US IP chief switches to software anti-piracy group

01-09-2013

The recently departed IP enforcement coordinator (IPEC) for the US Government has been named president of a lobby group fighting on behalf of the software industry.

victoria-espinel.jpgVictoria Espinel (pictured), who stepped down earlier this month after four years in the role, will instead join The Business Software Alliance (BSA).

The BSA, headquartered in Washington, DC, was created to advance the goals of the software industry and its partners and consists of some of the world’s leading software makers, including Apple and Microsoft.

It outlines its key policy priorities to be protecting IP opening markets to barrier-free trade and increasing opportunities in emerging markets.

According to Pascal Di Fronzo, chair of BSA, the appointment will lead it through an “important phase of growth and evolution."

Di Fronzo added, “Espinel brings an extraordinary wealth of expertise on key issues at the intersection of trade policy, market access and IP protection. She will be an outstanding advocate for our industry."  

Espinel, who was linked with the role following her departure from the White House, became the first person to hold the position of IPEC in 2009 as a result of the Prioritizing Resources and Organization for Intellectual Property Act of 2008.

During her time in the role, Espinel was known for supporting anti-piracy initiatives such as the ‘Copyright Alert’ system, which allowed rights owners to alert Internet service providers about alleged illegal downloading. 

On new her appointment, Espinel said, "I am looking forward to working closely with BSA's member companies to ensure markets around the world provide the enabling environments necessary for technology innovation to continue flourishing.

“Software drives growth and productivity in all sectors of the global economy, and it enriches modern life.  BSA will continue to be a forceful and effective advocate on issues central to the next phase of the industry's growth as rapid changes in the digital landscape create new opportunities and policy priorities."  

Espinel, who has worked as a university lecturer and for the US Trade Representative, left her role on August 9.

Her interim replacement is Howard Shelanski, who is also the administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs and will continue in the role alongside the IPEC post.

This article was first published on 02 September 2013 in World IP Review

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