Copyright in United States

Cowan, Liebowitz & Latman, PC

Music and book publishing are the two key areas of focus for Cowan, Liebowitz & Latman, PC. Eric Shimanoff is a name on the music side, having recently acted for Warner Music, Sony Music and Orchard Enterprises, collectively, in a dispute against ROK Mobile for the non-payment of royalties for recordings streamed by the defendants. Richard Mandel and Thomas Kjellberg are also names to note in the music space; together, the two advised UMG Recordings in a class action brought by a number of recording artists seeking to reclaim their publishing rights. Mandel also worked alongside Richard King for Capitol Records in seeking an injunction and damages against ReDigi which allegedly enabled purchasers of online digital recordings to re-sell them. Book publishing work is primarily handled by Richard Dannay, who recently represented Dover Publications in a dispute where an artist claimed a teddy bear illustration infringed upon work published by the client. All lawyers are based in New York.

Practice head(s):

Richard Mandel; Thomas Kjellberg; Richard King

Other key lawyers:

Richard Danna; Eric Shimanoff; William Borchard

Testimonials

‘The depth of experience and understanding of nuance in copyright law is unparalleled.’

‘I have found the attorneys to be extremely responsive and so familiar with the legal issues that their advice is extremely efficient and timely.’

Key clients

Universal Music Group

J. Crew Group

The Promotion in Motion Companies

Sotheby’s

The First Church of Christ, Scientist

Trebco Specialty Products

Penguin Random House

Dover Publications

McGraw Hill Education

Practising Law Institute

Norman Rockwell Family Agency

Eli Lilly

Rosen Publishing Group

Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co.

Houghton Mifflin

Harcourt Publishing Company

Sexy Back Bra

The Forward Fund

Ruth’s Hospitality Group

Hanky Panky

Work highlights

  • Represented Capitol Records in seeking an injunction and damages against ReDigi, a company enabling purchasers of online digital recordings to re-sell them.
  • Represented Calvin Klein, in defending against a complaint filed by Halston that three dress designs by Calvin Klein infringed Halston’s alleged copyrights, among other things.
  • Defending Warner Bros. Records against a gap grant termination claim involving a copyright grant pre-dating the termination law as to a recording made after enactment of the termination law.
  • Defending Rizzoli International Publications and its Italian affiliates against claims of copyright infringement and trademark infringement brought by the Estate of the designer Massimo Vignelli relating to a book about him.
  • Represented one of the Starr Companies, which was among the defendants sued for copyright infringement by allegedly misappropriating the plaintiff’s flow chart ideas.

Jenner & Block LLP

Jenner & Block LLP is a well-known name in copyright litigation, particularly on the content creators side, where it acts for high-profile artists, associations, labels and production companies. Recent highlights included practice head Andrew Bart and Steven Englund representing the Recording Industry Association of America against the owners of the hip hop mixtape service Spinrilla, where songs often use sampled recordings without proper clearance. Another key figure is Susan Kohlmann, who achieved a major victory at the Ninth Circuit acting for author John Steinbeck's stepdaughter, Waverly Scott Kaffaga, in a case alleging that the author's son and daughter-in-law prevented the production of films based on the author's works. Also recommended are Alison Stein, who worked alongside Kohlmann in the Steinbeck case, and David Singer in Los Angeles, who co-chairs the content, media and entertainment practice. Named lawyers are based in New York unless otherwise stated, though the team also has a presence in Washington DC.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Bart; David Singer

Key clients

Universal Music Group

21st Century Fox

Sony Music Entertainment

NBC Universal

Sound Exchange

Disney

Warner Bros Entertainment

Warner Music Group

Viacom International

Jay Z

Roc Nation

News Corp

Recording Industry Association of America

Princeton University

Interpublic Group

Estate of Elaine Steinbeck

Nintendo

Endeavor

Saatchi & Saatchi

MGM Studios

Work highlights

  • Acted for The Recording Industry Association of America in a copyright case in the Western District of Texas against ISP Grande Communications for allowing customers to commit massive infringement using BitTorrent by eliminating their repeat infringer policy.
  • Acted for FanDuel in the Indiana Supreme Court in a class action accusing daily fantasy sports operators of profiting off the unauthorized use of the names and likenesses of former NCAA athletes.
  • Representation of Sony Music in numerous copyright cases and in an arbitration and New York state court proceeding concerning determination of the royalty rate that will apply under a license to Sirius XM Satellite Radio of Sony recordings created before 1972.
  • Handling several copyright infringement cases related to the hit television series Empire, representing Fox Broadcasting and various other defendants.
  • Representing Princeton University in an action brought by a Lithuanian website alleging copyright infringement against Princeton and Facebook.

King & Spalding LLP

King & Spalding LLP's defense of Google in its Supreme Court battle against Oracle is on of the more recent examples of the firm's strong presence in the digital copyright space. The practice is led by San Francisco-based Kenneth Steinthal, who acts for an impressive client roster in the digital copyright space, including Google, iHeart  Media and Netflix. In addition to his digital copyright work, Steinthal has earned particular praise for his work in the area of music music, where one client described him as 'one of the top, most-respected legal minds in the area of music rate setting and copyright litigation'. Other recommended names include New York-based Bruce Baber, who led the representation of Google in the Oracle case, and counsel Jason Blake Cunningham.

Practice head(s):

Kenneth Steinthal

Other key lawyers:

Bruce Baber; Jason Blake Cunningham 

Testimonials

‘The team has experience, diversity, originality, creativity, passion and expertise.’

‘What sets them apart is that feeling that they take our matters personally; that is they share the joy in our victories and the frustration in our setbacks. And the adversity causes them to redouble their efforts in a way that would take the wind out of the sails of others.’

‘I have worked with Kenny Steinthal off and on over the course of three decades. No other attorney has the expertise advising copyright users about the how to address the copyright owners in the music industry –especially in a litigation.’

