WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, IATSE praises President Biden’s nomination of Deborah Robinson to serve as Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator (IPEC). Robinson is eminently qualified for this role and IATSE has long advocated that she be considered for the position given its importance to the economic security of our members and their union-won benefits.
While IATSE behind-the-scenes entertainment workers do not typically own the copyrights to the works we help create, revenue from the sale and licensing of creative content helps fund our members’ healthcare and retirement benefits. The IPEC is the sole position within the Executive Office of the President charged with engaging on copyright protection and enforcement issues by coordinating the actions of the federal law enforcement agencies responsible for investigating, seizing, and prosecuting criminal copyright infringements.
Upon announcement of the nomination, IATSE International President Matthew D. Loeb stated: “This is welcome news from the Biden-Harris Administration and another example of their commitment to IATSE workers and the industries in which we work. IATSE is proud to have recommended Deborah Robinson for the role of IPEC to the administration. She understands how the economic livelihoods of behind-the-scenes entertainment workers depend on strong intellectual property protections. Her nomination could not come at a more crucial time, as more of our members’ work is being brought to digital streaming platforms and AI capabilities are transforming the copyright landscape. We look forward to working with Ms. Robinson to strengthen our industries and secure a stronger future for IATSE workers.”
Robinson brings more than two decades of experience as a prosecutor and attorney enforcing the rights of American creators and inventors. As head of global intellectual property enforcement at ViacomCBS, she developed and implemented anti-piracy protocols to protect music, television, digital, and consumer products properties. She understands that weak copyright enforcement threatens both a significant portion of our nation’s GDP, and the job security of more than five million workers across the entertainment industry. In addition, as co-chair of the Diversity Committee of the IP Section of the New York State Bar Association, Robinson is acutely familiar with the specific risk piracy and other infringements pose to entertainment workers of color and their economic livelihoods.
IATSE strongly urges members of the U.S. Senate to confirm Deborah Robinson to the role of IPEC without delay.