Marti to be the new U.S. intellectual property enforcement coordinator, or “piracy czar.”

Marti is the managing partner of Kilpatrick Townsend’s Washington, D.C., office. He is an Emory University law school graduate, and he served as co-chair of Kilpatrick Townsend’s intellectual asset acquisitions and transactions team from 2010 to 2013. His cases have covered computer fraud and abuse, copyright, cybersquatting and other intellectual property matters.

The IPEC post was established in 2008 to coordinate the administration’s policy on intellectual property and piracy and to coordinate with other government agencies. Marti would be the second person to hold the position, following Victoria Espinel, who stepped down in August 2013.

Espinel organized a “Copyright Alert System” for rightsholders and Internet Service Providers and distanced the White House from the controversial Stop Online Piracy Act. She was involved in the America Invents Act, the first overhaul of U.S. patent law since the 1950s. In 2013, she set forth a new IP plan for the administration, with items including improved transparency in IP policy and engaging with rightsholders to persecute violations.

Marti’s nomination is praised by industry organizations.

“The IPEC plays a critical role in promoting intellectual property as a driver of our nation’s culture and economy. Danny’s impressive record of commitment to enforcing IP rights in the Internet age makes him a particularly strong choice. We urge the Senate to confirm him without delay for this important job,” Senator Chris Dodd, chairman and CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America, said in a statement.

“For music specifically, we are an industry that has tossed out the rulebook and reinvented ourselves as a digital business. But one rule remains the same — that intellectual protection helps fuels music creativity,” the Recording Industry of America’s statement said. “We look forward to working with Mr. Marti to help foster the genius of America’s creative community.”

Email: Austin.Siegemund-Broka@THR.com
Twitter: @Asiegemundbroka