Former Intellectual Property Advisor to Prime Minister David Cameron Joins MPLC

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Former British MP and Intellectual Property Rights Advisor to Prime Minister David Cameron, Mike Weatherley, has re-joined the Motion Picture Licensing Company (international), Ltd. (MPLC) as Vice Chairman and the MPLC parent company, Motion Picture Licensing Corporation in Los Angeles as Executive Vice President. He serves as Director of both companies and will divide his time between the company offices in the US and the UK.

“Mike has an invaluable track record of uniting rights holders to communicate effectively with legislators and bring substance to government intellectual property rights policy - which saw the role of the first ever British intellectual property advisor."

MPLC is the world’s largest non-theatrical licensing company operating in 33 countries Worldwide. Mike’s responsibilities will include international studio and Government relations, Corporate and strategic development.

Founder and Chairman, Peter W. Kuyper said:
“Mike has an invaluable track record of uniting rights holders to communicate effectively with legislators and bring substance to government intellectual property rights policy - which saw the role of the first ever British intellectual property advisor to the Prime Minister created for him in 2013. We look forward to welcoming Mike to the MPLC and utilising both his business and legislative acumen in managing the growth of MPLC and in support of film industry rights.”

Mike Weatherley, said:
“I am thoroughly looking forward to returning to work with MPLC, Ltd. at the sharp business end of intellectual property matters, adding US and worldwide responsibilities, whilst still working with legislators to protect and promote intellectual property rights internationally for the film and wider creative industries.

The recent UK elections have guaranteed that the agenda I helped set forth while IP Advisor to David Cameron will continue to be carried out. I have great confidence that Liberal Democrat Lord Tim Clement Jones, and on the Labour side Former Shadow Business Minister Stella Creasy, Iain Wright MP and Sharon Hodgson MP will continue to ensure that the creative industries enjoy passionate and expert support and advocacy. And even though I am now free of any party loyalty and will be on the other side of the table with industry, rest assured, I will be keeping in close contact with my former colleagues as my recommendations continue to get implemented.”

Mike was previously Vice President, Finance and Administration for MPLC International in Eastbourne prior to his election to Parliament.

In his time as a British MP, Mike was appointed the UK’s first ever Intellectual Property Rights’ Advisor to the Prime Minister, publishing a series of four reports:

a) Search Engines and Piracy (May 2014) – which has resulted in a formalised timetable of meetings with search engines (Google, Bing and Yahoo), Rights Holders (MPAA, BPI, Alliance Against IP Theft) and the Intellectual Property Office to ensure a joined up approach between industry and government to tackle online piracy through de-ranking websites receiving DMCA notices. This voluntary approach will run in parallel to exploring legislative options.

b) Follow the Money (June 2014) – calling for an end to advertising on websites hosting pirated content and the harmonisation of online and offline penalties for crime – a call backed within the Intellectual Property Office’s Penalty Fair Report, and supported by PIPCU. Task and Finish Groups are being set up in the IPO examine and establish legislative options from the report’s recommendations, with advice from the CPS and PIPCU. A Discussion Paper by IPO in response to Follow the Money will be published in January 2016.

c) Copyright, Education and Awareness (October 2014) – recommended and achieved the formation of an Education Steering Group – which sees representatives from the creative industries meeting quarterly with the Intellectual Property Office to create a coordinated national programme to tackle the perception of online piracy as a victimless crime. The Government has committed £3.5m for an IP education and awareness programme which is scheduled to commence in Summer 2015.

d) Safe Harbour Provisions & Online Service Providers (March 2015 – after stepping-down as Adviser) – A discussion document that has challenged the ‘Safe Harbour’ rights enshrined in EU law.

Mike has also helped introduce legislation (addressing Secondary Ticketing through the 2015 Consumer Rights’ Bill; and securing funding for the Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit until 2017 in the 2014 Intellectual Property Act); and promoting intellectual property rights’ awareness among legislators through founding Parliament’s largest ever competitions, Rock the House and Film the House.

