One detail that the media noted over time about Espinel was that she was a good listener. She made an effort to canvas groups and voices across the copyright world, including the reporters who cover her issues. Wired noted at one point that she had “reached out to Wired late Monday to explain that Uncle Sam is seeking the public’s input for ideas on how to combat intellectual property theft” and gamely offered its own list. A better indication of her approach, though, comes from TechDirt’s Masnick, who wrote that Espinel had “been kind enough to personally reach out to us multiple times since taking on the job” and that “while I do not always agree with Espinel or the administration in how it handles these things, I have found them to be very open to actually listening to concerns from people…Espinel, at the very least, is actually interested in opposing viewpoints and the more detailed, thoughtful arguments she hears, the better.” 

If her goal was to prove that she was not “Hollywood’s own representative,” she succeeded: By the time she left last week, Deadline Hollywood had been reporting how “MPAA chafed over what it considers the White House’s limited effort to reduce ad sales to web pirates”—a policy Espinel oversaw. 

Disclosure: CJR has received funding from the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) to cover intellectual-property issues, but the organization has no influence on the content.

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Sarah Laskow is a writer and editor in New York City. Her work has appeared in print and online in Grist, Good, The American Prospect, Salon, The New Republic, and other publications.