Firms To Watch: Copyright

New York-based firm Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz PC maintains a strong bi-coastal presence to safeguard and manage the global copyrights of creators and corporates in publishing, sports, and entertainment.
The team at boutique Washington, DC-centered firm Oppenheim + Zebrak Law, LLP utilizes the experience of its team handle high-value copyright litigation to safeguard the rights of clients in the recording and publishing industries.

Copyright in United States

Cowan, Liebowitz & Latman, PC

The powerhouse team at boutique New York firm Cowan, Liebowitz & Latman, PC remains a market leader, representing major multinational clients involved in high-value copyright prosecution and litigation across a broad span of industries. The practice is headed by Jonathan King, who manages complex disputes involving clients in the music and music publishing sectors with clients including Warner Music Group, Universal Music Group, and Capitol Records, along with Thomas Kjellberg and Richard Mandel. Richard Dannay brings expertise to advising major book publishing clients such as Penguin Random House, navigating issues concerning fair use. Eric Shimanoff brings a long track record of experience acting at the state and federal levels, and in proceedings before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board and UDRP panels, on behalf of clients in the cosmetics, fashion, financial services, food and entertainment industries.

Practice head(s):

Jonathan King

Key clients

Universal Music Group

J. Crew Group, Inc.

The Promotion in Motion Companies, Inc.

Sotheby’s

The First Church of Christ, Scientist

Trebco Specialty Products (WUBBANUB)

Penguin Random House LLC

Dover Publications Inc.

McGraw Hill Education

Practising Law Institute

Norman Rockwell Family Agency

Eli Lilly

Rosen Publishing Group Inc.

Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co., Inc.

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company

Sexy Back Bra, LLC

The Forward Fund, Inc.

Ruth’s Hospitality Group, Inc.

Hanky Panky Ltd

Universal Music Group

J. Crew Group, Inc.

The Promotion in Motion Companies, Inc.

Sotheby’s

The First Church of Christ, Scientist

Trebco Specialty Products (WUBBANUB)

Penguin Random House LLC

Dover Publications Inc.

McGraw Hill Education

Practising Law Institute

Norman Rockwell Family Agency

Eli Lilly

Rosen Publishing Group Inc.

Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co., Inc.

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company

Sexy Back Bra, LLC

The Forward Fund, Inc.

Ruth’s Hospitality Group, Inc.

Hanky Panky Ltd

Work highlights

  • Representing UMG Recordings, Inc. against a class action in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York, alleging that the the defendants have routinely and systematically refused to recognize termination notices served under US copyright law.
  • Represented the holder of the intellectual property rights for all works used by Jehovah’s Witnesses in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York, resulting in the defendant’s withdrawal of an unauthorized recording from the marketplace.
  • Represented UMG Recordings, Inc. in the obtainment of a dismissal for failure to name the recording artist named Melii as a party in a case in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York, where the plaintiff sought a declaration that they were entitled to Melii’s exclusive recording services and damages for the client’s release of her recordings.

Jenner & Block LLP

Leveraging the bench strength of offices in Chicago, London, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Washington, DC, the copyright group at Jenner & Block LLP continues to be a leader in the practice area, representing household names in media and entertainment, education, tech and video games. The practice is headed in New York by veteran entertainment litigator Andrew Bart, whose clients include Jay-Z and Chance the Rapper, and Alison Stein, who manages complex infringement disputes for key market players such as Facebook/Meta, Nielsen and Endeavor, along with David Singer in Los Angeles, who acts for television networks, motion picture studios, news media and tech companies. At the New York office, Susan Kohlmann brings litigation experience at the Supreme Court level to media matters for such clients as ViacomCBS. Jacob Tracer was promoted to partner in January 2022.

Other key lawyers:

Susan Kohlmann; Jacob Tracer

Testimonials

‘Jenner is my go-to counsel on copyright. They represent the industry in rate proceedings and I have observed their work vs. the work of their peers on similar proceedings. I would choose Jenner virtually every time.’

Key clients

Universal Music Group (UMG Recordings, Inc.)

Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA)

Fox Corporation

Sony Music Entertainment

Disney

NBCUniversal (incl. Universal Studios)

ViacomCBS

Motion Picture Association (MPA)

Las Vegas Review-Journal

Warner Bros. Entertainment

Warner Music Group

Nintendo of America

Chancelor Bennett (Chance the Rapper)

Estate of Elaine Steinbeck

Nielsen

Princeton University

Facebook (Meta)

Paramount Pictures

MGM

Endeavor

News Corp (subsidiary Move, Inc.)

National Association of Realtors

StudioCanal SAS

MRC Studios

Work highlights

  • Represented Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and member companies Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group and Warner Music Group in a case against Spinrilla, a hip-hop mixtape service that distributed unauthorized copies of member labels’ copyrighted sound recordings.
  • Represented a non-profit rights collective successfully in a rate-setting proceeding before the US Copyright Royalty Board; as a result, record companies, and musicians will earn many hundreds of millions of dollars more from streaming royalty revenues between 2021 and 2025.
  • Representing Disney (Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation), et al, against a copyright infringement claim alleging that the Cookie Lyon character in Empire infringed upon the portrayal of the plaintiff in her self-published autobiography.

King & Spalding LLP

The trial and global disputes group at global law firm King & Spalding LLP continues to be a dominant force in the practice area, coordinating with 23 locations across the US, Europe, the Middle East and Asia to represent major household names in media and entertainment and tech such Netflix, Amazon, Disney, Zoom, Google and Warner Media in high-stakes litigation. Kenneth Steinthal in San Francisco heads the team, bringing deep trial experience and expertise on IP rights and licensing for multinationals engaged in audio-visual media content distribution. Global IP practice founding member Bruce Baber in New York office achieved a victory for Google in April 2021 in the long-running Google v Oracle case, with the Supreme Court clearing the company of infringement related to smartphone software. Austin-based Counsel Jason Blake Cunningham has successfully acted for media and tech clients like Amazon and The Orchard in complex infringement suits brought by the heirs of deceased songwriters.

