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  1. Copyright
  2. Leading lawyers

New York-based Cowan, Liebowitz & Latman, PC is distinguished by its thought leadership on copyright issues and strength in advisory work. It also remains active in significant litigation, with Richard Dannay acting for a number of major book publishers on cases. Richard Mandel and Jonathan King are key names to note for major soft IP contentious matters; the team achieved a summary judgment ruling of infringement on music copyrights in favor of Capitol Records against ReDigi, which claims to operate a platform allowing listeners to buy and sell ‘used’ digital music tracks originally bought from the iTunes website. Of counsel Thomas Kjellberg and Arlana Cohen obtained a summary judgment ruling for Wicked Fashions against alleged copyright infringement claims brought by Figure Eight Holdings regarding protectable elements of graphics in designs on clothing. Eric Shimanoff has acted for EMI on a number of litigation matters.

Jenner & Block LLP remains at the forefront of the media and entertainment content provider space, acting in online-related copyright advisory and infringement matters. It lost Steven Fabrizio, who left to become general counsel at the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA). Remaining lead litigators include team leader Andrew Bart and Susan Kohlmann, who are both in New York, and Los Angeles-based Andrew Thomas. It continued acting for Viacom in its long-running dispute against YouTube, which returned to another Second Circuit appeal hearing. The practice also obtained a $110m damages award for a group of major film studios from file-sharing website isoHunt.com, and it representing various film companies in bringing an infringement case against a file-trading website in Disney Enterprises v Hotfile. Ongoing work includes handling matters for television broadcasters, such as separate cases against Aereo and DISH Network. Representative clients include Universal Music Group, Warner Brothers Entertainment, Disney Enterprises and Fox Broadcasting Company.

Loeb & Loeb LLP is a leading choice for entertainment sector clients in high-profile copyright litigation. It handles a large volume of contentious matters for music artists and recording companies as well as film and TV broadcasters; examples include Viacom, Sony, DirecTV and Fox Entertainment Group. Both ‘copyright guruJonathan Zavin and the ‘very smart’ David Grossman ‘always think and litigate in terms of the big picture’. The team continued acting for DreamWorks Animation to appeal a first idea submission case brought by individual Terence Dunn regarding the creation of the Kung Fu Panda film. It also defended MGM and Twentieth Century Fox against copyright infringement claims brought by rights owners in relation to the movie Raging Bull, which has now reached the Supreme Court. Barry Slotnick has been acting for the National Music Publishers Association (NMPA) in filing a copyright infringement case against YouTube network FullScreen and is also representing various record companies in a multi-defendant lawsuit brought by music group the Batiste Brothers Band. Named attorneys are based in New York.

Media and publishing sector clients regularly turn to Davis Wright Tremaine LLP for copyright advisory and litigation matters. New York-based Elizabeth McNamara acts for publishers and broadcasters such as Bauer Publishing, MTV, Macmillan and CNN, and her recent highlights include representing The Associated Press on submitting an amicus brief in Author’s Guild v Hathi Trust, which examined fair use in relation to the mass digitization of books; she and Linda Steinman also continued acting for the same client in settling its dispute against Meltwater Group regarding the distribution of published news online. James Rosenfeld, who acts for online and new media sector clients, and commercial litigator Marcia Paul, recently represented the Washington Post and Getty Images in a dispute regarding the use of licensed photographs on Twitter.

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP’s copyright practice is underpinned by its wider commercial litigation capabilities to handle some leading copyright cases. Bruce Keller, who is noted for his expertise on first impression issues, continued acting alongside Washington DC-based Jeffrey Cunard and Michael Potenza as co-counsel to a group of broadcasting companies in the high-profile dispute against Aereo, which is being closely watched for its potential impact on internet streaming and the television industry; the team recently appealed on behalf of ABC, CBS and NBC to obtain a grant from the Supreme Court to hear the case. Keller and Jeremy Feigelson settled a case on behalf of Prometheus Global Media – owner of The Hollywood Reporter – against claims of alleged infringement, including ‘hot news’ misappropriation, brought by the parent company of Deadline.com. Another highlight saw the team prevail for Sony Pictures Television and A&E Networks on appeal, which affirmed a lower court ruling in the client’s favor against infringement claims brought by a photographer regarding a re-created picture in a TV film.

