Weinstein to run R&D outfit

The Motion Picture Assn. of America has appointed tech guru Steve Weinstein to run Movielabs, an R&D outfit the film industry is funding largely to spur development of antipiracy technologies.

Weinstein was formerly chief strategy and technology officer for the digital rights management and software licensing company Macrovision.

Search has taken much longer than expected. The MPAA formed Movielabs last September and has been waiting to hire a CEO in order to start operations.

Org had hoped to hire someone by the end of 2005, but the MPAA started looking for a different kind of exec. When Movielabs was formed, the org said it expected to hire someone with a strong film business background, with tech experts working under him or her.

While Macrovision does work closely with the entertainment industry, Weinstein has a largely technological background.

“We wanted to find exactly the right person to run Movielabs, and that was not an easy task,” said MPAA spokeswoman Gayle Osterberg. “In Steve, we have the perfect person to helm this organization.”

Budget for the L.A.-based Movielabs is expected to be about $30 million for two years, with funding coming from Disney, Fox, Paramount, Sony, Universal and Warner Bros.

In addition, the MPAA said Wednesday it is working with online video company Guba to block pirated content on Guba’s Web site. Netco sells movies and TV shows from Sony and Warner Bros. but also has a large library of user-generated content.

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