Anti-piracy advocate Kim Williams named as new chairman of Copyright Agency



Former News Corp CEO and outspoken critic of the piracy Kim Williams has been named as the new chairman of the Copyright Agency.

The move sees Williams replace Sandy Grant who has chaired the not for profit organisation for the last five years, and reunite with former News Corp corporate affairs head Adam Suckling who is taking over as CEO of the organisation.

In a 2012 speech the then head of News Corp labelled the downloading of TV shows and movies as “scumbag theft” and accused ad servers of failing to stop advertising being served on sites which support it.

The Copyright Agency is a not-for-profit business which represents the rights of copyright owners, such as journalists and newspaper and magazine publishers.

Williams joined the board of the agency in January, while Grant, who has been on the board since 2002 and chair for the last five years, will remain on the board.

Outgoing CEO Murray St Leger said: “Kim is a vocal advocate for creators’ rights. His high-level expertise within the arts, media and creative sectors has already made an impact at the Copyright Agency. With the myriad challenges to creators’ rights in the current climate, Kim’s appointment as Chair is a very positive development for our members.”


In a statement Williams thanks Grant for his work and said: “He must be congratulated for driving and supporting many landmark initiatives in his time as Chair. These include the development of the world-first digital textbook platform for schools, LearningField, and website, which helps teachers access Australian stories for their students.

“Sandy also helped deliver the first-ever copyright payments to NSW surveyors just a few months ago after a decade-long court process. He has set a high aspirational standard.”


The appointment comes just a week after the government passed new legislation to deal with downloading, allowing rights holders to go to court to get sites offering access to pirated material blocked in Australia.

Alex Hayes



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