White House Copyright Czar Steps Down

Victoria Espinel encouraged public-private partnerships to stop piracy

Victoria Espinel, the nation's first copyright czar, stepped down from her role four years after she was confirmed as the U.S. intellectual property enforcement coordinator. Her last day was Friday.

Until President Obama nominates a successor, Howard Shelanski, administrator of the office of information and regulatory affairs at the Office of Management and Budget, will serve as acting IP coordinator.

Backed by the media and entertainment industry, Espinel's position was created by the Pro-IP Act, signed into law by President George Bush in 2008.

When legislation supported by media and entertainment companies to stop websites from stealing copyrighted content turned out to be a nonstarter in Congress, Espinel turned to public-private partnerships, making it a deliberate strategy of her position.

Last month, the government partnered with Google and Yahoo in developing a set of best practices to stop ad dollars from supporting rogue websites. She was also instrumental in the copyright alert system, a voluntary program that warns consumers when they are accessing stolen content.