Innovation Asset Blog

White House IP enforcement coordinator steps down

Victoria Espinel, the White House's first dedicated intellectual property enforcement coordinator, stepped down from her post late last week. As the search begins for a permanent replacement, public and private sector colleagues have been reflecting on Espinel's legacy.

Following confirmation of her position in 2009, Espinel quickly earned the nickname of "copyright czar" among press members who routinely reported on her hardline stances surrounding online piracy prevention. According to The Hill, Espinel went so far as to suggest in a 2011 legislative proposal that illegal streaming of copyrighted media should be considered a felony in certain scenarios. More recently, she partnered with Google, Microsoft and Yahoo to craft a unique sanctioning strategy which effectively excluded pirate websites from participation in online advertising platforms.

This penchant for private-sector engagement could serve her well in future endeavors, according to the news source, as it is rumored by many that Espinel could become the next director of The Software Alliance. If confirmed, Espinel would bring a wealth of practical experience to one of the technology sector's most significant trade groups.

In the interim, Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs administrator Howard Shelanski has been asked to serve as acting head of the White House's IP enforcement arm. According to Federal News Radio, Shelanski's qualifications include various positions held with the Federal Trade Commission and an executive role at the University of California - Berkeley's law and technology center.

Peter Ackerman

Peter Ackerman

Founder & CEO, Innovation Asset Group, Inc.