Barsky becomes special counsel to top execs Aug. 14.

Simon Barsky, executive VP/general counsel of the Motion Picture Assn. and the Motion Picture Assn. of America, will be shifting his duties. He will become special counsel to MPAA chairman/CEO Dan Glickman and president/COO Bob Pisano later this month, and then act as an independent consultant to the organization at the end of the year.

Barsky joined the association in 1978 to head its state legislative operations. During his tenure, he served as co-COO of the MPA and as counsel to the Classification and Rating Administration.

After becoming general counsel in 1997, Barsky led the motion picture studio litigation efforts that won two unanimous U.S. Supreme Court victories in major copyright and antitrust cases, including the MGM Studios vs. Grokster case last year.

“Simon has helped position the MPAA as the authoritative voice of the American motion picture industry around the world," Glickman says. "His knowledge and vision have been invaluable to everyone in this organization and at our member companies and his combination of legal skills, wisdom and good humor will be difficult to replace."

I am pleased that I shall have the continuing benefit of his counsel and guidance, and I look forward to being able to avail myself of his sound judgment.”

“With the accelerating convergence of media, entertainment and technology, this is an opportune and appropriate time for me to shift my focus toward the end of the year to other opportunities to serve a broader range of content and other industries to demonstrate that effective protection of intellectual property -- from the twin threats of piracy as well as the censor’s scissors -- is the ultimate consumer benefit," Barsky says.

The shift to special counsel is effective Aug. 14.