Disney hires to head off Emea IP theft

Media giant The Walt Disney Company has ramped up protection of its IP by hiring its first anti-piracy chief for Europe, the Middle East and Africa (Emea).

Disney has recruited Nick Hanbidge from Hit Entertainment, which distributes children’s shows such as Bob The Builder and Fireman Sam.

He will be based in London and report in to Mary Fossier, head of the corporate legal department anti-piracy group at the company’s Burbank, California headquarters.

Hanbidge will be responsible for copyright and trademark enforcement in more than 20 Emea jurisdictions.

Hanbidge was senior counsel at Hit Entertainment, joining from Addleshaw Goddard‘s (then Theodore Goddard) media and IP team.

Disney is responding to the growing threat of DVD and internet film piracy in Europe.

The Federation Against Copyright Theft estimates that piracy has cost the film industry almost $1bn (£530m) in lost revenue in the UK, France and Russia combined.