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Goeckner joins MPAA anti-piracy unit

The Motion Picture Assn. of America has tapped veteran entertainment litigator Gregory Goeckner as deputy director/special counsel in the org’s anti-piracy unit, filling the vacancy left by Larry Rissler’s return to private practice.

Goeckner spent 12 1/2 years at the prestigious law firm O’Melveny & Myers, litigating a variety of disputes, among them rifts between studios, producers and product suppliers.

He was involved in the lawsuit filed by Jim Henson Prods. when the proposed acquisition agreement in 1990 with Disney broke down following Henson’s death.

He also was involved in Paramount’s $ 88 million lawsuit against Showtime, representing Par when the cable channel allegedly breached its exclusivity agreement with the studio.

Goeckner’s strong studio connection is seen as a further sign that the Motion Picture Export Assn. of America, the MPAA’s international arm, will continue to aggressively target overseas abuses of copyright and trademark infringement involving studio product.

“I’ve always been interested in the worldwide piracy issue,” Goeckner said. “A lot of countries have existing laws — we just need to see they get enforced. This position combines a personal interest in copyrights and gives me the opportunity to work in an area I’ve always found interesting.”

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