During the past few weeks the U.S. Ambassador to Australia has courted controversy with his opinions of those who download Game of Thrones without paying. Now it’s been revealed that he has more than just a passing interesting in copyright infringement.
Last month U.S. Ambassador Jeffrey L. Bleich kicked up a storm when he jumped aboard the Game of Thrones downloading controversy. He singled-out citizens in Australia and appealed to them to “stop stealing” the show.
Then just a few days later Bleich was back, responding to criticisms from people who felt that an ambassador should have better things to do than worry about a bit of downloading.
“Actually, given the overwhelming response to the topic, maybe I haven’t talked about internet piracy enough,” he said at the start of a second lengthy Facebook posting on the issue.
Now, thanks to News.com.au, we have a clearer idea why Bleich might have such a keen interest in the issue of illegal downloading.
Before being appointed as ambassador in 2009, Bleich spent 14 years at the Munger, Tolles & Olson lawfirm in Los Angeles. The Hollywood-based company had Time Warner – parent company of Game of Thrones creator HBO – as a regular client.
Furthermore, in 2011 the lawfirm represented record labels including Warner Bros. in their court battle against file-sharing service LimeWire.
And if that wasn’t enough, records obtained by News.com.au show that Bleich was an attorney at Village Roadshow, the company that sued Aussie ISP iiNet over copyright infringement claims.
Despite the above, Bleich says there is no conflict of interest.
“I have no connection with MTO anymore, and no economic interests in entertainment companies,” he said.