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Cameron’s former IP advisor joins MPLC

May 14, 2015

By Colin Mann

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 will join the MPLC parent company, Motion Picture Licensing  Corporation in Los Angeles as Executive Vice President and will be a Director of both companies. He will divide his time between the company offices in the US and the UK.

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. Weatherley was previously vice president, finance and administration for MPLC International in Eastbourne prior to his election to Parliament.

Founder and chairman Peter W. Kuyper said that Weatherley had 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,” he added.

Weatherley said he was “thoroughly” looking forward to returning to work with MPLC. 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.

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

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Weatherley 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.


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