Fross Zelnick Lehrman & Zissu, P.C. handles the full spectrum of copyright non-contentious and litigation work, with notable capabilities in registration, enforcement, transactional and other advisory work. Roger Zissu and David Donahue continued to defend Boundless Learning against claims of alleged copyright violation brought by Pearson Education relating to the client’s digitized student textbook service; the case was recently settled. James Weinberger and counsel Michael Chiappetta successfully defended Gap against alleged copyright infringement claims brought by clothing retailer Fooey regarding designs used on its apparel products, which were dismissed at a district court hearing.

Kirkland & Ellis LLP’s Dale Cendali in New York is ‘the real deal’ for copyright litigation matters and has extensive experience in state and federal trial work. The team is adept at handling high-profile contentious matters as well as general advisory work. Cendali and Diana Torres were recently brought in as co-counsel for Oracle on the copyright and fair defense aspects of its dispute against Google regarding the client’s Java software system. Other highlights included settling a case for 8 Legged Productions LLC, the producer of Broadway musical Spider-man: Turn Off the Dark, which had been sued by the show’s former director for alleged infringement claims regarding use of the plaintiff’s copyrighted ideas. Cendali and Claudia Ray are now representing a Beatles tribute band behind the show Rain: A Tribute to the Beatles, as plaintiff in a copyright infringement case against another tribute band, which produced the Let It Be musical. Other recent mandates include acting for Fox News in bringing a ‘hot news’ misappropriation case against TVEyes, and defending a law firm against alleged copyright infringement claims brought by two academic publishers in relation to articles for preparing patent applications to the USPTO.

Mitchell, Silberberg & Knupp provides ‘excellent knowledge and service on copyright brand protection matters’. It acts for a number of entertainment and media sector clients, handling advisory, transactional and contentious matters. It also regularly advises the International Intellectual Property Alliance on cross-border copyright protection and enforcement issues. Russell Frackman has been acting for major record labels in a bringing a copyright dispute against Vimeo in relation to material posted that contains copyrighted musical compositions and recordings, including lip-synched videos. Litigator Robert Rotstein represented CBS and NBC in copyright disputes against DISH Network and its Hopper digital video recording system, and he also defended James Cameron and Twentieth Century Fox in a number of lawsuits regarding the Avatar film. Rotstein co-chairs the firm’s IP and technology practice alongside Karin Pagnanelli, who has acted for clients such as Sony, the MPAA and NBCUniversal. Marc Mayer handles hi-tech-related soft IP disputes. Named attorneys are based in the Los Angeles office.

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP’s Bruce Rich has ‘unmatched business acumen and industry knowledge’ and leads a team that is ‘able to “see the big picture”’ on copyright issues. Rich is best known for his expertise in the music licensing space, where recent work includes representing SiriusXM Radio on a number of matters, such as being defendant to claims of alleged underpayment of digital royalties brought by SoundExchange. However, Rich also has experience in the publishing arena, and continues to act for plaintiffs in Cambridge University Press v Becker regarding the creation and use of unlicensed copies of academic texts, which is currently on appeal. He is also representing HarperCollins in a case against Open Road Integrated Media regarding rights to the novel Julie and the Wolves. Other highlights saw the group prevail for Marvel Entertainment on appeal, with a decision upholding a lower court ruling of summary judgment in favor of the client regarding copyright ownership claims brought by the heirs of comic book artist Jack Kirby. It has also been defending Getty Images in a copyright infringement case brought by a group of photographers.