Practice head(s):

Kenneth Steinthal

Testimonials

‘Kenneth Steinthal is the best in the business.’

Key clients

Google/YouTube

Amazon

National Public Radio (NPR), Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) and Corporation for Public Broadcasting

Zoom Video Communications, Inc.

Viacom/CBS

Netflix

ByteDance/TikTok

Peloton

Amazon (including subsidiary Twitch)

The Orchard (Sony Music subsidiary)

Warner Media (including HBO, Turner, and Warner Bros.)

Mood Media/Muzak

Disney/ESPN

A&E Television Networks

AMC Networks

BBC

Bloomberg TV and Radio

Cumulus Media

Discovery Communications / Scripps Networks

DISH

Audacy (formerly known as Entercom and including CBS Radio)

Fox Cable

Work highlights

  • Represented Google in Google v. Oracle since 2010, including before the U.S. Supreme Court, which recently cleared Google of wrongdoing in a multibillion-dollar copyright lawsuit filed by Oracle over smartphone software.
  • Represented Amazon in a series of five copyright infringement suits brought in the Southern District of New York and Western District of Washington claiming that Amazon sold digital downloads of tracks through its online music store that contained musical compositions that had not been properly licensed
  • Represent Google/YouTube— at trial, on appeal and now in remand proceedings after a successful appeal of the issues Google sought for review — in the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) litigation known as “Phonorecords III” to determine the structure and rates for “mechanical” reproduction rights in musical compositions associated with the streaming activities of digital music services.

Kirkland & Ellis LLP

With integrated expertise across the US, Europe and Asia, the team at Kirkland & Ellis LLP remains a leader in the copyright space, representing major multinationals such as Epic Games, Oracle, and Take-Two Interactive in high-profile litigations spanning the entertainment, fashion, video games, software and tech sectors. In New York, respected IP authority Dale Cendali, who represented Oracle in the Supreme Court and throughout the long-running Google v Oracle case, heads the practice, bringing deep experience to disputes involving motion picture studios and major celebrities. Claudia Ray handles copyright rate-setting litigation on behalf of clients in music and publishing in New York, while Joshua Simmons provides key support to Cendali on tech and software matters.

Practice head(s):

Dale Cendali

Other key lawyers:

Claudia Ray; Joshua Simmons

Key clients

Association of American Publishers

Ascena Retail Group, Inc.

Astronics Corp.

Association of American Publishers

Epic Games, Inc.

Oracle Corporation

Take-Two Interactive Software Inc.

Thomson Reuters

Alcon Vision

LivePerson

Motorola Solutions

Loeb & Loeb LLP

The intellectual property group at Loeb & Loeb LLP maintains a strong market position, marshalling the bench strength of locations across the US as well as in Asia to represent household names such as Sony, Netflix, Universal and Ford in high-profile copyright disputes. The team is led by fashion and luxury brand sector expert Melanie Howard in Los Angeles, and in New York by Barry Slotnick, whose music and entertainment clients have included such artists and creators as the Beastie Boys, David Guetta, and the J.R.R. Tolkien Estate. David Grossman in Los Angeles is a go-to for major clients in the motion picture industry and is currently defending Paramount Pictures against the Truman Capote Estate over the rights to the film “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”. Jonathan Zavin brings extensive experience representing key recording and publishing clients to the New York office, where Wook Hwang also handles entertainment and automotive industry claims and senior counsel Sarah Schacter provides expertise in litigating music infringement cases at the federal and state levels.

Practice head(s):

Melanie Howard; Barry Slotnick

Testimonials

‘Dave Grossman knows copyright. He is an efficient and skilled litigator, whom I go to for defense of challenging copyright lawsuits.’

Key clients

Paramount Pictures

Universal

NBCUniversal, actor Garry Oldman, and Working Title

Netflix

Bravo, Truly Original and Ryan Seacrest Productions

Morgan Creek Productions

Master Licensing

Sony Music Publishing (US) LLC

Sony Music Entertainment

Warner/Chappell Music Publishing, SonyATV Music Publishing, PeerMusic, Spirit Music Group, Concord Music Publishing, ABKCO Music

Reservoir Media Management, Inc., Atlantic Recording Corporation, Elektra Entertainment Group, Inc., Warner Music Inc., and Warner Music Group Corp.

Ford Motor Company

ViacomCBS and BET

Ford Motor Company

ViacomCBS and BET

Work highlights

  • Representing Paramount Pictures against the Estate of Truman Capote in a lawsuit whereby the Estate is claiming that they own the rights to the Academy Award-winning 1961 film “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”, starring Audrey Hepburn.
  • Represented Ford Motor Company successfully in a copyright infringement lawsuit brought by plaintiff Freeplay Music in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, based on Ford’s alleged use of Freeplay’s music without authorization in online and social media advertisements around the world.
  • Representing Bravo, Truly Original and Ryan Seacrest Productions in connection with a claim asserted by former “America’s Next Top Model” contestant Kiara Belen over her inclusion in an episode of the Bravo television series “Shahs of Sunset”.

Arnold & Porter

Leveraging a strong multinational presence, the intellectual property group at global law firm Arnold & Porter specializes in representing sports leagues, broadcast and cable networks and major motion picture studios, defending their copyrights in high-stakes litigation. The practice is led  by experienced IP litigators Matthew Wolf in Washington DC and Chicago’s Dina Hayes. Safeguarding the property of household names Fox and Disney, Dori Hanswirth brings media and entertainment expertise to the New York office, along with Theresa House, who handles First Amendment issues and represents major clients in television production and tech. In addition to acting on behalf of film industry clients, Rhonda Trotter at the Los Angeles office currently represents consumer credit giant Experian in complex litigation involving such matters as the copyrightability of licensed databases.

