Gene Hoffman

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Gene Hoffman
Gene Hoffman photo circa May 2013.png
Born Eugene Earl Hoffman Jr.
August 14, 1975 (1975-08-14) (age 41)
Charlotte, North Carolina, USA
Alma mater University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill[1]
Occupation Entrepreneur and activist
Known for Co-founder and CEO of eMusic
Co-founder and CEO of Vindicia
Spouse(s) Heather Hoffman [2]

Gene Hoffman (born August 14, 1975) is an American entrepreneur and activist. Hoffman was the co-founder of eMusic, one of the first internet music companies, the co-founder of Vindicia and the co-founder of the Calguns Foundation.

Early education and career[edit]

Hoffman was born in Charlotte, North Carolina and grew up in Matthews, North Carolina, He attended high school at Charlotte Latin School.[3] At the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Hoffman was a manager of the men's basketball team. He also co-founded the UNC Darkside ultimate team. While in college he co-founded PrivNet, an internet privacy software company that pioneered ad blocking software, web cookie management, and search integrated into web browsers.[4] PGP, Inc. acquired PrivNet in November 1996.


Hoffman co-founded eMusic in January 1998. As head of eMusic, Mr. Hoffman was an advocate for the distribution of DRM free music on the Internet. He was featured on the cover of Forbes Magazine as a member of the July 1999 E-Gang,[5] and named one of the 100 most influential entrepreneurs in technology in Upside Magazine's November 2000 Elite 100.[6] Mr. Hoffman led the acquisition of EMusic by Vivendi/Universal in June 2001.[7]


Hoffman co-founded Vindicia in January 2003. Vindicia offers a subscription acquisition and retention platform to clients that include NASCAR, Bloomberg, Vimeo, Encyclopædia Britannica, Star Trek Online, eMusic, and Leap Frog.[8] Vindicia was named a Red Herring 2012 Top 100 Americas leading private technology company.[9] Vindicia was one of the fastest growing companies in Silicon Valley in 2011.[10] Hoffman was named one of the 40 Under 40 by the San Francisco Business Times in March 2012.[11]

Calguns Foundation[edit]

Hoffman co-founded and is the past chairman of the Calguns Foundation in March 2008.[12] Hoffman was responsible for promoting and designing certain elements[13] of a magazine lock for California Legal AR-15 pattern rifles known as the bullet button and obtaining an admission from the California Department of Justice that the bullet button made certain rifles California legal.[14]

The Calguns Foundation has been responsible for many high-profile defenses of innocent Californians accused of violating California's complex weapons laws. The Calguns Foundation served as amicus to the appellants in McDonald v. Chicago and Nordyke v. King and has filed many civil rights cases in California to overturn laws they consider unconstitutional.

Many cases have to lose in lower courts. Teixeira v. County of Alameda is an excellent example of how cases may be forced to create circuit splits with cases like Ezell v. City of Chicago to obtain serious review under the Second Amendment.[15]

One of these civil rights cases, a case which was filed against the state's "may-issue" carry licensing law enforced by the Sacramento County Sheriff's Office, resulted in the historic first settlement that required the sheriff's office to issue a carry license for self-defense to residents of the county, subject to background investigation.[16]

Under Hoffman's chairmanship the Calguns Foundation was honored as the 2009 Grassroots Organization of the Year[17] by the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms and Hoffman was named the Gun Rights Defender of the Year by them in 2010. Calguns Foundation was again recognized as 2012 Grassroots Organization of the Year.

Hoffman was an early collaborator on the 2013 film Assaulted: Civil Rights Under Fire, working closely with director Kris Koenig to create the story arc. Hoffman's interviews were prominently featured in the documentary.[18]


  1. ^ Scott Fowler (August 23, 1999). "Leaving Early Never An Easy College Choice". Charlotte Observer. He met his wife, Heather, during freshman year at Chapel Hill; they married two months ago and are now shopping for a house. 
  2. ^ Stan Choe (May 1, 2005). "MP3 Takes eMusic Waaay Beyond Vinyl". Charlotte Observer. Hoffman's departure before the 1996–97 Tar Heels basketball season didn't cause much gnashing of teeth among the North Carolina faithful. 
  3. ^ Scott Fowler (May 1, 2005). "Leaving Early Never An Easy College Choice". Charlotte Observer. At Charlotte Latin, he was a team manager for boys' basketball coach Jerry Faulkner from eighth grade onward. 
  4. ^ Duke of URL (November 18, 1996). "Pretty Good Deal". They calculated correctly that their flagship product, Internet Fast Forward, would whip the press into a frenzy with the supposed threat to advertising their software made imminent. 
  5. ^ Elizabeth Corcoran (July 26, 1999). "The e-gang". Forbes. 
  6. ^ Tom Blue (July 17, 2009). "Gene Hoffman and Vindicia Interview". 
  7. ^ Evans, James (2001-04-09). "eMusic Bought by Universal for $24.6 Million". PC World. Retrieved 2006-09-04. 
  8. ^ Stephen Pritchard. "The Collector". Retrieved 2012-06-28. 
  9. ^ "Americas 2012 Top 100". May 23, 2012. Retrieved 2012-06-28. 
  10. ^ "Vindicia Named a Fastest Growing Private Company in Silicon Valley for Third Consecutive Year". October 14, 2011. Retrieved 2012-06-27. 
  11. ^ "Forty Under 40: Gene Hoffman". March 8, 2012. Retrieved 2012-06-28. 
  12. ^ "Announcing The Calguns Foundation". March 15, 2008. 
  13. ^ "The CA Range Safe Mag Lock – aka bullet tip magazine lock". January 1, 2007. 
  14. ^ "Memorandum of Points and Authorities in Support of Motion to Dismiss in Haynie v. Harris" (PDF). 
  15. ^
  16. ^ "CGF:Sykes becomes Richards v. Prieto". October 25, 2010. 
  17. ^ "Congratulations! Grassroots Organization of the Year – Calguns Foundation". 
  18. ^ Assaulted: Civil Rights Under Fire (2013) IMDB

External links[edit]