MPAA hires two new executives to head its technology efforts

The Motion Picture Assn. of America Inc., the trade group representing the major studios, has hired two new executives to head up its technology efforts.

John McCoskey, a former chief technology officer at PBS,  joins the MPAA as executive vice president and chief technology officer.

He replaces former CTO Paul Brigner, who resigned in April 2012 after just 15 months on the job to become director of the North American regional bureau of the Internet Society.  Brigner stepped down following the MPAA’s unsuccessful campaign to lobby for legislation aimed at thwarting websites engaged in piracy of movies and TV shows.

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Alex Deacon joins the organization in the newly created position of senior vice president, Internet technology and will report to McCoskey.  He will be based in Silicon Valley. Deacon most recently worked as chief technologist and distinguished engineer at Neustar Media.

“We are thrilled to welcome John and Alex, both of whom have tremendous experience and insight in their field,” said MPAA Chairman and CEO Chris Dodd. “New technology has made it easier than ever to watch your favorite film or television show online, and our studios are relentlessly innovating to develop new options to increase consumer choice. John and Alex will be important voices at MPAA as our industry continues to work closely with the technology community to better serve our shared audience.”

McCoskey will be responsible for the trade group’s global technology policy and copyright protection initiatives. The MPAA released a study on Wednesday highlighting the role search engines such as Google play in serving as a gateway to websites containing pirated material.

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Prior to PBS, McCoskey was vice president of product development at Comcast; chief technology officer and cofounder at Brief Original Broadcasts (BOB); and senior vice president, technology and CTO at Discovery Communications.

Deacon’s focus will be on continuing to build and strengthen relationships with the tech community at a time when Hollywood studios increasingly depend on new channels of digital distribution to reach consumers.

In his work at Neustar, Deacon’s responsibilities included the continued development of key features of the cloud-based UltraViolet platform.  Before joining Neustar, Deacon was a founding member of the technical staff at VeriSign, where he was a contributor in the design, architecture and development of VeriSign’s Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) products and services.

McCoskey holds two master of science degrees from Johns Hopkins University, one in technology management and one in computer science, and a bachelor of science from Bucknell University in electrical engineering. Deacon holds a bachelor of science in computer science from Syracuse University.


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