Practice head(s):

Matthew Wolf; Dina Hayes

Other key lawyers:

Dori Hanswirth; Theresa House; Rhonda Trotter ; Jennifer Sklenar

Key clients

100Reporters

The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP)

Adobe

David Yurman

Disney

Eire Born Spirits LLC

Experian Companies

Fox

ITV America

Joint Sports Claimants (JSC), a consortium comprised of Major League Baseball, National Football League, National Basketball Association, National Hockey League, Women’s National Basketball Association, and National Collegiate Athletic Association

Major League Baseball

Motion Picture Association

Shortform

The National Women’s Law Center

The Wine Group

Time’s Up Now

Verisign

WR Grace & Co.

Work highlights

  • Represents long-time client Experian, a multinational consumer credit reporting company, in copyright and trademark litigation, prosecution and counseling matters.
  • Representing the Joint Sports Claimants (JSC)—a consortium comprised of Major League Baseball, National Football League, National Basketball Association, National Hockey League, Women’s National Basketball Association, and National Collegiate Athletic Association—at both the trial and appellate level in copyright royalty allocation litigation involving more than $1bn in royalties.
  • Advising ITV America on issues regarding copyright and fair use, defamation and privacy, and news-gathering torts.

Fenwick & West LLP

The team at Fenwick & West LLP employs combined bench strength to represent major tech, software, automotive and video games multinationals involved in high-value copyright litigation. Additionally, it advises on issues of direct infringement, secondary liability, and safe harbors under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. In San Francisco, gaming industry expert Jennifer Stanley, whose clients include Riot Games, heads the team, alongside consumer privacy specialist Laurence Pulgram, while New York's Andrew Bridges also co-heads the team, and represents automotive giant General Motors and online platform companies. Also in San Francisco, David Hayes handles multi-jurisdictional tech litigation.

Other key lawyers:

David Hayes

Key clients

Alteryx

Center for Investigative Reporting

Chegg

Cisco

Cloudflare

The Gearbox Entertainment Company

OSIsoft, LLC

Public.Resource.Org

Riot Games

ServiceNow

Work highlights

  • Represented Cloudflare successfully in a contributory copyright infringement lawsuit by Mon Cheri Bridals and Maggie Sottero Designs.
  • Advising the Riot Games legal team on its commercial contracts matters, including relating to inbound licensing of third-party IP portfolios.
  • Advising clients such as Cisco, Alteryx, and Service Now, on the continually evolving law relating to copyright protection of software application programming interfaces (APIs) and related types of software interfaces and data formats.

Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton

Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP utilizes its global footprint and the bench strength of its team to represent household names such as Facebook/Meta, Viacom and Delta Airlines in high-stakes litigation and provide strategic solutions for the management and expansion of their international copyright portfolios. Additionally, the practice advises on secondary liability, fair use, work-for-hire agreements and database protection. The team is led by Atlanta and New York-based IP dispute expert James Trigg, whose clients span the fashion, textiles, publishing and media sectors, and in Silicon Valley by Joe Petersen, who brings long-standing experience in litigation, arbitration and administrative proceedings. Dennis Wilson in Los Angeles builds international enforcement programs for multinationals in media and tech.

Practice head(s):

James Trigg; Joe Petersen

Other key lawyers:

Dennis Wilson

Testimonials

‘Deep knowledge of copyright law and excellent collaboration with the client.’

‘Excellent communication and responsiveness. I’ve been working with Joe Petersen from Kilpatrick Townsend – he is always on top of things, very efficient and has a deep knowledge of copyright law which is invaluable.’

‘The team is incredibly knowledgeable about all things copyright and the US copyright office, and can quickly answer any question we throw at them.’

‘James Trigg is a great partner to us – helping us to develop our internal copyright practice to allow us to bring more work in-house. This is truly appreciated as he has trained our team to handle the day to day basics of copyright filings, and ensuring we can be most cost-effective in our practice. He is incredibly responsive and always quick to respond.’

Key clients

Facebook, Inc

Viacom

Expedia

Citigroup

Cox Media Group

Interface

Oxford Industries (owner of Lilly Pulitzer and Tommy Bahama brands)

Tory Burch

Snap

Dominion Enterprises

Delta Air Lines

Work highlights

  • Represented Viacom subsidiary Spike Cable Networks in a copyright infringement action relating to infringement of the Yellowstone television series, resulting in permanent injunction and statutory damages.
  • Represented Facebook against claims of copyright infringement relating to alleged unauthorized uses of photography.
  • Represented the estate of noted civil rights leaders in donation of their writings and memorabilia to Morehouse University in Atlanta, Georgia.

Mayer Brown

The US copyright team of global law firm Mayer Brown represents top music, media, entertainment and tech multinationals involved in high-value copyright litigation. The practice is headed by Paul Fakler, who acts on behalf of streaming and broadcast companies and offers deep industry experience experience, music industry specialist Jacob Ebin, who regularly appears before the Copyright Royalty Board and various royalty rate setting venues, and new media dispute expert John Mancini, whose clients include tech majors Google and Spotify. Allison M. Aviki, who advises entertainment and publishing companies was promoted to partner in January 2022. All lawyers mentioned work in the New York office.

Other key lawyers:

Allison M. Aviki

Key clients

Music Choice

SiriusXM Radio / Pandora

Google

Spotify

Orchestra Music Licensing Association

Television Music License Committee

Express VPN

Work highlights

  • Representing Music Choice in a copyright suit brought by SoundExchange, Inc.
  • Represented Google LLC, YouTube LLC and the Television Music License Committee LLC in achieving dismissal of an antitrust complaint.
  • Represented Spotify and other on-demand music streaming services in the appeal of a 2018 Copyright Royalty Board rate decision.

Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP

A destination for video game developers involved in high-stakes copyright litigation, Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP coordinates offices in Los Angeles, New York and Washington DC to represent major multinationals across the entertainment, fashion, tech, sports, media and e-commerce sectors. Karin Pagnanelli, a regular advisor to interactive game franchises and video game companies including Activision, leads the team in Los Angeles, with music industry specialist Christine Lepera, whose clients include solo artists, bands and labels in New York. Marc Mayer acts against creators of cheating-software ‘bots’ on behalf of video game publishers, at the LA office, where Emily Evitt also defends television and film studios (like Netflix) against allegations of infringement. In LA, Russell Frackman also remains a key figure in the representation of music industry clients.

Testimonials

‘Extensive experience representing video game companies in IP litigation matters.’

‘Marc Mayer and Karin Pagnanelli have unparalleled experience representing video game companies in IP litigation cases.’

Key clients

Activision Blizzard

Blizzard Entertainment, Inc.

Ubisoft Entertainment

Netflix

Bungie and Riot Games

The National Basketball Association

Cards Against Humanity

Work highlights

  • Represented Netflix against Prather Jackson and Hollywood Weekly Magazine, who brought a claim for trademark and copyright infringement based on Netflix’s use of “Tiger King” in the hit documentary series Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness.
  • Represented Ubisoft Entertainment, Inc. in Federal Court suit against the owners of an alleged distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) in Europe that allowed users to launch DDoS attacks on the server for Rainbow Six Siege, an online multiplayer game published by Ubisoft.

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP

The copyright practice at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP leverages its national presence and the experience of its team to represent major tech, telecoms and media clients  involved in high-value litigation. Tech sector specialists Sten Jensen in Washington DC and Jared Bobrow in Silicon Valley head the group, which also counsels on issues surrounding the usage of digital content platforms. In San Francisco, Annette Hurst develops complex litigation strategies and currently represents LinkedIn against hiQ in a high-profile case involving website data ‘scraping’. David Hosp in Boston brings experience acting for media and tech companies such as Microsoft and Cablevision in district, appeals and Supreme Court proceedings.

Practice head(s):

Sten Jensen; Jared Bobrow

Other key lawyers:

Annette Hurst; David Hosp

Key clients

LinkedIn Corporation

Oracle America Inc.

Sports Fans Coalition NY, Inc. & David Goodfriend (aka Locast)

Cox Communications

Maplebear Inc. d/b/a Instacart

Unicolors

Work highlights

  • Representing LinkedIn in a copyright litigation against hiQ involving questions around data and website scraping.
  • Representing Unicolors in a case before the U.S. Supreme Court that will settle the copyright issue whether minor, honest mistakes in copyright registration can bar copyright holders from vindicating valuable, exclusive rights under federal copyright law.
  • Representing Cox against the recording industry on appeal of a verdict claiming infringement of over 10,000 songs by subscribers using Cox’s network.

Proskauer Rose LLP

Proskauer Rose LLP represents high-profile clients in music and entertainment involved in complex infringement litigation. The team is currently acting for Miramax in its high-profile copyright and breach of contract claim against director Quentin Tarantino concerning his intention to issue Pulp Fiction NFTs. In New York and Los Angeles, Sandra Crawshaw-Sparks leads the team, and has great experience litigating on behalf of clients in the music recording industry. Senior counsel David Munkittrick in New York represents clients in publishing, medical device, sports, and tech, and has acted for major entertainment figures.

Practice head(s):

Sandra Crawshaw-Sparks

Other key lawyers:

David Munkittrick

Testimonials

‘Proskauer is a household name in this arena. There is a legacy of greats associated with the firm. The current torchbearer is Sandy Crawshaw Sparks. She heads up a division at the top of its game and powerful.’

‘Sandy Crawshaw Sparks is second to none.’

Key clients

The Recording Academy

BMG Rights Management

Young Hollywood LLC

Miramax

Work highlights

  • Representing Miramax in its high-profile copyright and breach of contract claim against director Quentin Tarantino concerning his intention to issue Pulp Fiction NFTs.

Pryor Cashman LLP

Co-ordinating with offices in Los Angeles and Miami, the team at New York-based firm Pryor Cashman LLP advises major names in music and entertainment (brands, artists, celebrities) on the monetization of their copyright assets and safeguards them through infringement litigation. Tom Ferber (who brings over 30 years of experience handling disputes for record labels, producers, performers and film studios) leads the practice with digital music authority Frank Scibilia, who (with Ben Semel) represents the Mechanical Licensing Collective (“MLC”), a nonprofit designated by the US Copyright Office, created to administer mechanical licenses to streaming services and collect royalties for artists and publishers. Ilene Farkas and Donald Zakarin specialize in music infringement claims and are defending Ed Sheeran, Sony/ATV and Atlantic Records in an ongoing matter.All the lawyers mentioned work in the New York office.

Practice head(s):

Frank Scibilia; Tom Ferber

Key clients

Mechanical Licensing Collective (MLC)

National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA)

Muserk

Sony Music, Arista Records, and other plaintiffs

AMC Networks

Universal Polygram International Publishing, E.P.H.C.Y. Publishing, and Stones Throw LLC

Work highlights

  • Representing the Mechanical Licensing Collective for the obtainment of fair compensation of songwriters and music publishers.
  • Represented Sony Music, Arista Records, and other plaintiffs om copyright infringement lawsuit that involved a concerning trend of social influencers who are using copyrighted songs without permission on TikTok and other social media platforms in paid advertisements for Bang Energy, a canned beverage company.
  • Advised Muserk, an AI tech-driven global rights management agency for music and video, on the structure and formation of its joint venture partnership with Video Research, a Japanese marketing and media research company, to reduce piracy of Japanese content worldwide.

