Sony Pictures Entertainment Forms Digital Policy Group

Chief Administrative Officer Beth Berke Leads Corporate Organization to Facilitate SPE's Migration to a World of Secure Digital Formats, Delivery Systems and Networked Devices


Sony Pictures Entertainment has formed the Digital Policy Group, a new corporate level organization designed to address the challenges and opportunities arising with the digital distribution of entertainment product, it was announced today by Yair Landau, Vice-Chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment.

Beth Berke, Chief Administrative Officer and Executive Vice President of Sony Pictures, will lead this new corporate organization to facilitate SPE's migration to a world of secure digital formats, delivery systems and networked devices.

"At Sony Pictures, we function in a convergent world and are uniquely positioned to see the evolution of traditional media and the true impact of technology," said Yair Landau. "As the pace of change within entertainment and adoption of technology across all divisions of Sony Pictures Entertainment accelerates, the need to coordinate our policies and strategies across our multiple lines of business is essential. Beth is a proven leader and given the breadth of her responsibilities within the company she has an exceptional understanding of the effect of policy decisions on business, legal and government affairs."

The Digital Policy Group will develop and implement policies that promote the protection of SPE content in a digital world. It will review new technologies that secure digital recording and distribution; synchronize SPE divisions to ensure a consistent approach to digital formats and distribution; represent SPE's position in cross-industry negotiations, legislative and regulatory matters, and other public forums; and partner with fellow Sony companies to advance the development and implementation of a secure digital infrastructure.

"Sony has a unique mix of assets spanning electronics hardware and entertainment content, and it is vital for us to approach the future of digitized content with a full understanding of all aspects of our business," said Yuki Nozoe, President of Sony Corporation's Network Application and Content Services Sector (NACS). "The Digital Policy Group at Sony Pictures Entertainment will play an important role within the Sony Group as we meet the challenge of distributing content and services in a secure fashion."

"We're quickly moving to a world where content is distributed over a network of devices and through new technologies, some of which are being created as we speak. Sony has a unique opportunity to create strategies that permit the maximum flexibility to the consumer electronics and computer industries, while at the same time providing the necessary protection to our content. The goal of the Digital Policy Group is to move forward with a triple win -- for content, for hardware, and for viewers," said Beth Berke.

Joining Berke in the Digital Policy Group are Hope Boonshaft, Executive Vice President of External Affairs, Mitch Singer, Senior Vice President and Assistant General Counsel, and Brian Lakamp, Senior Vice President of Strategic Technology. Representatives from the studio's divisions will also participate in policy matters impacting their business operations.

Berke brings an extensive background in business and legal affairs to her newly added responsibilities. Prior to her current role as Chief Administrative Officer and previous appointment as Executive Vice President, Human Resources, Ms. Berke served in SPE's legal division, rising to the post of Executive Vice President and Deputy General Counsel. During her tenure in the legal department, she served as both chief counsel for Columbia Pictures and the head of the international and corporate legal groups for Sony Pictures.

Berke graduated Phi Beta Kappa and summa cum laude from UCLA with a B.A. degree, earned a Masters degree in psychology from Stanford University, and received her J.D. degree from UCLA School of Law. She is a member of the American and California Bar Associations and of Women in Film.

Hope Boonshaft, who joined Sony Pictures in 1995, oversees SPE's worldwide government relations and public policy activities, as well as the Company's community affairs and corporate philanthropy. She works closely with all of SPE's operating units to develop a legislative and regulatory agenda that supports the business strategies and initiatives of the company's motion picture, television, home entertainment and digital entertainment divisions. Ms. Boonshaft also coordinates SPE's government activities with Sony's other U.S. operating companies such as Sony Music, Sony Electronics and Sony Computer Entertainment. Boonshaft earned her B.A. degree from Pennsylvania State University and attended Delaware Law School.

Mitch Singer, who joined Sony Pictures in 1990, is Senior Vice President and Assistant General Counsel in the Intellectual Property Department of Sony Pictures Entertainment. Since 1998, when he joined the company's Intellectual Property practice, Singer has become the senior legal executive representing SPE in all of the major technology negotiations and agreements including the 5C and DVD CSS, Copy Protection for Recordable Media (CPRM) with the 4C companies, High Definition Copy Protection (HDCP) with Intel, and DVD+RW with the +RW group. He is an active member of the Copy Protection Technical Working Group (CPTWG), a cross-industry technical group, the MPAA Copy Protection Working Group, the DVD Copy Control Association, on which he serves as a Director on the Board of Directors, and is involved in various standard setting activities such as SDMI, DVB and MPEG 21. Singer graduated magna cum laude from CSUN with a B.S. degree in finance, and received both MBA and J.D. degrees from the University of San Diego.

Brian Lakamp joins the Digital Policy Group from Sony Pictures Digital Entertainment where he was Senior Vice President, Broadband Services, responsible for leading the division's digital distribution efforts to advance SPDE's content network. Prior to joining SPDE, Lakamp served as one of four Practice Directors at Viant Corporation where he oversaw the operations of Viant's Media and Entertainment Practice. Also during his tenure at Viant, Lakamp was Senior Client Partner where he worked with SPDE on its Movielink initiatives. He holds a B.S. in Applied Mathematics and Managerial Science with a Specialization in Computing and a B.A. in Business Economics from UCLA.

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SOURCE: Sony Pictures Entertainment

CONTACT: Don Levy, +1-310-840-7315,, or
Susan Tick, +1-310-244-6777,, both of Sony Pictures

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