‘They are good at finding solutions beyond litigation.Kenneth Steinthal is a wise sage in this world. One of the top most-respected legal minds in the area of music rate setting and copyright litigation.’

Key clients

Google/YouTube

ESPN

Radio Music License Committee

The Orchard

Netflix

National Association of Broadcasters

iHeartMedia

NationalPublicRadio

SoundCloud

Peloton Interactive

Work highlights

  • Acted for Google on its appeal before the Copyright Royalty Board regarding the new royalty payments rate towards the digital streaming of music.
  • Acted for the fitness media company Peloton in a copyright infringement claim brought by music publishers whose recordings were used in the client’s videos.
  • Represented The Orchard in a copyright infringement suit claiming that The Orchard distributed songs to stores for sale where the rights to the musical works in those songs were not licensed.
  • Representing Dolby in a significant copyright infringement and breach of contract action against Adobe in the Northern District of California, in which Dolby alleges that Adobe failed to properly account for and pay royalties owed under several license agreements and used Dolby technology in products that were outside the scope of the license agreements.

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

Kirkland & Ellis LLP is at the forefront of copyright disputes in the areas of video games, software and social media. Recent examples of the firm's standing in that space included New York-based practice head Dale Cendali and Joshua Simmons advising Epic Games on the many cases surrounding its video game Fortnite brought by actors, rappers and YouTubers alleging particular incidences of infringement within the game. Cendali and Simmons also represented Oracle in a potentially precedent-setting dispute against Google before the Supreme Court, where the client alleged that Google's Android platform infringed upon its Java platform. Another key figure in the team is Los Angeles-based Diana Torres, who acted for Cadence Design Systems in a licensing and copyright case against Skyworth Digital Holdings. Also recommended is Claudia Ray in New York, who focuses on issues relating to online music services.

Practice head(s):

Dale Cendali

Key clients

Association of American Publishers

Epic Games

Fox News Network

IBM Corporation

Lucky Brand

Nike

Oracle Corporation

Medidata Solutions

Stage Entertainment USA

Take-Two Interactive Software

Work highlights

  • Represented seven members of the Association of American Publishers in a copyright infringement lawsuit against Audible concerning the platform’s ability to convert audiobooks to text.
  • Represented Cadence Design Systems in copyright infringement, circumvention and breach of contract litigation involving the unauthorized use of Cadence’s electronic design automation.
  • Achieved a major litigation win for Fox News at the Second Circuit against TVEyes, a company that provides Fox News’ proprietary programming 24-hours-a-day as it is telecast and makes it available for a subscription fee.
  • Represented playwright Terrence McNally and the producers of the hit Broadway musical Anastasia in a copyright infringement lawsuit brought by the heirs of the writer of a non-musical play with the same name.
  • Represents Take-Two in a series of lawsuits involving the question of whether accurately depicting individuals with their tattoos in video games constitutes an infringement of the tattooists’ copyrights in the tattoos.

Loeb & Loeb LLP

Praised by clients for its 'unmatched expertise in copyright litigation', Loeb & Loeb LLP is a key name in the market for representing content creators in the music and entertainment space. New York-based practice head Barry Slotnick, is a key name for high-profile litigation, having most recently represented hip hop duo Ryan Lewis and Macklemore in an infringement claim brought by a New Orleans-based jazz musician who claimed that the client's hit single 'Thriftshop' illegally sampled one of his compositions. Other standout highlights included David Grossman in LA and Jonathan Zavin in New York defending Netflix against copyright infringement allegations made by a photographer concerning the client's TV series Stranger Things. Also recommended in Los Angeles is Melanie Howard, who focuses on copyright protection and licensing, as well as acquisitions. Clients have also noted that the legal service they have 'come to expect at the top extends behind the scenes and on the front lines'. In particular, clients have singled out associate Sarah Schacter on the more junior end of the team.

Practice head(s):

Barry Slotnick 

Other key lawyers:

David Grossman; Jonathan Zavin; Melanie Howard; Sarah Schacter; Tal Dickstein

Testimonials

‘Unmatched expertise in copyright litigation on behalf of content owners. ‘

‘We’ve never lost a case in decades of work with the team; more importantly they’ve been critical in giving us the leverage to reach commercial solutions in countless cases before litigation becomes necessary.’

‘Loeb’s support in a range of transactional matters has been critical to our commercial success and risk management in a wide range of areas – corporate, financial, compliance, creative.’

‘Barry Slotnick is simply the best in the business. His advice and advocacy have helped us navigate a complex and litigious industry for decades. ‘

‘Partner Tal Dickstein is among the most capable attorneys I’ve ever had the privilege of working with – responsive, tireless, with an obvious mastery of the legal issues we face.’

‘Associate Sarah Schacter has proven that the quality of legal services we’ve come to expect at the top extend behind the scenes and on the front lines.’

Key clients

Richard Tyler “Ninja” Blevins

Big Hit Entertainment

Netflix

CBS

Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co.

Viacom International

Penguin Random House

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, Showtime and Warner Brothers

Fox Searchlight, Guillermodel Toro

Big Fish Entertainment

Ryan Lewis and Ben Haggerty (p/k/a Macklemore)

Warner/Chappell Music Publishing

SonyATV Music Publishing

PeerMusic

SpiritMusic Group

Concord Music Publishing

ABKCO Music

Morgan Creek Entertainment Group /Lionsgate

Peermusic

Universal and Paramount Pictures

Estate of B.B. King and Universal Music Group

Estate of Ben E. King

Juan Luis Guerra

AwesomenessTV

Work highlights

  • Representing Big Hit Entertainment in an action brought in the Northern District of Illinois to prevent counterfeiting on the tour in connection with the famous South Korean boy band BTS (also known as Bangtan Boys).
  • Represented Netflix in connection with multiple copyright infringement claims made by a photographer who claimed his photographs were used on the television shows Stranger Things and Beyond Stranger Things.
  • Defended CBS and Netflix against a copyright suit in the Southern District of New York alleging that “Star Trek: Discovery” infringed on plaintiff’s video game concept called “Tardigrades”.
  • Defended Viacom International and Penguin Random House against claims for copyright infringement over a Nickelodeon film and Penguin children’s book based on the same story, which allegedly infringed the plaintiff author’s own children’s book.
  • Defended Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, Showtime and Warner Brothers against a copyright lawsuit alleging that defendants’ “Barbershop: The Next Cut” film and cable TV series infringed on a stage play by playwright and comedian JD Lawrence.

Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP

According to some clients, 'there are few lawyers who have as much experience litigating cases on behalf of video game developers and publishers' as Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP. Practice co-head Karin Pagnanelli and Marc Mayer are the names of note for work in video gaming litigation, acting for a top client roster including Activision Publishing, Riot Games and Blizzard Entertainment. Outside of gaming, the team also has a strong presence in the music industry, where joint practice head Christine Lepera has represented many chart-topping recording artists and producers. Also recommended is Russell Frackman, an experienced partner in the Los Angeles office with a strong reputation in music copyrights. All named attorneys are based in New York unless stated otherwise.

Practice head(s):

Karin Pagnanelli; Christine Lepera

Other key lawyers:

Marc Mayer; Russell Frackman

Testimonials

‘Marc Mayer – he is a very rare combination of someone who knows the sector, knows the law and can provide with an analysis that is well written, thoughtful and very legal at the same time. I trust Marc’s opinion the way I never trusted any other attorney.’

‘Provides excellent “big law” service at affordable “mid-size” firm rates. I’ve used them for general commercial and IP litigation and never been disappointed.

‘I work with Marc Mayer and Karin Pagnanelli. Few lawyers have as much experience litigating cases on behalf of video game developers/publishers. They’re efficient, smart and capable.’

‘Christine Lepera is very good.’

Key clients

Activision Publishing

Riot Games

Blizzard Entertainment

Wixen Music Publishing

CD Projekt Red

Work highlights

  • Defended Mic Network against a copyright infringement claim brought by a photographer.

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP's copyright team has strengths in a wide range of copyright disputes such as music licensing, safe harbor issues, and photography-related disputes, acting for a highly diverse set of clients including Pandora, Alibaba and Oxford University Press. Practice head Benjamin Marks in New York recently advised Getty Images on a landmark $3bn dispute against Zuma Press wherein Zuma alleged that the client had infringed upon the copyright of 47,000 photographs. Marks also acted for Pandora Media in an appeal before the DC Circuit, which challenged the Copyright Royalty Board’s royalty rate increase for the on-demand streaming of musical works. Bruce Rich has retired.

Practice head(s):

Benjamin Marks

Other key lawyers:

Randi Singer; Todd Larson; Jessica Falk

Key clients

Sirius XM Radio and its Pandora Media subsidiary

Alibaba Group

Getty Images

Facebook

Association of American Publishers

eBay

Twitter

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Co.

Spotify

North American Concert Promoters Association

Oxford University Press

Cambridge University Press

Copyright Clearance Center

Television Music License Committee

Work highlights

  • Secured a significant victory for Getty Images in a case involving copyright infringement and falsification of copyright management information (CMI) claims, with potential statutory damages exceeding $3bn.
  • Defending Sirius XM (and its Pandora subsidiary) in the Web V proceeding before the Copyright Royalty Board which will determine the rates to be paid by non-interactive webcasters to the recorded music industry for the rights to publicly perform copyrighted sound recordings and to make ephemeral copies of those recordings over the 2021-2025 period.
  • Represented Alibaba Group in a number of trademark and copyright infringement lawsuits, including in the potential secondary liability of e- commerce-enabling platforms.
  • Represents the NACPA in connection with its music licensing dealings with the three largest United States performing rights organizations (PROs) – the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, Broadcast Music, and SESAC.
  • Represents Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) in its IP infringement and royalty dispute with Vanderbilt University in connection with the popular program Read 180.

Arnold & Porter

Arnold & Porter fields a strong litigation team in New York, acting for various titans of the entertainment industry such as Major League Baseball, Fox News and Disney. Dori Ann Hanswirth is a key figure in the team; she has expertise both in copyright counseling and litigation, with a strong emphasis on the media and entertainment sector. Another name to note is Theresa House, who recently defended Disney, Marvel and Paramount, collectively, against copyright infringement allegations brought by Horizons Comics regarding the suit worn by Iron Man in the Iron Man and Avengers movie series. The firm also has a strong presence on the West Coast, where Los Angeles-based Rhonda Trotter recently represented Experian in an appeal involving the copyrightability of marketing databases. Matthew Wolf and Jennifer Sklenar  lead the wider IP group from the firm's Washington DC office. Robert Garrett has retired.

Practice head(s):

Matthew Wolf; Jennifer Sklenar

Key clients

Adobe

David Yurman IP and David Yurman Enterprises

Experian Companies

Fox News Network

ITV America

Major League Baseball

The Estate of Prince

The Walt Disney Company

Work highlights

  • Defended David Yurman IP and David Yurman Enterprises, the famous jewelry company, in a trademark, trade dress and copyright infringement matter brought by Lagos, a Philadelphia-based jewelry company.
  • Provides ongoing strategic and legal guidance, including both copyright and trademark counseling, to Fox News in connection with its programming, including cable television and digital platforms.
  • Represented Experian in an appeal involving the copyrightability of marketing databases.
  • Advised Adobe on a copyright dispute brought by sound technology company Dolby.
  • Represented HomeAdvisor and Hawthorne Direct in a copyright infringement and right of publicity action brought by an individual who owned the rights of photographs used by the client.

