Kazaa fighters appoint new boss

Kazaa fighters take on new boss

Australia's music anti-piracy unit has finally appointed a new boss after operating with contractors and fill-ins since the last general manager departed in October 2005.

Sabiene Heindl, a former senior associate with law firm Allens Arthur Robinson, is the first person to take on the post following Michael Kerin's resignation at the end of a five-month stint with Music Industry Piracy Investigations (MIPI) from May last year.

Heindl, who is believed to have been in the role for about a month, has a strong background in copyright and intellectual property litigation, a spokesperson for MIPI told ZDNet Australia. The organisation is believed to have planned an announcement next week.

MIPI is closely affiliated to peak lobby group the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA), with its general manager answering to a board which includes several senior ARIA figures such as chief executive officer Stephen Peach.

Kerin -- who took on a role at the movie industry's anti-piracy operation, the Australian Federation Against Copyright Theft (AFACT) -- had himself replaced Michael Speck, who left the unit after 11 years in April last year. Speck had in recent years taken a lead role in litigation against individuals and bodies involved in copyright-infringing behaviour online, most notably the owners of the Kazaa file-sharing software.

MIPI also advertised online earlier this month for a new investigations manager. According to the advertisement, the manager's duties would include: the management and direction of anti-piracy operations, establishment of strategies and relationships with state and national law enforcement bodies, as well as involvement in anti-piracy training, education and awareness programs.

The ad specified that "knowledge of copyright and Internet-related laws" would be an advantage in the post.

Heindl's appointment and the release of the advertisement follows ARIA boss Stephen Peach's announcement late last year that he would restructure the general manager's brief to focus more on educating the community about the illegality of music piracy and appoint a dedicated investigator.

Under both Kerin and Speck, the general manager had carried an exhausting load which included management of enforcement -- including surveillance, forensics investigators and lawyers -- as well as fronting the media.

During his brief stint, Kerin had prepared a paper suggesting MIPI needed an lawyer and an investigations manager as well as an in-house forensics manager.

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