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP represents household names involved in high-stakes copyright claims across a broad range of industries. Special counsel and copyright litigation expert Robert Raskopf, whose clients include Vimeo and Bloomberg, heads the team in New York, along with trademark and copyright group practice chair Margret Caruso, a specialist in tech, entertainment, and consumer goods, in Silicon Valley. Michael T. Zeller offers extensive cross-border IP and tech dispute experience in the Los Angeles office, where Robert Schwartz acts for film studios, production companies, broadcast networks and video game developers.

Practice head(s):

Robert Raskopf; Margret Caruso

Key clients

Bloomberg, L.P. and Bloomberg Finance, L.P.

Vimeo, Inc. (a subsidiary of IAC/InterActiveCorp)

Spotify USA Inc.

Proofpoint

Charter Communications, Inc.

Big Run Studios/Skillz Platform

NetEase

Zuru

BabyBus (Fujian) Network Technology Co., Ltd.

Multi Media, LLC and Sonesta Technologies, Inc.

Work highlights

  • Representing Vimeo, a video-hosting website, in a long-running copyright infringement action brought by record companies and music publishers concerning user-uploaded videos allegedly containing infringing music.
  • Representing Spotify in a copyright infringement action brought by music publishers asserting the rights to 242 musical compositions in Eminem’s early recording catalog.
  • Representing Charter Communications, Inc. in three separate actions (two in Colorado and one in Florida) brought by major record companies and music publishers who seek to hold ISPs secondarily liable for copyright infringement based on subscribers’ alleged use of peer-to-peer services to share music files.

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP advises and litigates on behalf of major social media platforms, digital music streamers, book publishers and e-commerce companies, on a comprehensive range of copyright issues, including secondary liability, DMCA compliance, and infringement and licensing disputes. The team is led in New York by Benjamin Marks, who specializes in music copyright royalty cases and currently represents music streamer Pandora before the Copyright Royalty Board in a multi-billion-dollar dispute. Randi Singer works in New York and Silicon Valley, acting for publishing, social media and e-commerce, including giants Facebook/Meta and eBay, in complex infringement matters. Todd Larson offers music licensing expertise in the New York office.

Practice head(s):

Benjamin Marks

Other key lawyers:

Randi Singer; Todd Larson

Testimonials

‘Weil has deep knowledge of copyright and other IP matters relevant to the tech/internet industries. They are second-to-none in their substantive expertise, and they have a keen understanding of the client’s business.’

‘Randi Singer successfully combines deep substantive knowledge with strong business acumen and practical instincts. She is extremely well-rounded in her experience — able to weigh in on all manner of IP issues and to bring to bear her years of practice with tech/internet clients.’

‘Weil’s team draws on deep subject matter expertise and extensive experience to provide insightful and practical counsel on a range of intellectual property issues. Their litigators are outstanding in all respects – strategic, efficient, creative, and highly effective. They focus on the details and keep their eyes on the big picture. Weil’s team understands business issues and works collaboratively with clients to achieve excellent results.’

‘Benjamin Marks stands out for his expertise in intellectual property, broad experience, thoughtful approach, and outstanding litigation skills.’

Key clients

Getty Images

Sirius XM Radio

Pandora Media

Alibaba Group

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Facebook/Meta (including subsidiaries Instagram, WhatsApp, and Oculus)

eBay

Old Market Group Holdings Corp. (f/k/a Fairway Group Holdings Corp.)

North American Concert Promoters Association

Association of American Publishers

Twitter

Spotify

Hearst Communications

Mood Media

Entercom Communications

American Folk Art Museum

Work highlights

  • Represented Getty Images in an over $3bn copyright infringement action alleging Getty Images had unlawfully copied, displayed and intentionally altered the photographer credit information for more than 47,000 photographs.
  • Represented Pandora and Sirius XM in the Web V Copyright Royalty Board proceedings against the recorded music industry to determine statutory royalty rates to be paid by non-interactive webcasters.
  • Represented Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in a trademark infringement, copyright ownership, and contract royalty dispute with Vanderbilt University, which resolved favourably on the eve of trial.

Winston & Strawn LLP

With a global presence, Winston & Strawn LLP remains a destination firm for major entertainment and digital media companies, and household names such as Hasbro and Pepsi in the tech, financial services and food and beverages sectors involved in high-value copyright disputes. The practice is headed by Michael Elkin in New York, an authority in litigation involving motion picture, television, and music properties, tech and software matter expert David Enzminger in Los Angeles, and Jennifer Golinveaux in San Francisco, who defends internet service providers against secondary liability claims for infringement brought by their subscribers. Erin Ranahan in LA advises music and film copyright holders on infringement matters and the safe harbor provisions of the DMCA. IP licensing specialist Stephen Kong arrived at the LA office from Troutman Pepper in April 2021. Tom Lane departed in September 2021.

Other key lawyers:

Erin Ranahan; Stephen Kong

Testimonials

‘The best litigators I have ever worked with over my nearly 45 years in business. Extraordinarily responsive – calls, emails, texts answered very fast. I have a diverse team, men and women. Very aggressive in representing our interests.’

‘We have worked with the team led by Michael Elkin on complex copyright litigation, the details of which break new ground in the social media space. The team has been able to guide us through the complexities of US law. They have also adjusted billing to meet with more “European” ideas of what the rate should be.’

‘Michael Elkin – very calm, thoughtful and considered in his approach.’

Key clients

Charter Communications

Bright House Networks LLC

Cloudflare, Inc.

Cox Communications

Global Eagle Entertainment

Bill Graham Archives (dba Wolfgang’s Vault)

PepsiCo.