Arnold & Porter LLP’s copyright practice is best known for advising sports leagues and media and entertainment companies on litigation as well as non-contentious matters such as the distribution of copyrighted works on broadcasting services. Robert Garrett and Ronald Johnston successfully represented NBC, Disney Enterprises and CBS in bringing copyright violation claims against online streaming service FilmOnX in a closely watched case affecting the TV and internet broadcasting industries. Garrett had previously represented TV content owners and broadcasters in winning a case against pay TV service Ivi, with the Supreme Court recently denying a request by the opponent to review the case. He also acts for sports leagues and associations in copyright royalty rate proceedings from televised sporting events and recently filed an amicus brief on behalf of the MPAA in the appeal hearing of Sony BMG v Tenenbaum.

Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz advises entertainment and publishing sector clients on a range of copyright matters including litigation. It recently represented Hasbro in a copyright dispute against Sweetpea Entertainment regarding rights to the Dungeons & Dragons film, and continued acting for The Author’s Guild in appealing a decision in its case against the scanning and digitizing of published works. The practice also defended filmmakers against a lawsuit brought by the United States Tennis Association. Litigator Edward Rosenthal heads the practice, with Toby Butterfield among the other lead lawyers on contentious matters. For transactional and advisory work, Richard Heller acts for film, TV and publishing sector content providers and Mary Sotis advises major brand owners. All aforementioned are based in New York. Jessie Beeber left to join Venable LLP.

At Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton’s broad-based IP practice, Menlo Par-based Joseph Petersen focuses on new technology sector-related copyright litigation matters. He and Atlanta-based trial lawyer Joseph Beck (senior counsel) have been defending HathiTrust and a number of universities in a dispute brought by the Authors Guild regarding the digitization and provision of library texts and the treatment of orphan works in the digital space. Counsel James Trigg also focuses on internet-related matters and has acted for record companies and music artists on copyright cases. He is ‘a brilliant and strategic thinker on both the legal and business practicalities of a given problem’.

Proskauer Rose LLP’s Charles Sims is noted for his role in leading copyright cases such as acting for a plaintiffs group, which included The English Premier League, in a copyright infringement lawsuit against YouTube as well as representing the plaintiff in Reed Elsevier v Muchnick, in a case regarding the electronic republishing of freelance periodical articles. More recently, Sims has been acting for the Keith Haring Foundation in bringing a copyright infringement case against a Miami-based art exhibition for the display of copycat artworks. The practice also continues acting for high-profile music artists such as Lady Gaga and Madonna on copyright infringement matters, with Charles Ortner and Sandra Crawshaw-Sparks the lead litigators for such cases. Named attorneys are based in New York.

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP’s team of litigators are ‘creative and aggressive, but never cross the line and never compromise their integrity’. It handles a number of high-stakes copyright disputes; Andrew Schapiro successfully represented Google and YouTube as defendants on a remanded district court hearing, which granted summary judgment on remaining claims in favor of the clients, and he has also been acting for TVEyes in a dispute brought by Fox News Network alleging ‘hot news’ misappropriation. Robert Raskopf prevailed for the NFL and Baltimore Ravens, with a fair defense ruling affirmed at a Fourth Circuit appeal of a dispute against an individual regarding the football team’s logo design. Raskopf also continued representing Vimeo in litigation against Capitol Records and EMI Blackwood Music, defending it against allegations regarding material posted on its user-generated website, including lip-synching videos. Rachel Herrick Kassabian represented Google as a defendant in Jim Marshall Photography v Thierry Guetta and also won for the defendant in Perfect 10 v Yandex. Bruce Van Dalsem is also recommended.

Winston & Strawn LLP has been leading on a number of notable, and some potentially precedent-setting, technology and digital media-related copyright cases. In New York, both Michael Elkin and Thomas Lane are recommended for their expertise and strategic approach in representing technology and new media companies at trial. Elkin achieved a second favorable Ninth Circuit ruling on behalf of Veoh in litigation against Universal Music Group, resulting in a decision that affirmed its client falls under the safe harbor provision of the DMCA. San Francisco-based Jennifer Golinveaux continued to represent ChapterHouse Studios in a dispute against Games Workshop, obtaining a win on the majority of asserted copyright claims.