Fenwick & West LLP

Fenwick & West LLP stands out for its expertise in technology and online-related copyright. Key figures in the San Francisco-based team include Jennifer Stanley, a name to note for transactional IP matters, particularly in the gaming sector; Andrew Bridges, an experienced litigator specializing in matters relating to the technology sector; and Laurence Pulgram, who is highly experienced in handling cases concerning new technology, particularly music streaming services. Also recommended is David Hayes, who has a similar emphasis on new technology and has been advising software companies such as SAP, Alteryx and ServiceNow on various regulatory issues.

Practice head(s):

Jennifer Stanley; Andrew Bridges; Laurence Pulgram

Other key lawyers:

David Hayes

Key clients

General Motors

SoundCloud

SAP

Alteryx

ServiceNow

CloudFlare

Public.Resource.Org

CBS Interactive

Supercell

Nexon

Work highlights

  • Advised the online gaming company Nexon on its copyright licensing deal with game developer Embark Studios.
  • Representing Cloudflare in a contributory copyright infringement lawsuit by Mon Cheri Bridalsand Maggie Sottero Designs claiming that the client has failed to terminate services to customers whom the plaintiffs accuse of infringing their copyrights in wedding dress photographs.
  • Defended General Motors in a copyright infringement case brought by the Alliance of Artists in relation to ‘infotainment’ systems in the client’s vehicles which have the capability to record and store music.
  • Advising software companies such as SAP, Alteryx and ServiceNow on regulatory issues.
  • Represented CBS in a case brought by musicians who believe the client is liable for copyright infringement through its music subscription platform LastFM, where third parties provided links to music without paying royalties.

Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton

Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton is 'great at trying to find elegant solutions to complicated (and often not-previously-litigated) problems'. Joe Petersen and Atlanta-based James Trigg jointly lead the practice group: Petersen, who divides his time between Menlo Park and New York, is adept at handling cases involving the digital rights held in books and photographs, while Trigg is a name to note for contemporary copyright issues such as digital copyright and social media, as well as protection against copyright trolls. Another key figure from the team is Dennis Wilson in LA, who represents big names in the tech and entertainment sector and 'is good at looking at the big picture when providing advice'. Joseph Beck has retired.

Practice head(s):

Joe Petersen; James Trigg

Other key lawyers:

Dennis Wilson

Testimonials

‘The team is great at trying to find elegant solutions to complicated (and often not-previously-litigated) problems. It is willing to think outside the box and provide practical advice that can be executed on with internal business units.’

‘The team has a good combination of litigators, counselors, and academics and this combination is very effective when thinking through various copyright issues.’

“Dennis Wilson is a great advisor who is good at looking at the “big picture” when providing advice. While he knows the law, he also knows how to provide pragmatic advice that might be useful to in-house executives.’

‘David Caplan also has been very helpful in navigating often arcane issues related to various copyright issues.’

‘Sara Stadler has been very helpful in researching very specific areas of the law and providing actionable advice.’

Work highlights

  • Representation of the Lilly Pulitzer brand in copyright litigation, bringing an action against a business selling numerous counterfeits of Lilly Pulitzer designs.
  • Overseeing international copyright litigation in Australia on behalf of Tommy Bahama Group, in a matter involving widespread infringement of Tommy Bahama fabric prints by a major Australian retailer.
  • Defended the American Cancer Society in a case involving alleged infringement of headwear designs in which a third party claimed copyright ownership.
  • Successfully resolved copyright claims asserted against Citigroup in the Central District of California with respect to an image posted on the Citi website.
  • Represented carpet manufacturer Interface, in persuading the Copyright Office that Interface’s “Sett in Stone” textile design, which emulates the look of worn cobblestones, contained sufficient creative expression to be copyrightable.

Mayer Brown

Mayer Brown's copyright litigation group is led by John Mancini who has a strong track record in representing technology companies in high-profile copyright disputes, and is particularly adept in cases involving digital music. 2019 saw Mancini representing Spotify in a copyright licensing dispute against Wixen Publishing, which owns the rights to recordings by Neil Young, Tom Petty and The Doors, among others. The practice head also defended Google against a claim brought by the South African gospel singer Seugne Botha, who alleged that the client sold streamed recordings of hers without a proper license. Allison Levine Stillman has been working alongside Mancini on these major cases.

Practice head(s):

John Mancini

Other key lawyers:

Allison Levine Stillman

Key clients

Spotify Technology

Google

LG Electronics

CJ E&M Corporation and CJ

E&M America

Digital Licensee Coordinator

Television Music License Committee

Work highlights

  • Representing Spotify in a copyright licensing dispute against Wixen Publishing.
  • Defended Google against a claim brought by the South African gospel singer Seugne Botha, who alleged that the client sold streamed recordings of hers without a proper license.
  • Advised CJ E&M AMERICA, in an action against iQiyi, which sold reproductions of the client’s movies.
  • Representing the Television Music License Committee in its negotiations with BroadcastMusic and SESAC over the fees and terms for musical works performance rights licenses.
  • Representing the Digital Licensee Coordinator in the first-ever proceeding before the Copyright Royalty Board to determine the amount and terms of the initial administrative assessment to cover the reasonable start-up and annual ongoing costs of the Mechanical Licensing Collective.

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP is a key name for technology-related copyright, as recently illustrated by its representation of Oracle in a Supreme Court case against Google, concerning copyright infringement of the client's Java platform. That case was led by San Francisco-based practice head Annette Hurst, who is regularly involved in big-ticket disputes relating to software and the Internet. On the East Coast, Paul Fakler in New York works handles disputes and general advisory issues involving music streaming services, an area which is also a core focus for David Hosp in Boston. Hosp recently defended Sports Fans Coalition against copyright claims brought by several broadcasters relating to its free TV streaming service Locast.

