Thomas C. Rubin, chief intellectual property strategy counsel at Microsoft, has been elected to the Steering Committee of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press.
“We’re delighted to have Tom join the Steering Committee at a time when the First Amendment concerns of journalism and technology are becoming intertwined,” said Reporters Committee Steering Committee Chair Saundra Torry, an editorial writer and member of the editorial board at USA Today. “Tom’s input will be extremely valuable as we expand our mission. Our most recent effort was a brief supporting the right of tech companies to make broad public disclosures when they’re compelled to participate in government surveillance activity. We look forward to more partnerships in the future on behalf of public access to information.”
Rubin, an expert on legal, policy and business issues related to creative content, technological innovation and the Internet, has been with Microsoft since 1998. He leads the company’s copyright, trademark and trade secret group, where he spearheads global policy strategies as well as complex product development, licensing, marketing and enforcement issues across Microsoft’s business divisions.
“I am very honored to work with the Reporters Committee to help protect one of our highest values and most fundamental rights,” Rubin said. “As the first non-working journalist to be elected to the Steering Committee, I want to emphasize that the Constitution requires, society needs and we all benefit from a fully free press. And in our digital age, technology plays an increasingly key role in safeguarding press freedom.”
Rubin has testified before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee and addressed the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum in Russia, International Copyright Forum in China, International Copyright Technology Conference in Korea, Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., World Association of Newspapers, European Publishers Council, Association of American Publishers, Magazine Publishers of America and Association of Online Publishers UK, among many others. In addition, he has taught seminars at Stanford Law School and Yale College, and lectures regularly at Harvard and elsewhere.
Rubin started his career as a journalist and has remained deeply involved in the field as a lawyer. While in college at Yale, he was the editor of the Yale Daily News Magazine, stringer for The Associated Press and summer intern at CBS News in London and WNET in New York. He then worked at The New York Times for two years, first as a copyboy and then news clerk and supervisor. After graduating from Stanford Law School, he practiced media law for clients ranging from Time Inc. to Howard Stern at Debevoise & Plimpton in New York. And while at Microsoft, he worked with Slate, MSNBC and MSN.
Before joining Microsoft, Rubin was an Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of New York, where he was one of the country’s first prosecutors of computer, electronic and intellectual property crimes and was awarded the U.S. Department of Justice’s Director’s Award for Superior Performance as an Assistant United States Attorney.
Rubin has been a longtime fellow at the Stanford Center for Internet & Society and currently serves on the Board of Directors of Creative Commons, the Board of Visitors at Stanford Law School, and the Board of Advisors of CCH’s Guide to Computer Law.
A complete list of Reporters Committee Steering Committee members is online.
About the Reporters Committee
Founded in 1970, the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press offers free legal support to thousands of working journalists and media lawyers each year. It is a leader in the fight against persistent efforts by government officials to impede the release of public information, whether by withholding documents or threatening reporters with jail. In addition to its 24/7 Legal Defense Hotline, the Reporters Committee conducts cutting-edge legal research, publishes handbooks and guides on media law issues, files frequent friend-of-the-court legal briefs and offers challenging fellowships and internships for young lawyers and journalists. For more information, go to www.rcfp.org, or follow us on Twitter @rcfp.
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