Hasbro/Entertainment One

Respirent Pharmaceuticals Co., Ltd

Work highlights

  • Defended Wolfgang’s Vault, which hosts a collection of live music recordings, against a suit from major music publishers over the copyrights to the songs.
  • Represented PepsiCo in a matter where the Second Circuit affirmed the 2019 dismissal of a suit against our client alleging that the company had stolen the concept behind its 2016 Super Bowl ad, “The Joy of Dance.”
  • Represented Cloudflare, Inc., which provides essential security and content-delivery services for the internet, against RICO and copyright infringement claims brought by online model Deniece Waidhofer against Cloudflare, as well as the owners and operators of a website, and several online advertisers.

ArentFox Schiff

With its national presence and ‘in-depth knowledge and expertise’, the music industry copyright specialists at ArentFox Schiff advise major film, digital music, television and radio broadcasters and media companies on licensing, regulatory compliance, anti-piracy and high-stakes litigation. Practice head Anthony Lupo in Washington DC represents household names in fashion, entertainment, and tech. Also in Washington DC, trademark team head and US and Venezuela-qualified litigator Ricardo Fischer brings expertise to advising confectionary and coffee industry clients. In New York, Michelle Mancino Marsh assists major corporates in e-commerce and media with the securing and protection of their global copyrights.

Practice head(s):

Anthony Lupo

Key clients

Discovery, Inc.

Mick Jagger and Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones, together with their music publishing company Promopub B.V.

Estate of William E. “Billy” Preston

Livelihood Music Company

Raynard Miner

Amazon.com, Inc.

Boston Dynamics

Stone Castle Partners, LLC

Encyclopaedia Iranica Foundation

Buzzfeed, Inc.

Safe Harbor Marinas, LLC

Work highlights

  • Represented clients Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, the founders and principal songwriters of the Rolling Stones, by serving notices of termination in respect of the original grants of United States copyright in many of their songs.
  • Advising pay-TV programmer and global media company Discovery on its international and domestic trademark and copyright portfolio, including global branding initiatives for each business unit.
  • Representing Amazon in a copyright litigation pending in the Southern District of New York concerning the rights to distribute such well-known films as Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery and other titles.

BakerHostetler

Baker & Hostetler LLP employs the combined bench strength of its team to provide comprehensive copyright counselling and registration advice to publishers, authors, designers and architects. In addition, the group represents domestic and multinational corporates including J.M. Smucker and Big Lots Stores, in high-value cross-border copyright disputes. The practice is headed by two veteran copyright litigators: firm-wide chair Mark Tidman in Washington, DC and national trademark and copyright team leader Deborah Wilcox in Cleveland, a specialist in the tech, manufacturing, technology, insurance and healthcare sectors. Nancy R. Frandsen offers copyright management and enforcement expertise in the Philadelphia office.

Practice head(s):

Mark Tidman; Deborah Wilcox

Other key lawyers:

Nancy R. Frandsen

Key clients

Cardinal Health, Inc.

Ascena Retail Group, Inc.

LL’s Magnetic Clay, Inc.

Board of Regents for the University System of Georgia

Showa Glove Co.

State of Georgia

Culligan International Company

Big Lots Stores, Inc.

HSN, Inc.

Evenflo Company, Inc.

The J.M. Smucker Company

Showa Glove Co.

The Hanson Group, LLC; Guardian Innovations, LLC

State of Georgia

Culligan International Company

Big Lots Stores, Inc.

CBOE Global Markets

Globefill Incorporated

Davis+Gilbert LLP

'A great firm for day-to-day copyright matters', the New York-based Davis+Gilbert LLP utilizes the experience of its IP and media practice to safeguard the copyrights of household name clients across a diverse range of industries. The team is led by Ronald Urbach, an advertising and marketing specialist representing agencies, media companies, brands and online platforms. Marc J Rachman manages complex copyright disputes involving music, photo, sculptural, pictorial and literary works. Veteran IP litigator Guy R Cohen acts for major corporates in the consumer products, advertising, automotive, entertainment and retail sectors. Content creation and fashion expert Sara Edelman advises on potential copyright liability issues. Ashima Dayal represents creative professionals, book publishers, authors, filmmakers, and designers, and defends their rights surrounding the usage of third-party material.

Practice head(s):

Ronald Urbach

Testimonials

‘D+G is a leader in the advertising and IP fields. I have been extremely pleased with the high-level of attentive service they provide, with speedy turnarounds. The firm’s advertising industry knowledge has been critical for us as well. D+G anticipates our needs and gives us business-savvy solutions, in addition to solid legal advice. In my experience, no other firm has the same level of in-depth knowledge and expertise.’

‘Davis & Gilbert is the best-in-class of copyright practices. The firm has experts in every facet imaginable, and knowledgable contacts for the odd times when a unique situation calls for the experience another subject matter expert. The firm’s commitment to diversity makes them stronger, and gives their clients valuable insights from many perspectives.’

‘Ashima Dayal is the problem solver that you want in your corner. I cannot count the times that Ashima has reviewed our ideas that need legal revisions, and has made them creatively stronger.’

‘Davis & Gilbert provides highly personalized service that may be more challenging to find with a larger firm. The attorneys at D&G are readily available to provide advice and feedback or to get involved with projects like drafting and negotiation and litigation matters where necessary.’

‘I have worked with Marc Rachman, of the the D&G partners, for many years. I find Marc to be extremely responsive and offers very practical advice – not only the black letter law, but with a good sense what is required to weight the risks and balance such risk against real life business needs.’

‘I have never encountered such a talented group of lawyers (Ashima Dayal in particular). They have great industry experience and will take the time to walk through issue or offer solutions that are designed to meet business needs.’