Practice head(s):

Annette Hurst

Other key lawyers:

David Hosp; Paul Fakler

Key clients

Oracle Corporation

Synopsys

Music Choice

Sirius XM

MediaNet

Sports Fans Coalition & David Goodfriend (aka Locast)

Microsoft

Applied Materials

DISH Network

Netflix

DENSO International America

Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra

Korala Associates

Work highlights

  • Representing several separate music industry stakeholders in connection with the Department of Justice’s review of the ASCAP and BMI consent decrees.
  • Successfully represented Advice Interactive group in a copyright infringement and theft of trade secrets claim brought against one of the leading providing of web-based services, Web.com.
  • Represented Synopsys in a software piracy case that involved claims under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) for copyright infringement against Ubiquiti.
  • Defending Music Choice in a copyright royalty audit suit brought by SoundExchange.
  • Representing DENSO International America (DIAM) in a copyright litigation case originally filed by Alliance of Artists and Recording Companies, which accuses DIAM of violating the Audio Home Recording Act based on the supply of certain vehicle navigation and entertainment systems.

Proskauer Rose LLP

Proskauer Rose LLP is known for representing big names in the music industry in high-profile copyright disputes. In a recent standout case, Sandra Crawshaw-Sparks defended the Estate of Bob Marley and Blackwell Fuller Music Publishing against a road manager for the singer in the 1970's who claimed to have written Marley's songs 'War' and 'Natty Dread'. Crawshaw-Sparks also worked alongside Alexander Kaplan for Sony in its dispute against an unnamed media company, which allegedly used unauthorized recordings by the client on 200 counts. Kaplan is based in New York, whereas Crawshaw-Sparks splits her time between New York and Los Angeles.

Practice head(s):

Sandra Crawshaw-Sparks

Other key lawyers:

Alexander Kaplan

Key clients

U2 and UMG Recordings

Bob Marley/Blackwell Fuller Music Publishing

Live Nation

Daft Punk

Sony Music Entertainment

Heirs of the Estate of Jerry Garcia

National Football League

IGT/International Gaming Technology

BMG Rights Management

Blue Mountain Music

Hasbro

Work highlights

  • Instructed by Sony Music Entertainment to pursue over 200 counts of copyright infringement against FBE and related entities based upon the unlicensed use of recordings owned by Sony in videos produced and exploited by FBE.
  • Acted for Sony in its dispute against the media company FBE, which allegedly used unauthorized recordings by the client on 200 counts.
  • Defended Hasbro in a royalties payment dispute brought by Anne Bryant, who composed music for one of the client’s TV programs.
  • Represented Blue Mountain Music in a dispute over copyright and publishing rights in songs written by the artist Frederick “Toots” Hibbert.
  • Instructed by BMG Rights Management to defend the company in a lawsuit by members of the now-disbanded rock group Yellowcard for copyright infringement alleging that rapper Juice WRLD used melodic elements of the band’s 2006 hit “Hollywood Died” in his breakthrough single “Lucid Dreams.”

Pryor Cashman LLP

Pryor Cashman LLP is among the standout players in the music industry, where it is often involved in the market's most consequential litigation. Recent examples include representing the National Music Publishers’ Association and Nashville Songwriters Association International in a landmark royalties dispute concerning music streaming services provided by Google, Apple, Amazon, Spotify and Pandora. Frank Scibilia, Ilene Farkas and Donald Zakarin are the key names when it comes to music litigation. Outside of music, Tom Ferber defended the creators and producers of the Netflix series Rosemary's Baby which allegedly infringed upon a collection of short stories. All named lawyers are based in New York.

Practice head(s):

Frank Scibilia; Ilene Farkas 

Other key lawyers:

Donald Zakarin; Tom Ferber 

Key clients

National Music Publishers’ Association

Nashville Songwriters Association International

Lions Gate Entertainment

Netflix

NBCUniversal

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP has a strong track record in complex copyright litigation, recent examples of which included Todd Anten acting for videographer Frederick Allen (whose work documents the famous ship Queen Anne's Revenge) in an infringement claim against the State of North Carolina; the defendant later claimed sovereign immunity and the case was subsequently brought before the Supreme Court. In other standout work, Robert Raskopf defended video hosting site Vimeo against record labels whose music was used on its platform, while Silicon Valley-based Claude Stern and Margret Caruso acted for Hong Kong gaming company NetEase in relation to copyright and trade dress claims brought by PUBG. Also recommended is Luke Nikas, whom clients have described as 'whip-smart'. Named attorneys are based in New York unless indicated otherwise.

Practice head(s):

Robert Raskopf; Margret Caruso

Other key lawyers:

Todd Anten; Claude Stern; Luke Nikas

Testimonials

‘Luke Nikas: whip-smart, a good communicator, highest integrity, pays attention to what he bills.’

‘He’s great to work with, explaining complex legal arguments in ways the non-lawyers can grasp.’

Key clients

Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

iTalk GlobalCommunications

Vimeo

Morgan Art Foundation

Andy Warhol Foundation

Bloomberg

Frederick Allen and Nautilus Productions

Horror Inc. and Manny Company

NetEase

Towada Audio Co.

Aiwa Co.

Tsuburaya Productions Co.

Vivendi and Studiocanal

Work highlights

  • Obtained a major copyright victory on behalf of The Andy Warhol Foundation in connection with Warhol’s portraits of Prince, which was inspired by a copyright protected photograph of the musician.
  • Defended video hosting site Vimeo against record labels whose music was used on its platform
  • Acted for the Hong Kong gaming company NetEase which faced copyright and trade dress claims from PUBG.
  • Advised the movie production company  StudioCanal and its owner Vivendi on a rights ownership dispute against the director and writers of the movie This Is Spinal Tap.
  • Advised Horror and Manny Company in a copyright ownership dispute against Victor Miller, who wrote the screenplay for Friday the 13th.

