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Former IP czar to head software lobby group

Victorial Espinel (nonstandard size)

Victoria Espinel, who led intellectual property enforcement for the federal government, will take over as president and CEO of BSA | The Software Alliance, a trade group that represents software companies.

Espinel was the first U.S. intellectual property enforcement coordinator in the Office of Management and Budget. The post was designed to align the work of law enforcement organizations, federal agencies, private companies and foreign governments in preventing and prosecuting intellectual property theft and infringement. Often likened to a "copyright czar," the job was established by Congress in 2008 and first staffed under the Obama administration.

BSA supports intellectual property protection and the advancement of cloud computing on behalf of commercial firms, including Adobe, Intel, IBM, Apple, Microsoft, Oracle and many others.

Espinel figured prominently in two industry agreements designed to thwart intellectual property theft. In July of this year, her office announced a deal among leading online content and advertising companies, including Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft, to reduce the flow of ad revenue to websites that attract audiences by posting pirated material. In 2011, Espinel helped broker a deal between Internet service providers and entertainment companies to allow ISPs to disrupt the service to individuals suspected of pirating music and movies using peer-to-peer networks.      

She has won plaudits from copyright activists and industry for her work. Gigi Sohn, president and CEO of the open Internet group Public Knowledge, said Espinel "Understood the importance of balance and fair use in copyright policy -- these were not merely buzzwords for her."

Before taking on the Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator post, Espinel served as the assistant U.S. trade representative for intellectual property and innovation during the George W. Bush administration.

Posted by Adam Mazmanian on Aug 28, 2013 at 11:36 AM


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Reader comments

Thu, Aug 29, 2013

We see this all too often, in all fields, where someone in a position of power jumps to the dark side and is now supporting something that is not in the best interest of the tax payers. And it is not very surprising that the companies that score folks like her tend to start getting more contracts and/or more favored treatment. (Had that happen here several years ago with a company that is not very good, but is now a prime on many projects because one of the department heads on base retired and hired on with them. Job security for us fixing the garbage they generate, lousy deal for the tax payer.)

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