Advancing the Mission of the Center for Copyright Information

May 13, 2015

Earlier today, the Center for Copyright Information (CCI) announced that Jim Kohlenberger, a former White House policy advisor with over 25 years in technology and telecommunications experience, would be taking over for Jill Lesser as the organization’s Executive Director to help CCI move ahead with its work and expand its impact.  CCI also announced the appointment of Family Online Safety Institute’s (FOSI) president, Stephen Balkam, to its Consumer Advisory Board.  Lesser, who led the organization through the establishment of its key initiatives – the Copyright Alert System and a comprehensive K-6th grade curriculum on ethical sharing of digital content online – will remain onboard as a senior advisor.

I would like to extend a warm welcome to both Jim and Stephen as they bring their expertise to the CCI, and I’d also like to thank Jill for her tireless efforts in moving the Copyright Alert System from an idea to a reality. This is great news for those who care about the development of voluntary initiatives by all players in the digital ecosystem to help ensure a vibrant, safe and secure Internet.

The CCI, created in 2011, is a partnership between the movie and music industries and the five largest U.S. Internet Service Providers (ISPs).  It represents one of the most comprehensive collaborations by the content and tech communities to combat piracy through a voluntary initiative to date.  And while there is no single solution to piracy, the program is an important step in building collaborative programs through which the content and tech communities can work together to protect the rights of creators and innovators – and respect consumers and their privacy in the process.

Kohlenberger and Balkam both share decades of experience in the tech community, and together they will help lead the organization through the next phase of its evolution – focusing on implementation of refinements to the Copyright Alert System (which educates consumers about potentially illegal peer-to-peer file sharing on their home networks); offering, via the Alerts and an online education campaign, information about the ever-growing number of legal and safe alternatives to piracy;  working with IKeepSafe to expand its comprehensive digital citizenship education curriculum to include middle and high school students; and integrating other participants into the program.

The CCI is standing proof that by working together the tech industry and the content industry can help protect content and its creators, while supporting technological innovation in the digital age. Today’s announcement comes at a very important moment for America’s creative industries. Thanks to the Internet and the explosion of new technology, there are now more ways for creating and consuming creative content than ever before. For the film and television industry alone there are currently more than 100 legal services in the United States for streaming and downloading movies and TV shows – and to help consumers to make best advantage of those exciting options, the MPAA created, a one-stop shop guiding audiences to content quickly, simply, and legally, whether in their local theater or on one of the vast array of streaming service available today.