Winston & Strawn LLP

Digital copyright disputes have been a mainstay of Winston & Strawn LLP, a team which has carved out a reputation for defending internet service providers against liability claims from content creators whose work has been infringed upon the ISP's subscribers. New York litigator and practice co-head Michael Elkin recently defended Cox Communications against a $1.5bn lawsuit brought by major music labels such as Warner Bros, Sony and Universal. Joint practice head Thomas Lane also works form the New York office and is a key contact for copyright cases concerning new technology. West Coast contacts include Jennifer Golinveaux in San Francisco, who has extensive experience in disputes involving the use of music and photographs online. Also recommended is Erin Ranahan, a name to note for matters involving the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

Practice head(s):

Michael Elkin; Thomas Lane

Other key lawyers:

Jennifer Golinveaux; Erin Ranahan

Key clients

CoxCommunications

CharterCommunications

Global Eagle Entertainment

PepsiCo

Bill Graham Archives

Yahoo! / Oath

Hasbro

PNY Technologies

Office Depot

Schlumberger

Evercore Capital

Work highlights

  • Defended Charter Communications in a copyright infringement lawsuit filed by Warner Bros. Records and others on claims that Charter did not take sufficient action to prevent copyright infringement by subscribers who illegally downloaded, copied, and distributed copyrighted music.
  • Acted for The Huffington Post in a claim made by a photographer whose photo was used by the online publication for a major news story.
  • Advised Global Eagle Entertainment and United Airlines on their use of the Chicago Bears ‘Shuffle’ song in a documentary.
  • Representing Global Eagle Entertainment and Inflight Productions in a rights issue dispute from BMG Rights Management, whose work is used on air flight entertainment.
  • Acted for Bill Graham Archives in a dispute arising from its streaming of live concerts.

Baker & Hostetler LLP

Baker & Hostetler LLP has 'offices nationwide and a great international reputation', making them a popular choice for global media and clothing companies on issues such as infringement, licensing, registration and general counseling. New York-based Oren Warshavsky leads the practice and is highly experienced in litigation involving photographs, music and clothing designs. Another name to note is Chad Rutkowski in Philadelphia, who is recognized in particular for his experience of software-related copyright.

Practice head(s):

Oren Warshavsky

Other key lawyers:

Chad Rutkowski

Testimonials

‘Baker has offices nationwide and a great international reputation. Together this makes this firm special. Impressive list of intellectual property clients.’ 

‘The team includes subject matter experts that have come at IP from different vantage points – clearance, trademark prosecution, enforcement and litigation. Accordingly, they stand ready to assist with all IP needs of their clients, both big and small. Two partners stand out in the practice.’

Oren Warshavsky is a passionate, experienced IP litigator with top notch clients and experience. He manages IP litigation team with precision and focused approach to achieve significant results for his clients. Well-rounded and amazing person to know on a personal level as well.’

Key clients

Blackheart Records Group

RG2

TGG Direct

The Garr Group

Half Price Books

Artists Rights Enforcement Corp.

Sony Corp.

Healthtex Apparel Corp.

Insider (d/b/a Business Insider)

Schott Brothers

TuneSat

IAC Interactive

Freeplay Music

Work highlights

  • Advised Blackheart Records in a copyright ownership dispute with merchandising company Epic Rights.
  • Advised RG2 on general copyright and trademark issues surrounding its ‘Psychobunny’ brand.
  • Acted for TGG Direct in an IP ownership dispute arising from a joint venture.

Katten

Katten's copyrights team has core strengths in software and entertainment-related disputes. A key figure in the group is IP practice founder Floyd Mandell in Chicago, who has extensive trial experience and is particularly strong in software-related disputes. Zia Modabber is a name to note for work in the entertainment industry, as is Joel Weiner in Los Angeles, who acts for clients such as NBCUniversal and Sony Pictures Entertainment. Also recommended are Chicago-based Brian Sodikoff and Terence Ross in DC, both of whom have expertise in technology-related disputes, especially cases concerning software code.

Practice head(s):

Floyd Mandell 

Other key lawyers:

Zia Modabber; Joel Weiner; Brian Sodikoff; Terence Ross; Roger Furey

Key clients

Juniper Networks

BTI Systems

Toys “R” Us

Sony Pictures Entertainment

Work highlights

  • Acted for Sony Entertainment in a dispute concerning Will Smith’s 12 O’Clock Boys which allegedly infringed upon the copyright and trademarks of a Baltimore bike gang of the same name.
  • Advised Toys “R” Us on a dispute against Toys Delaware concerning the ownership of software source code.
  • Defended Juniper Networks and BTI Systems against allegations of copyright infringement concerning software source code.

Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP

Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP has a strong presence in Los Angeles, where it routinely advises on general enforcement and protection matters, but is also involved in high-stakes litigation. Michelle Cooke leads the practice and regularly advises Public Media Group of Southern California on all of its enforcement and protection issues. The 'superbRobert Jacobs is the 'go-to' name on the litigation front; he recently  represented Kendrick Lamar and Universal Music Group in a case brought by painter Lina Iris Viktor concerning the use of her painting in the music video for "All the Stars".

Practice head(s):

Michelle Cooke

Other key lawyers:

Robert Jacobs

Testimonials

‘Mr. Robert Jacobs is a superb team leader and tremendous resource allocator. Accordingly, he is able to field the unorthodox inquiries, get to the heart of an issue and get to work.’

‘Mr. Jacobs’ team would follow him off a cliff and works tirelessly to ensure that clients are comfortable, well informed and well prepared. This practice group does not over lawyer and under-perform.’

‘They are results-oriented and second to none. Robert has created a “first port of call” for this client!’

‘Robert Jacobs is simply my “go to” counsel . His team of Prana and Maura are experts in their fields and always results-oriented. Prana and Maura get to know a client and that client’s pressure points, pet peeves and vision. It is not one size fits all; It is a client-based practice.’

