MPA Hires Top-Ranking FBI Official to Lead Fight Against Piracy

The Motion Picture Association has hired Larissa Knapp, who the MPA says is was the fourth-highest-ranking official at the FBI, to lead its fight against worldwide piracy. (Who are the top 3? We’re glad you asked! It’s Director Christopher Wray, Deputy Director Paul Abbate, and Associate Deputy Director Brian C. Turner.)

Based in Washington D.C., Knapp will be the MPA’s chief content protection officer. She’ll report to Karyn Temple, the Motion Picture Association’s senior executive vice president and global general counsel.

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Knapp spent 27 years with the FBI, most recently leading its National Security Branch, where she managed a $300 million budget and 2,000 personnel. Previously, she led the FBI’s Security, Training and Human Resources Divisions and Data Analytics. Knapp started her FBI career as an agent handling intellectual property and cybercrimes.

Now, Knapp will lead the continued expansion of the MPA’s Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment (ACE), which calls itself the world’s leading online anti-piracy organization.

“Larissa’s extraordinary background leading investigations teams across the world and successfully pursuing criminal cases will undoubtedly take ACE’s content protection efforts to a new peak of excellence,” Charlie Rivkin, the chairman and CEO of the MPA, said in a statement to media. “With Larissa’s experience in high-risk, complex organizational environments coupled with her visionary leadership, I’m confident that our content protection enforcement business will only grow in stature and impact, as we safeguard the rights and productions of all those who conceive, develop, and deliver creative masterpieces for screens big and small.”

Rivkin has made it clear how he feels about piracy and its participants. At CinemaCon 2022, Rivkin called intellectual-property pirates the “real-life mobsters.” He added that revenue generated by piracy “is often folded into other illegal activities like gambling, money laundering, tax evasion, drugs, grand theft auto, and prostitution.”

Knapp’s on the case.

“I am honored to be part of such an iconic global organization that prioritizes the integrity of the creative economy, driven by ACE members’ groundbreaking films, TV series, and streaming content. These works represent some of the most influential and accessible forms of artistic expression, connecting creators with audiences on a profound level,” Knapp said. “My career in law enforcement has afforded me the opportunity to lead strategic initiatives protecting legal rights and addressing crime on a large scale, and I look forward to leveraging that experience in the fight against copyright infringement on behalf of our members and content creators around the world.”

Knapp holds a Bachelor’s Degree in economics from Union College in New York and a Juris Doctor from Hamline University in Minnesota.

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