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Google Exec Speaks to Hollywood Creatives

Boorstin speech topped by overseas issues

A top Google official met last week with select Hollywood execs for a broad-ranging conversation that touched on a touchy subject: piracy.

The off-the-record meeting was by no means an official negotiation, but the latest event from the Foreign Policy Roundtable, the industry org that brings in speakers for forums on international issues.

Robert Boorstin, the director of public policy for Google, spoke about international censorship, using Internet technology to identify hot spots for hate crimes and other unrest, as well as the increasingly vexing problem of cybersecurity.

But there was also piracy, a sensitive area for Google, which has come under fire for not doing enough to curb infringing sites that appear in its search results. The presence at the meeting of Howard Berman, the former congressman who was a champion of anti-piracy issues before being defeated for another term last year, was a guarantee that it would come up in a Q&A.

While informal, the meeting could bode well for the future of the fight against piracy, which may very well lie not in legislation but voluntary agreement between Hollywood and Silicon Valley.

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Among those present at the Studio City home of Jeff Wachtel, co-president of USA Network, for the meeting were director Wes Craven, producer Dante Di Loreto, FX’s Nicole Clemens, radio host Matt Miller, producer Ruth Vitale, Sony Intl.’s Andy Kaplan and political and government affairs consultant Andy Spahn, as well as the executive director of the roundtable, Donna Bojarsky.

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