Covington & Burling LLP handles a broad range of enforcement and copyright protection matters as well as litigation. IP practice chair Simon Frankel, based in San Francisco, leads a team that includes Ronald Dove in Washington DC, who has acted for clients such as the NFL, the Public Broadcasting Service and the Copyright Alliance. Clara Shin, also in San Francisco, focuses on hi-tech-related disputes. The practice recently represented the National Association of Broadcasters and other television industry associations as amici in the appellate hearing of the Aereo copyright dispute. Other key clients include Sotheby’s, the National Geographic Society and Business Software Alliance.

Excellent boutiqueDurie Tangri LLP, based in San Francisco, has gained a significant profile for its copyright litigation capabilities; key to this standing was its success on behalf of Google in a class action lawsuit: it obtained the dismissal of claims from authors alleging digital copying of works in major library collections for online use without permission, with the court ruling that Google Books qualified as fair use. Daralyn Durie and Joseph Gratz led on the case. More recently, the team has been acting for Aereo in a number of copyright infringement cases brought in relation to its online television streaming service. The practice draws on its strong bench of trial and appellate litigators to be involved in a number of other key, new technology-related cases, with Mark Lemley and Michael Page achieving a favorable ruling for the defendant in Fox Broadcasting v DISH Network, with a Ninth Circuit appeal affirming a lower court ruling rejecting the plaintiff’s injunction to block the client from offering its ad-skipping digital video recording service.

Fish & Richardson P.C. leverages its bench of experienced trial lawyers and IP expertise to handle copyright registration, transactional and advisory work as well as litigation to act for clients in the new media, arts and creative industries. David Hosp (Boston and New York) and Mark Puzella (Boston) have experience handling high-profile technology-related copyright disputes, with Aereo as a key client. Joel Leviton in Minneapolis is also recommended, as is practice chair Kristen McCallion in New York.

Hogan Lovells handles arts, media and entertainment sector-related copyright matters, with clients including major film studios and television networks. Dori Ann Hanswirth focuses on copyright issues specific to the media industries and has been involved in representing high-profile clients in disputes, while commercial litigator Steven Hollman also provides ‘unsurpassed knowledge’. Highlights included defending Edenred in a lawsuit brought by artist Kurt Perschke regarding the use of his Redball street art project in the client’s promotional campaign. The practice has also been defending television presenter Jeanine Pirro against copyright infringement allegations regarding the use of an iconic Ground Zero photograph in a case brought by North Jersey Media Group. Other key clients include Sony Pictures Classics, Pathé Distribution, The Smurfs’ rights holders and IBM.

Irell & Manella LLP’s of counsel David Nimmer, based in Los Angeles, is widely recognized for his copyright expertise; he recently testified before Congress on potential copyright reforms. He acts for clients across the media, entertainment and technology sectors.

Morrison & Foerster LLP advises on copyright licensing and registration of works, with a particular focus on matters relating to the hi-tech sector; however it remains best known for its high-stakes litigation work. Examples include Michael Jacobs representing the plaintiff in Oracle v Google, which is currently on appeal. Other recent highlights include obtaining dismissal of claims on behalf of co-defendant LexisNexis in White v West Publishing Corp, a case alleging infringement in relation to copyrighted court briefs being reposted online. Los Angeles-based Benjamin Fox has been acting for Verizon, Cox Communications and Bright House Networks in appeal proceedings regarding the issue of mass BitTorrent piracy lawsuits, which have seen multiple online subscribers sued for downloading copyrighted material.