‘D+G is a great firm for day to day copyright matters, and can handle both small and large litigations. They have successfully negotiated satisfactory settlements for nuisance suits, and have a deep understanding of nuanced copyright issues.’

‘I trust Marc Rachman in particular for my copyright (and trademark) litigation matters. He is a rational negotiator and seeks to truly understand the issues facing his clients. He not only handles the matter in front of him, but proactively advises on how to avoid similar claims down the line.’

Key clients

Gordon Ramsay

Hypixel Studios

Little Caesars

ZoCo Productions (The Dr. Oz Show)

Vizio

JM Smuckers

International Cosmetics & Perfumes (The House of Creed)

GrubHub Seamless

ZZ Top

Clean.io

Work highlights

  • Assisting some of the world’s leading fashion brands with critical trademark and copyright issues stemming from key design issues such as pattern selection.
  • Representing a major video game developer in clearing in-game content for various of its video games.
  • Representing a advertising agency client in a music copyright infringement claim brought by a music streaming platform.

Durie Tangri LLP

With offices in Los Angeles and San Francisco and a strong footprint in Silicon Valley, the copyright team at boutique firm Durie Tangri LLP represents major tech, e-commerce and video game companies such as Facebook and Activision in high-stakes infringement litigation. The group is headed in San Francisco by Daralyn Durie, who recently provided a successful defense for Redbubble in an infringement lawsuit brought by Atari, veteran litigator Ragesh K. Tangri, and tech infringement expert Joseph Gratz. In Los Angeles, support is provided by associate Allyson Bennett, who has represented social media companies, television studios and ecommerce platforms.

Other key lawyers:

Allyson Bennett

Testimonials

‘Joe Gratz is one of the best copyright lawyers in America, period.’

‘Very knowledge folks who can work through complicated issues and summarize them clearly and succinctly.’

Key clients

Activision Publishing, Inc., Activision Blizzard, Inc., and Major League Gaming Corp.

Redbubble, Inc.

Facebook, Inc. / Instagram, LLC

The Internet Archive

Facebook, Inc.

ResearchGate

Work highlights

  • Represented Facebook in winning a motion to dismiss with prejudice copyright claims under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s Section 512 safe harbors on the grounds that Facebook acted expeditiously by removing potentially infringing content within five business days.
  • Representing Internet Archive, a public charity and library in a copyright infringement lawsuit initiated by four major American publishing houses.
  • Represented Redbubble, Inc. in a trademark and copyright infringement lawsuit brought by Atari Interactive.

Katten

With a global reach, the intellectual property team at Katten utilizes its deep bench strength to advise on high-profile copyright claims involving household names in entertainment, music, fashion and cosmetics. The team is led in New York by global chair Deepro R. Mukerjee and Karen Artz Ash, a specialist in the fashion sector, representing luxury brand designers, retailers and apparel manufacturers, along with Floyd Mandell, a deeply experienced IP litigator who most recently defended music client Cumulus Media in two class-action suits involving pre-1972 royalties. In Los Angeles, David Halberstadter, who is currently acting for ViacomCBS, and Joel Weiner, whose clients include Will Smith and Sony Pictures, provide expertise on copyright disputes in film and television.

Other key lawyers:

David Halberstadter; Joel Weiner

Key clients

Cumulus Media, Inc.

Sony Pictures Entertainment; Actor/Producer Will Smith; Overbrook Entertainment

Starz Entertainment, CBS Broadcasting, Inc., Sony Pictures Entertainment, Courtney Kemp, Mark Canton

Universal Studios Company, Robert Zemeckis, Bob Gale

ViacomCBS

Work highlights

  • Represented Cumulus Media in two separate putative class-action lawsuits by ABS Entertainment, Inc. that centered on paying royalties when broadcasting songs recorded before 1972 when the federal copyright act took effect.
  • Representing ViacomCBS in a copyright infringement lawsuit filed by a plaintiff who claims that the company infringed upon her written treatment and pilot script for a proposed television series by using her materials for an episode of the CBS television series Bull and as the basis of a not-yet-produced television series based upon the motion picture Clueless.
  • Representing Sony Pictures Entertainment, along with actor/producer Will Smith and his company Overbrook Entertainment, against claims of copyright infringement, trademark infringement and unfair competition relating to Sony’s movie, released in October 2020 on HBO Max under the title Charm City Kings.

Latham & Watkins LLP

With ‘significant experience handling music copyright and platform liability matters’, Latham & Watkins LLP safeguards the copyrights of household names including Spotify and Live Nation, involved in high-stakes litigation. The practice is headed in San Francisco by copyright litigation group leader Andrew Gass, a music rights authority who represents tech companies in high-value federal cases concerning the use of ‘pre-1972’ sound recordings; Joe Wetzel, who assists streaming companies, radio groups and digital media stores with royalties and licensing matters; Washington DC-based Sy Damle, who brings a combined background as a software engineer former General Counsel and Associate Register at the US Copyright Office, and Allison Levine Stillman, who brings expertise to Digital Millennium Copyright Act litigation in New York.

Testimonials

‘Great practice group that is across all the cutting edge issues in digital copyright. Reliable and thoughtful advice. Very practical guidance.’

‘They see the bigger picture, know the context around all the key issues in digital copyright, and know the law inside and out. Sy Damle and Allison Stillman are standouts.’

‘Latham has the preeminent practice group in the industry to handle the most complex copyright matters in society today. Companies operating at the leading edge of technology and culture frequently face issues of first impression with little or no precedent in copyright law. There is no better firm from which to seek counsel when such issues arise.’

‘Andy Gass has built the best team in the business within Latham’s copyright practice, and Andy himself is a consummate copyright expert and an unparalleled counselor. Joe Wetzel is a seasoned copyright litigator capable of handling the most dense and complex of disputes.’

