Washington, DC (May 13, 2015) – In response to the dynamically changing ways consumers are accessing digital entertainment, today the Center for Copyright Information (CCI) announced new steps to help advance its mission:
- Jim Kohlenberger, a former White House policy advisor, was named as its new Executive Director to help CCI move ahead with its work and expand its impact. Jill Lesser, the founding Executive Director of CCI, will stay on as a senior advisor to CCI to provide continuity and counsel.
- CCI also announced that Stephen Balkam, the founder and CEO of the Family Online Safety Institute, will join CCI’s Advisory Board to round out the Advisory Board’s expertise and help advance CCI’s consumer education efforts and its commitment to robust educational outreach.
In choosing to add both Kohlenberger and Balkam to CCI’s leadership team, the organization is underscoring its commitment to voluntary initiatives that take into account the pace of innovation and the benefit of consumer education to advance its mission. Together they will help CCI embark on a new chapter that enables it to continue to elevate its consumer-focused mission in pragmatic ways. Specifically, CCI will focus on continuing to refine its flagship Copyright Alert System, expand its consumer education efforts with a specific focus on K-12 education, and look to better respond to the dynamically changing market for how and where individuals access and experience digital entertainment.
Kohlenberger comes to CCI with over 25 years in technology and telecommunications policy experience. He served in the Obama White House as Chief of Staff for the Office of Science and Technology Policy where he helped advance the administration’s innovation strategy. He also served eight years in the Clinton White House where he helped advance pragmatic Internet policy solutions. Over time, he has successfully launched and grown the membership of several consumer focused and industry led coalitions – both domestically and globally. He is also President of JK Strategies, a public policy consulting practice.
Kohlenberger expressed enthusiasm for his new role:
“I look forward to advancing the important and innovative work of the Center for Copyright Information. This unique voluntary cooperative initiative is a model for how innovative multi-stakeholder solutions can help address challenging technology policy issues and encourage ethical online behavior. It represents a wonderful opportunity to help consumers become more aware of the exploding number of innovative Internet content choices that increasingly allow them to access the digital movies, TV shows, and music they love, when, where, and how they want. With such dynamic change in the market for entertainment content, I look forward to helping advance CCI’s consumer focused efforts.”
Balkam joins CCI’s Advisory Board with 30 years of leadership in the nonprofit sector on both sides of the Atlantic. He is the Founder and CEO of the Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI), an international, nonprofit organization whose mission is to make the online world safer for kids and their families. Prior to founding FOSI, Stephen was the Founder and CEO of the Internet Content Rating Association (ICRA), where he led a team that developed the world’s leading content labeling system on the web.
Balkam said of his joining CCI’s Advisory Board:
“I am excited to be working with the Center for Copyright Information to help advance its consumer education efforts and help ensure that families have the tools they need to embrace ethical online behavior. As someone who is passionate about creating a culture of responsibility online, I am looking forward to contributing to CCI’s robust educational outreach to current and future Internet users.”
CCI Executive Board Chair Steven M. Marks and Vice Chair Brent Olson both praised CCI’s new appointments.
“Through his diverse experiences in the tech community, Jim Kohlenberger brings unprecedented knowledge of Internet policy as well as its evolution over the years. His background offers CCI an excellent opportunity to build on the important progress we have already made, particularly around innovation and ways technology can reach consumers. We are also glad that after building the CAS, Jill has committed to remaining a part of the CCI team” said Steven M. Marks, Chief, Digital Business & General Counsel, RIAA.
“As we all know, the Internet is rapidly changing the way consumers enjoy music, movies and other forms of content. Education about this rapidly changing environment is critical. Stephen brings a deep understanding of this world through his experience with FOSI to create a culture of responsibility in the online world. We are excited to see Stephen bring that skill set to CCI ” said Brent Olson, Vice President of Public Policy, AT&T.
CCI was established in 2011 as a part of a ground-breaking voluntary initiative among the nation’s five leading Internet service providers, and virtually the entire movie and music industries. CCI administers the Copyright Alert System (CAS), which helps educate consumers about potentially illegal peer-to-peer file sharing on their network, and offers consumers information about the growing number of alternative choices for accessing movies and music online in a safe and legal manner. Last year, CCI joined with IKeepSafe (iKeepSafe.org) to launch the first comprehensive K-6th grade curriculum on ethical sharing of digital content online and is set to release a middle school curriculum later this year.
About The Center for Copyright Information
The Center for Copyright Information (CCI) was formed to educate consumers about the importance of copyright protection and to offer information about online copyright infringement. Our goal is to alleviate confusion and help Internet users find legal ways to enjoy the digital content they love. Our members include artists and content creators like the members of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) as well as independent filmmakers and record producers represented by the Independent Film & Television Alliance (IFTA) and the American Association of Independent Music (A2IM), and five major Internet service providers – AT&T, Cablevision, Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and Verizon. Our leadership also includes an Advisory Board made up of consumer advocates, privacy specialists and technology policy experts.