O’Melveny & Myers LLP’s copyright work is underpinned by the firm’s entertainment practice, acting for clients such as Apple and Walt Disney in both traditional and hi-tech-related litigation. Los Angeles-based Daniel Petrocelli represented Skechers in a copyright case brought against it by photographer Richard Reinsdorf, who was previously hired by the client for its marketing campaign work, alleging infringement in relation to the use of his images. Petrocelli and Matthew Kline continued acting for Warner Bros and DC Comics in litigation regarding rights to the Superman character against the heirs of the co-creators, with a Ninth Circuit appeal upholding a lower court ruling in favor of the clients. Kline is also representing Warner Bros in a case alleging copyright infringement in relation to the film Trouble With the Curve. Other practice highlights included defending AEG against alleged copyright ownership claims brought by a music producer against the estate of Michael Jackson, and defending Berkeley Design Automation in a case brought by Cadence Design Systems alleging copyright breaches in relation to the client integrating aspects of the plaintiff’s product with its own.

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP has a number of recognized copyright attorneys, including Lynn Bayard and Jay Cohen in New York, who have previously acted for media and entertainment sector clients such as music trade associations, songwriters and publishers and film production companies on disputes as well as transactional matters. Key clients include the NMPA, HBO, the NFL and Viacom.

Pryor Cashman LLP provides ‘practical and cost-effective advice without any loss of quality’ to high-profile entertainment sector clients on both traditional and digital media-related copyright issues. It advises music publishers and record labels on licensing and transactional matters, while recent litigation highlights include Tom Ferber successfully representing the defendants in Marcus Webb v Sylvester Stallone and prevailing for Sir Elton John and Bernie Taupin at a Seventh Circuit appeal, which affirmed a dismissal of copyright infringement claims in relation to their song Nikita. Donald Zakarin, who is ‘excellent on the big picture and strategy’ and Frank Scibilia, who ‘combines commercial know-how with solid legal advice’, achieved a favorable ruling for EMI Feist Catalog as defendant of copyright ownership claims to the Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town song, brought by the estate of songwriter J Fred Coots. Brad Rose handles copyright prosecution work and is ‘an inspirational leader’. Named attorneys are based in New York.

Wiley Rein LLP offers particular expertise in the music licensing space as well as handling matters for publishing, broadcasting and technology sector clients. Practice head Bruce Joseph has been involved in key digital copyright regulatory matters and royalty rate-setting disputes, and litigator Andrew McBride also focuses on new media-related copyright matters. Both are based in Washington DC. The team represented co-defendant T-Mobile in Luvdarts v AT&T, achieving a Ninth Circuit affirmation dismissing claims in favor of the defendants, in a case seeking to find wireless networks liable for copyright violations regarding retransmission of multimedia messaging. The practice also represented higher education associations as amici in appeal proceedings of key cases examining digital fair use of copyrighted works in Cambridge University Press v Becker and Authors Guild v HathiTrust.

Arent Fox LLP’s Paul Fakler and Ross Charap, both based in New York, act for content and rights owners on copyright licensing, transactional, regulatory and litigation matters, with particular experience in the music industry sector. The practice has been acting for Music Choice in royalty rate-setting litigation, advising Adage Classics on the acquisition and sale of song catalogs as well as representing the heirs of Aldous Huxley on negotiating publishing arrangements. It has also been defending MediaNet against alleged copyright infringement claims brought by music artist Aimee Mann in relation to the client’s streaming of the plaintiff’s songs on its digital music service. Anthony Lupo advises clients such as Diesel, Discovery Communications and Pixar. Other key clients include HBO and Mars.

Davis & Gilbert LLP’s New York-based group is a top choice for marketing and advertising sector clients as it provides ‘real value and is tuned in to the industry’. It offers ‘cost-effective service and practical solutions’ on contentious and non-contentious copyright matters, regularly advising on protection and licensing issues and handling disputes over infringement and misappropriation of ideas. Representative clients include Omnicom Group, Chrysler, Atari and Ogilvy & Mather. Guy Cohen has been defending Facebook and Wieden + Kennedy against claims of infringing Eminem’s music in an online commercial. The ‘brilliant, efficient, thorough and genuineAshima Dayal handles a broad range of work, including copyright clearances, licensing and litigation for advertiser and agency clients.

