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Former White House 'copyright czar' appointed CEO of powerful tech lobby group

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Victoria Espinel, who until recently served as the White House's first intellectual property enforcement coordinator, will now head one of the most powerful trade groups in the tech industry. She's been tapped to become the new president and CEO of The Software Alliance (or BSA) starting September 3rd. In her new role, she'll be tasked with pushing the anti-piracy interests of major players like Microsoft, Dell, Apple, Oracle, and Intel. And while the BSA spends a large part of its time lobbying Congress and other governments to push that agenda, Espinel will be barred from engaging in such practices herself — at least initially. According to Politico, an ethics pledge Espinel took to secure her "copyright czar" position under President Obama prevents her from lobbying for at least two years.

Espinel helped create controversial 'six-strikes' anti-piracy rules

During nearly four years at the White House, Espinel took aggressive strides to combat piracy. She coordinated with federal authorities to carry out a large number of domain seizures, effectively shutting down websites responsible for illegally streaming live sporting events and selling counterfeit drugs. She also helped craft the controversial "six-strikes" policy that has seen adoption among all major US internet providers. The rules authorize ISPs to punish users caught stealing copyrighted content with slower internet speeds or service disruptions. Those measures earned Espinel a favorable rapport with record labels, Hollywood studios, and software vendors.

But she also drew cheers among internet activists when the White House came out in opposition to the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA); Espinel co-authored a letter citing the administration's concerns with the bill. President Obama has yet to fill Espinel's former role after she vacated the post two weeks ago.