Last Thursday, the White House announced the long-awaited nomination for the position of Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator (IPEC). The candidate is Danny Marti, a Washington-based IP lawyer, and pending confirmation by the Senate, Marti will step into the post which has been vacant for just over a year.
The IPEC position is sometimes colloquially called a “piracy czar,” and indeed the problem of unauthorized media downloads and streams will likely be on his list of priorities, and potentially of the greatest relevance to the music community. However his responsibilities will also extend to coordinating U.S. law-enforcement strategy around patents and trademarks, as well as copyright—both domestically and in partnership with international law enforcement.
Marti, a graduate of Emory Law School, has represented clients ranging from apparel brands to tech companies “in cases involving trademarks, false advertising, unfair competition, copyright, trade secrets, cybersquatting and computer fraud and abuse matters,” according to his law firm biography.
FMC helped the independent music and creative community engage with Marti’s predecessor in the IPEC role, Victoria Espinel. Under her leadership, the IPEC office facilitated the creation and implementation of two voluntary best practices initiatives on payment processing services (like credit card companies and Paypal) and guidelines for ad networks meant to reduce “ad supported piracy.”
Marti’s job won’t be easy; debates about IP issues can often get heated, particularly around issues of enforcement. Nonetheless, substantial progress can be made by bringing stakeholders from all sides together to formulate common-sense, collaborative approaches.
As Marti told Washington Business Journal for a profile last year, “We can either wring our hands over a problem or we focus on the solutions. They may not be terribly attractive solutions. They may not fix everything. But when you realize you have two or three options, the world becomes a little bit more manageable.” We look forward to working with Mr. Marti to continue to work for balanced, solution-focused approaches to IP enforcement.