Key clients

Kendrick Lamar

Universal Music Group

EMI April Music

Tracy Chapman

Sony/ATV Music Publishing

Fall Out Boy

Public Media Group of Southern California

Yoobi Trading Corporation

Marshmello

BMG Rights Management

Warner Music Group

Work highlights

  • Defending American DJ Marshmello, UK producer Steve Mac, recording artist Bastille, Universal Music Group, Kobalt Music, and others against copyright infringement claims filed by Russian DJ Arty who claims his hit song “Happier” was infringed by the clients.
  • Defended Will.I.Am and his companies, as well as BMG Rights Management, against a copyright infringement lawsuit targeting Justin Timberlake’s song “Damn Girl”.
  • Acted for Tracy Chapman against the well-known rapper Nicki Minaj based on Minaj’s unauthorized use of Chapman’s musical composition “Baby Can I Hold You” in Minaj’s recording (featuring Nas) “Sorry”.
  • Represented Tams-Witmark in litigating and favorably settling a suit against the playwright and company behind the Broadway production of the musical Anastasia.
  • Defending Fall Out Boy and multiple recording companies in a copyright suit based on allegedly unauthorized uses of wearable puppets.

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP's copyright group is led by DC-based litigator Kevin Fee and John Polito in the San Francisco office. Among the team's recent highlights, Fee is representing the American Society for Testing and Materials in a claim against Public Resource, which published the client's copyrighted material and argued that such use does not constitute infringement since the copyrighted content is public, government standards and law. On the West Coast, Polito defended the Nationwide Insurance Company of America in a copyright infringement claim brought by software developer Mark Bradford in relation to the company's use of his software. Carla Oakley is another contact in the San Francisco office.

Practice head(s):

Kevin Fee; John Polito

Other key lawyers:

Carla Oakley

Key clients

American Society for Testing and Materials

ASTM International

Eileen Grays

International Code Council

Nationwide Insurance Company of America

Oracle America and Oracle International Corporation

Work highlights

  • Advising on a precedent-setting case for the American Society for Testing and Materials against Public Resource, which published the client’s copyrighted material, arguing that the client’s material is not protected because its contents are government standards and law.
  • Defended the Nationwide Insurance Company of America in a copyright infringement claim brought by software developer Mark Bradford in relation to the company’s use of his software.
  • Successfully represented Eileen Grays in an administrative appeal at the US Copyright Office to obtain a copyright registration protecting the artistic features of a fan/light fixture.
  • Represented a subsidiary of the International Code Council (ICC) in a copyright infringement case against one of its chief competitors, the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officers (IAPMO) which allegedly infringed upon the client’s evaluation reports.
  • Advising Oracle on general copyright prosecution, general copyright advice, and copyright litigation matters.

O'Melveny & Myers LLP

O'Melveny & Myers LLP has an enviable client roster which includes big names such as Hulu and Google. Daniel Petrocelli is an important name in entertainment litigation, acting for household names such as The Walt Disney Company. Petrocelli achieved a recent success for Disney at the Ninth Circuit, concerning copyright infringement claims brought by Esplanade Productions in relation to one of Disney's feature films. Another key figure in the team is David Eberhart, who is particularly skilled in software-related disputes.

Other key lawyers:

Daniel Petrocelli; David Eberhart

Key clients

Advanced Micro Devices

Amgen

Artifex Software

AstraZeneca

Google

Hulu

Micron Technology

Samsung Electronics Co.

The Walt Disney Company

Twentieth Century Fox

Work highlights

  • Acted for Elasticsearch in an infringement claim against Floragunn.
  • Defended 20th Century Fox against allegations of copyright infringement brought by a screenwriter who wrote a series baring similarities to the hit TV series Empire.
  • Defended Walt Disney against copyright infringement claims brought by Hollywood screenwriter Gary Goldman who allegedly submitted a screenplay several years ago which bares similarities to a recent feature film.
  • Defending 24/7 Customer, in three consolidated cases involving claims of patent infringement, trade secret misappropriation, and alleged copyright violations arising out of the client allegedly improperly interacting with LivePerson’s back-end computer systems.
  • Advising Disney, whose program “The Last Days of Michael Jackson”, allegedly used various copyrighted works purportedly owned by the Estate of Michael Jackson.

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP is especially well known for its expertise in the area of music copyrights, where it has recently handled disputes for clients such as the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, and the National Music Publishers’ Association. A name to note in the practice group is Lynn Bayard, who stands out in particular for her experience in the media, sports, fashion and entertainment sectors. Also recommended is Jay Cohen, who has experience of music licensing and digital rights.

Practice head(s):

Jay Cohen; Lynn Bayard

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Gordon

Key clients

ASCAP

Michael Kors

Becton, Dickinson and Company

National Music Publishers’ Association

Capri Holdings

SAP

Genius Media Group

Work highlights

  • Represented The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers and the National Music Publishers’ Association in a dispute against songwriter Shane McAnally concerning royalty payments.
  • Acted for the National Music Publishers’ Association in a dispute against the fitness media company Peloton, whose fitness video infringed upon works of many of the client’s members.
  • Acted for Versace in a claim against fashion website Fashion Nova whose clothes infringe upon the client’s designs.
  • Defending SAP in an action brought by business analytics provider Teradata alleging that SAP’s flagship product, HANA, misappropriated trade secrets and infringed copyrights and violated the Sherman Antitrust Act.
  • Acting for ASCAP in matters relating to the The Music Modernization Act.

Williams & Connolly LLP

Williams & Connolly LLP's litigation group was recently strengthened by the arrival of Lisa Blatt from Arnold & Porter. Chair of the firm's Supreme Court and appellate practice, Blatt is a respected name at the Supreme Court, where she recently acted for the photographer Lynn Goldsmith in relation to a photo of Prince that Goldstein took, which was used for an illustration by Andy Warhol without proper authorization. The practice group is led by Thomas Hentoff, whose recent highlights include representing Fox, Disney, NBC and CBS in a lawsuit against Locast, which streams TV stations. What may be the team's most impressive case this year, however, was led by Nicholas Boyle, who recently achieved a $500m judgement for real estate information company CoStar in its case against competitor Xceligent concerning its mass infringement of photographs and data. The case involved major infringements in India and the Philippines, and Boyle was thus especially well placed to handle the matter, given his focus on disputes with cross-border elements.

