May 20, 2019 / 7:32 AM

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Barack Obama Names Danny Marti New 'Piracy Czar'; RIAA and Others Applaud Decision


Barack Obama appointed Danny Marti to the office of U.S. intellectual property enforcement coordinator. Or, to use the much more awesome nickname for the appointment, "Piracy Czar." Marti worked for the Kilpatrick Townsend law firm branch in Washington D.C., where he specialized in computer fraud, copyright issues and other topics within the realm of intellectual property. 

Numerous agencies, particularly in film and music, were pleased with the appointment based on statements given to Billboard

"For music specifically, we are an industry that has tossed out the rulebook and reinvented ourselves as a digital business. But one rule remains the same-that intellectual protection helps fuels music creativity," read a statement from the Recording Industry of America. "We look forward to working with Mr. Marti to help foster the genius of America's creative community."

It's a role that's needed filling for a while now. Previous piracy czar Victoria Espinel left the position more than a year ago. She left quite a large pair of shoes to fill however. Espinel is responsible for the copyright alert system aid for rights-holders and internet service providers. She also helped carry out the America Invents Acts, which marked the first major changes to patent law since the '50s. One of her final acts before leaving office was to create a plan for improving Internet Protocol policy and helping rights-holders to pursue legal action against violators. 

Piracy remains as big an issue as ever. As stats such as last week being the lowest-selling albums week of all-time indicate, music sales aren't at their best. Although this isn't necessarily because of piracy, record labels and promoters need to look internationally for methods of recouping sales and some of the world's biggest developing nations are among the worst when it comes to piracy. A 2013 Congressional report from the United States Trade Representative on China's World Trade Organization compliance revealed that more than 99 percent of all media in the nation is pirated.

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