President Obama Nominates Danny Marti As New ‘Piracy Czar’

Danny Marti, a copyright and trademark attorney in Washignton, has been nominated as the new White House intellectual property enforcement coordinator, a position dubbed “piracy czar” because of its mission to tackle infringement.

It has been more than a year since Victoria Espinel stepped down from the post, a vacancy that has frustrated industry lobbyists as Espinel had played a role in bringing divergent parties to the table to hash out voluntary agreements on fighting piracy.

The position was established as part of anti-piracy legislation passed in 2008. A requirement is that the IP coordinator be part of the White House staff. The position is part of the Office of Management and Budget.

Marti is managing partner of Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton’s Washington, D.C. office. According to the firm’s website, Marti has represented brands such as Tory Burch, Adidas and American Eagle Outfitters  in trademark litigation.

His nomination faces Senate confirmation.

According to a profile in Washington Business Journal, Marti was born in Washington, went to Georgetown as an undergraduate and got a law degree at Emory University Law School. He has been a legal adviser to the Gorilla Foundation, and served on the  Miami-Dade Community Relations Board before he moved back to D.C. in 2001. He has represented all sides in trademark cases, and Silicon Valley firms on their brand protection, according to industry sources.

Mitch Glazier, senior executive vice president of the Recording Industry Assn. of America, said that the position was “an increasingly important job on behalf of the millions of workers who comprise the country’s $1 trillion copyright economy.”  He added, “We thank the Administration for moving to fill this significant post and we hope for speedy confirmation. We look forward to working with Mr. Marti to help foster the genius of America’s creative community.”

MPAA CEO Chris Dodd said, “Danny’s impressive record of commitment to enforcing IP rights in the Internet age makes him a particularly strong choice.  We urge the Senate to confirm him without delay for this important job.”

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