Marty Lafferty, former chief executive of Zoom Culture in Chapel Hill, is the new chief executive officer of the Distributed Computing Industry Association.

The group will be based in Washington, DC.

Lafferty was named to the post at a meeting last week in Los Angeles. He had started his own consulting firm, Lafferty Media Partners LLC, after Zoom Culture was shut down earlier this year.

While file sharing and copyright protection have emerged as key issues in the online industry, especially after the emergence of sites that “shared” music, the new association will focus on other aspects of distributed computing, according to Lafferty.

“The challenges posed by distributed computing to platform companies, network operators, and content providers are surpassed only by the opportunities,” Lafferty said in accepting the position. “Growing acceptance and continual upgrading by consumers mark the beginning of an unprecedented phenomenon.”

The DCIA was founded by Derek Broes, who is executive vice president of worldwide operations at Altnet. The group had its first meeting in Los Angeles at which Lafferty’s hiring was announced. Before joining Zoom Culture, Lafferty had an extensive background in media and broadcasting.

One of the reasons Lafferty was selected, Broes said, was his “expertise in pioneering the distribution of content via new technologies.”

The association said it planned to set up three groups to focus on platforms (hardware, operating systems, telecommunications), operations (file-sharing software, distributed networking computer firms) and content (gaming, software publishing, media content firms).

Zoom Culture worked with hundreds of independent producers to create original multimedia content via the Internet and also for broadcast TV. Its backers, including Intersouth Partners, decided to shut down Zoom after continuing losses.

DCIA: www.dcia.info