Viacom Beefs Up Its Anti-Piracy War Room With New Hire

UPDATE: Viacom (NYSE: VIA) spokesman Jeremy Zweig has clarified that Mandil’s primary responsibility at Viacom will be managing litigation, not specifically anti-piracy. Mandil will report to Viacom Deputy GC Mark Morril.

Viacom is one company that’s willing to carry the banner of fighting piracy, even when it means taking on tough battles like its lawsuit against YouTube (NSDQ: GOOG), recently briefed to a New York appeals court. Now the company is bringing on board another lawyer steeped in some tough battles against online piracy. Daniel Mandil, the anti-piracy chief at the Motion Picture Association of America, will be joining Viacom’s legal department on April 1, according to a report in The Holllywood Reporter.

Mandil joined the MPAA in 2009, when the organization created a new anti-piracy position. Before that, he worked at Sony (NYSE: SNE) BMG Music Entertainment, and at Covington & Burling, a top law firm. In his new position, he’ll report directly to Viacom general counsel Michael Fricklas, according to THR.

The fact that Fricklas is hunting for new talent at an organization such as the MPAA suggests that Viacom will continue to be willing to take up leading-edge anti-piracy positions, even if controversial. The MPAA recently filed a lawsuit against Hotfile, the first serious legal challenge to a “cyberlocker” site on anti-piracy grounds.