Fenwick & West LLP focuses on representing technology companies, handling an even mix of contentious and non-contentious copyright matters. In San Francisco, Jennifer Stanley, who acts for clients such as Expedia, Google, Twitter, Synopsys and SAP, co-chairs the practice alongside Laurence Pulgram, a ‘strong litigator with very sound business sensibilities and obvious commitment to the best interests of clients’. Pulgram has been defending CBS Interactive against claims brought by a group of music artists and companies in relation to works available through P2P BitTorrent tools. The practice also prevailed for Sega and Electronic Arts at a Ninth Circuit appeal, which dismissed a copyright case filed by an artist of Sonic the Hedgehog comic books. Andrew Bridges has been advising on copyright issues in The Government of the United States of America v O’Dwyer.

Although it lost Kenneth Steinthal to King & Spalding LLP, Greenberg Traurig LLP has Ian Ballon in Los Angeles, who focuses on technology and internet-related copyright litigation and has been involved in number of notable cases. Recent highlights include acting for Demand Media to obtain favorable summary judgment against the plaintiff, which was affirmed on appeal; the case was the first major ruling based on the Second Circuit ruling in Viacom v YouTube, regarding the DMCA safe harbor for user-generated content.

Kenyon & Kenyon LLP handles the full spectrum of copyright matters, including litigation, registration of works, licensing, enforcement and transactional work. Representative clients include rights holders of the Superman and Batman characters, Universal Television, Mattel and AT&T. In New York, Jonathan Reichman has longstanding experience and a particular focus on the entertainment sector, including advising on the rights of fictional characters and acting for the estates of authors and artists. Washington DC-based Edward Colbert acted for Compact Media Group as plaintiff in a dispute against the Independent Film and Television Alliance, regarding the statutory scheme for royalty rates on retransmissions of copyrighted works.

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP draws on its depth of trial and appellate litigators to handle some leading copyright cases. It was co-counsel to Oracle in its appeal against Google over copyright claims regarding the client’s Java programming software, and defended DISH Network in a Ninth Circuit appeal against the Fox Broadcasting Company, in which the client obtained an upheld ruling denying the plaintiff’s request for a preliminary injunction against its ad-skipping digital video recording service. The practice also won for the plaintiff in Kirtsaeng v Wiley at the Supreme Court, with a ruling upholding the first-sale doctrine in favor of Kirtsaeng, who imported textbooks and sold them on eBay. In San Francisco, experienced trial lawyer Annette Hurst and Supreme Court and appellate practice head Joshua Rosenkranz were among the lead attorneys on these matters.

Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP handles both contentious and non-contentious copyright matters, with Los Angeles-based Martin Katz particularly recommended for entertainment sector-related work. He leads the entertainment, technology and advertising team, which includes litigator Kent Raygor, who successfully represented Sprint in a multi-defendant dispute against Luvdarts over alleged copyright infringement through the transmission of multimedia messaging content, with a successful outcome for the defendants affirmed at a Ninth Circuit appeal hearing. New York-based Theodore Max also handles copyright advisory and litigation matters.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP draws on its transactional and litigation capabilities to advise publishing and new media sector clients on copyright matters. Recent highlights include defending Houghton Mifflin Harcourt against a number of photographic copyright infringement claims as well as acting for the NFL as co-defendant in a dispute brought by a group of photographers regarding alleged copyright violations through the client’s use of photographs in advertising and marketing campaigns. The practice represented the NFL and other major sports associations as amici in the Ninth Circuit hearing of Fox v Aereokiller, a case regarding copyright claims in the online retransmission of TV programming content. Cliff Sloan left to take up a position in government, meaning New York-based commercial litigator Anthony Dreyer, who ‘really takes time to get to know what clients want’, is now the key contact; he focuses on sports sector-related matters.

White & Case LLP advises clients such as Pfizer and Novo Nordisk on copyright issues and has also previously represented arts sector associations as amici in the Supreme Court hearing of Kirtsaeng v Wiley, in a case regarding the application of the first sale doctrine to foreign-made products. New York-based litigators Christopher Glancy and Stefan Mentzer have extensive experience.

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