Practice head(s):

Thomas Hentoff

Other key lawyers:

Nicholas Boyle; Lisa Blatt

Key clients

CoStar Group

The Walt Disney Company

NBCUniversal

CBS Broadcasting

Fox Broadcasting Company

Universal Instruments Corp.

Recording Industry Association of America

Work highlights

  • Representing the Recording Industry Association of America in a copyright lawsuit against the operators of the now defunct Megaupload website and service
  • Advised the photographer Lynn Goldsmith against the Andy Warhol Foundation in a case concerning a painting of the singer Prince which was inspired by the client’s photograph of the singer.

Arent Fox LLP

Media and retail copyright are the two main areas of focus for the team at Arent Fox LLP, which is considered by clients to be 'a real partner'. Practice head Anthony Lupo is 'exceptionally well-connected' in the media space, where he advises clients such as Discovery Communications on copyright issues surrounding its portfolio of television stations. Lupo is also heavily involved in matters relating to the fashion industry, having advised a number of designer brands on various copyright matters.

Practice head(s):

Anthony Lupo

Other key lawyers:

Ross Panko

Testimonials

Excellent Management of the cases, a real partner to the client where delivery is always on time.

Anthony Lupo and Ross Panko are exceptionally well connected and have a excellent IP-Knowledge, Good availability.

Key clients

Discovery

Spectrum Brands

Work highlights

  • Oversees Discovery’s international and domestic copyright portfolio.
  • Advises Spectrum Brands on copyright issues surrounding its auto care brands.

Davis & Gilbert LLP

Davis & Gilbert LLP's New York-based practice group stands out for its work in  the areas of fashion and advertising. Sara Edelman is a key figure in the team; she has core strengths in advertising and jewelry-related work. Advertising is also a focus area for Guy Cohen, who has recently been involved in disputes involving sound recordings and clothing designs. Also recommended are Marc Rachman and Ashima Dayal, both of whom have experience of font licensing agreements. Rachman is also a name to note for issues involving copyright trolls.

Testimonials

‘The attorneys at David & Gilbert are extremely knowledgeable in the field of Copyright and IP. ‘

‘Their feedback and advice is precise and straightforward. Marc Rachman has assisted with settling several copyright troll cases in an expedient and efficient manner. ‘

‘Ashima Dayal is more than a trusted advisor, she is a true creative partner. She has never met a problem she can’t solve. She routinely offers suggestions that result in a much better creative product.’

Key clients

Sony Computer Entertainment

Laird + Partners

Take-Two Interactive Software

RZO

The Dr. Oz Show

WNET

VEVO

VIZIO

GrubHub Seamless

McKinney Ventures

500 Degrees

Brainjolt

Practising Law Institute

Montel Williams Enterprises

Saratoga Films

Tropic of C

Jinno International Company

Work highlights

  • Defended the fabric manufacturer Jinno Korea against copyright infringement claims brought but the separately owned entity Jinno USA.
  • Advised jewelry designer Roxanne Assoulin on registering its designs.
  • Advised various clients on font licensing agreements.
  • Represented AT&T in a lawsuit brought by a well-known tattoo artist who alleged false endorsement and right-of-publicity violations arising out of defendants’ alleged use of a look-alike in an advert.

Durie Tangri LLP

Based in San Francisco, Durie Tangri LLP is an established name for digital copyright disputes and has acted for a number of global technology companies. Founding partner Daralyn Durie is an experienced trial lawyer in this space, as is Joseph Gratz, who has a particular focus on copyrights relating to computer code.

Fross Zelnick Lehrman & Zissu, P.C.

Key contacts at Fross Zelnick Lehrman & Zissu, P.C. include senior counsel Roger Zissu, who has handled matters involving protected works of literature, film and TV, and experienced litigators David Donahue and Laura Popp-Rosenberg. The team is based in New York.

Latham & Watkins LLP

The copyright team at Latham & Watkins LLP is composed of 'highly intelligent, skilled advocates', whom clients recognize as 'valued counselors', especially in music copyright litigation. Joint practice heads Andrew Gass and Joe Wetzel are based in the firm's San Francisco office. Gass has a track record of acting for household names such as Apple and iHeartMedia, whereas Wetzel - a recent arrival from King & Spalding LLP - counts Pandora among his key clients. Also recommended is Sy Damle in Washington DC, who previously worked as general counsel for the US Copyright Office.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Gass; Joe Wetzel

Other key lawyers:

Sy Damle

Testimonials

‘They are careful advisers in assessing litigation but equally adept in policy discussions and the regulatory process. ‘

‘They understand the fine details of copyright law, but they also understand the needs of their clients. They are highly intelligent, skilled advocates, incredibly responsive, and valued counselors.’

‘Highly energetic and engaged team. Aggressive, willing to make strong recommendations. High focus on details.’

‘Andrew Gass is concise, bright, inventive and most of all understands that he is not the client.’

Key clients

Pandora Media

Radio Music License Committee

Live Nation

Apple

National Association of Broadcasters

Spotify

Digital Licensee Coordinator

Digital Media Association

Ralph Oman

iHeartMedia

Work highlights

  • Advised Pandora in a royalties payment dispute with the band ‘The Turtles’, among others, concerning pre 1972 recordings, which are not covered by federal law.
  • Represented the National Association of Broadcasters, a trade group representing radio broadcasters, in litigation before the Copyright Royalty Board, that will set the rates that internet radio stations will pay for a license to stream music to their listeners.
  • Represents Apple in a copyright infringement suit against a company called Corellium, which is in the business of offering perfect digital replicas of the operating system that runs Apple’s mobile devices.
  • Advised Live Nation on an ongoing rate-setting proceeding brought by BMI against the North American Concert Promoters Association, a trade group for major live music promoters.
  • Represented a trade organization called Digital Licensee Coordinator in litigation before the Copyright Royalty Board related to the implementation of the Music Modernization Act.