For enquiries, please contact: Pauline Elvidge , Executive Assistant to President, Motion Picture Licensing Corporation, 5455 S. Centinela Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90066-6970. Tel: (310) 822-8855 Ext. 3344. Email: pelvidge(at)mplc(dot)com

Political Endorsements – Parliamentary

The Rt Hon David Cameron MP, Prime Minister “Your 'Copyright Education and Awareness' paper is an excellent report. I am grateful to you for all the work you have done during your tenure as my Special Advisor on Intellectual Property”. (20th November 2014)

The Rt Hon Vince Cable MP, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation & Skills. "As this was your last contribution as the Prime Minister’s Special Advisor on Intellectual Property, I would like to thank you for all you have done in this role. All three of your reports have brought together the views of a diverse group of interested stakeholders and have given some clear recommendations for the future’" (6th November 2014)

The Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP, Secretary of State for Culture, Media & Sport “Mike has been a passionate and powerful advocate for intellectual property and I would like to pay tribute to the role he has played as the Prime Minister’s IP adviser. He has made a whole series of thoughtful recommendations which we have either already acted upon, or are actively considering. I’d like to thank him for all he has done.”

The Rt Hon John Whittingdale MP, Chairman of the Culture, Media & Sport Select Committee “Mike has done a tremendous job in raising awareness of the importance of Intellectual Property Rights in Parliament and beyond. Thanks to his efforts real progress has been made in strengthening IP protection.”

Baroness Neville-Rolfe, Minister for Intellectual Property “Mike has made a major contribution to the IP agenda over the past year which I, and the IPO, have greatly valued. He has linked the creative industries to Government and promoted a series of imaginative and ground-breaking initiatives. Mike leaves a valuable legacy which will help shape our work for the future.”

Political Endorsements – Non Parliamentary

Carina Bailey, Trading Standards Review “Mike Weatherley ….. has risen to become the man who has shaped the course of history for intellectual property (IP) rights in the UK – and beyond. Appointed in 2013 as the first IP adviser to the Prime Minister in parliamentary history, he has written three solid reports on IP rights – with a fourth on the way. These are already influencing policy in such far flung places as Hong Kong and the US, and they inform the debate into how creators’ works are protected in the UK”. (February 2015)

Commander Stephen Head, City of London Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) “Mike has been an inspirational leader in raising public and private sector awareness of the importance of IP crime. In particular Mike’s hard work and commitment has focused Government attention on the key facilitators of IP crime and been instrumental in the establishment of a credible UK deterrent that is now recognised as international best-practice and is being replicated by many other countries around the world.”

MP of the month November 2012.
Ben Duckworth (the editor) –Total Politics - “Mike Weatherley is an immensely popular MP with his backbench colleagues, and there was a deluge of emails supporting him for this issue’s MP of the Month.”

Edward Lowe (reporter) – Total Politics “While he’s received widespread praise for campaigns such as ‘Rock the House’, which seeks to raise the political profile of the importance of intellectual property rights, Weatherley’s biggest achievement has been his instrumental role in making squatting a criminal offence.” (both 9th November 2012)

Eddy Leviten, Director General, Alliance for Intellectual Property. “You have made a significant positive difference to the perception of IP issues in Parliament, through your research work, in meeting with stakeholders’ from across business and through your Rock The House and Film The House initiatives and we thank you for all the work that you have done”. (1st December 2014)

John Medeiros, Chief Policy Officer, CASBAA “I write to express our sincere thanks to you for participating in the Policy Roundtable and the CASBAA Convention 2014 (in Hong Kong). Your experience and insight regarding Intellectual Property issues were key to our successful discussions. By the way, your reports on copyright issues proved to be 'hot sellers.' All the copies we had printed (several hundred) were grabbed by participants at the Convention." (6th November 2014)

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