MPAA Tech Officer Paul Brigner Switches Sides In Internet Fight: Report

Paul Brigner, whom the MPAA hired in January 2011 as its chief technology officer, has left the industry’s trade and lobbying organization, CNET reports. He’s now a major critic of legislation championed by the MPAA such as the Stop Online Piracy Act and Protect Intellectual Property Act that stalled in Congress earlier this year because of swelling opposition to bills that initially looked like sure bets. “I firmly believe that we should not be legislating technological mandates to protect copyright — including SOPA and Protect IP,” Brigner says. “Did my position on this issue evolve over the last 12 months? I am not ashamed to admit that it certainly did,” Brigner writes in a statement on CNET. “The more I became educated on the realities of these issues, the more I came to the realization that a mandated technical solution just isn’t mutually compatible with the health of the Internet.” An MPAA spokesman had no comment for CNET on Brigner’s about-face. Last month Brigner became director of the North American Regional Bureau of the Internet Society, an organization whose stated goals include “the continued evolution and growth of the Internet for everyone.”

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