‘The Latham & Watkins team has significant experience handling music copyright and platform liability matters, and has an excellent understanding of market dynamics and what the pressures on online platforms and rights holders are.’

‘Andy Gass is one of the preeminent music copyright lawyers in the United States, and has helped us navigate cutting-edge questions that have significant business dimensions. He and Elana Nightingale Dawson have been able to quickly and efficiently answer our myriad questions, and have been sensitive to the pressures on our company and legal team in particular. Cannot recommend them highly enough.’

Key clients

Spotify

Roblox

Triller

The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc.

Radio Music License Committee

Johnson & Johnson

Digital Licensee Coordinator, Inc.

National Association of Broadcasters

ImDb

Vade Secure

Live Nation

Digital Media Association

Amazon

Internet Association

Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP

Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP utilizes the bench strength of its national network to specialize in representing clients in music and entertainment involved in high-value, high-stakes copyright litigation. The practice ‘s portfolio also spans the consumer products, automotive, health, digital media and education sectors. Michelle Cooke heads the team, assisting major copyright holders with the protection and monetization of their property nationally, abroad and online. Robert Jacobs, who leads the firm’s entertainment litigation practice, acts in high-profile disputes on behalf of music publishers, record labels, film studios and talent agencies. The team is supported by senior associate and branding specialist Jessica A. Wood. All lawyers mentioned work in the Los Angeles office.

Practice head(s):

Michelle Cooke

Other key lawyers:

Robert Jacobs; Jessica A. Wood

Testimonials

‘Top-flight team under Robert Jacobs guidance can be organized and deployed based on the client’s needs. Robert neither over-staffs nor under-staffs. His expertise is second to none.’

‘Robert is an absolute expert is his field. He can call upon real world experience to manage expectations, guide strategy and execute.’

Key clients

Chef Bobo Brand

CliniComp International, Inc.

Credit One Financial

Dick’s Sporting Goods

Eurostar, Inc., d/b/a WSS

LivOn Laboratories, Inc.

Marshmello

Mount Sinai Health System

Passionflix, Inc.

Public Media Group of Southern California

Work highlights

  • Advised Eurostar on all IP due diligence involved in Foot Locker’s $750m acquisition of Eurostar as well as several trademark disputes.
  • Represented Christopher Comstock p/k/a Marshmello as lead defense counsel in a copyright infringement lawsuit.
  • Representing the parent company of two film production companies in a trademark infringment lawsuit.

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP employs global bench strength to provide copyright management services and representation for major corporates across a broad range of industries. The practice is directed in Washington DC by firm-wide leader Karen Butcher and trademark/copyright litigation heads Josh Dalton, a veteran IP lawyer in Boston and Kevin Fee in DC, who represents content providers and retail leaders. In San Francisco, Carla Oakley advises on registration, fair use, and Digital Millennium Copyright Act compliance issues and Sharon R. Smith represents clients in biotech, tech and medical devices, while DC-based associate Rachel Fertig brings government and private sector experience to enforcement matters.

Key clients

American Society for Testing and Materials d/b/a ASTM International

International Code Council (ICC)

Oracle America, Inc. and Oracle International Corporation

Center for Workplace Compliance (“CWC”)

American Society for Testing and Materials d/b/a ASTM International

International Code Council (ICC)

Oracle America, Inc. and Oracle International Corporation

Center for Workplace Compliance (“CWC”)

Work highlights

  • Representing Center for Workplace Compliance in a copyright infringement and Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) case against Littler Mendelson (Littler), one of Littler’s former shareholders, and a current Littler principal.
  • Representing International Code Council in connection with a dispute addressing the intersection of copyright law and California’s version of a Freedom of Information Act.

O'Melveny & Myers LLP

With offices across the US, Europe and Asia, O'Melveny & Myers LLP  represents entertainment household names including 20th Century Studios, Disney, and Warner Bros in copyright litigation at the trial court level and on appeal, leveraging its global reach to act on major international matters. The group, whose client portfolio spans the e-commerce, pharmaceuticals and consumer electronics sectors, also specializes in copyright tech matters involving computer software, microcode and databases. Experienced tech litigator Ryan Yagura in Los Angeles leads the team. David Eberhart handles infringement claims for software developers in San Francisco, where Daniel Petrocelli also  co-ordinates with Molly Lens at the Century City office to handle high-profile matters on behalf of major film studios.

Practice head(s):

Ryan Yagura

Testimonials

‘O’Melveny is our go to firm on major litigation. They offer the best representation available.’

‘Dan Petrocelli is the best advocate that I have ever worked with.’

Key clients

20th Century Fox

Artifex Software, Inc.

Elasticsearch Inc.

Global Music Rights, LLC

Marvel Characters

Searchlight Pictures

Sirius XM Radio

The Walt Disney Company

Warner Bros. Entertainment, Inc.

Work highlights

  • Represented SiriusXM Radio and won a Ninth Circuit appeal, which held in favor of the client.
  • Represented 20th Century Fox in affirming the dismissal of copyright claims against the client relating to its hit television show “Empire.”
  • Represented Disney in securing a summary judgment in a case seeking a portion of the profits involving one of Disney’s animated hit films, which grossed more than $1bn worldwide.

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP

Working closely with teams across North America, Europe, and Asia, the copyright litigators at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP manages major licensing disputes on behalf of clients in media and the music industry as well as online fashion retailers. Lynn Bayard brings litigation expertise to representing clients in the sports, media, entertainment, fashion and cosmetics sectors. Music royalties authority Jay Cohen specializes in the safeguarding of recording artists’ digital rights. All lawyers mentioned work in New York.

Other key lawyers:

Lynn Bayard; Jay Cohen

Williams & Connolly LLP

Washington DC-based Williams & Connolly LLP provides a fully integrated mix of litigation and counselling, providing pre-publication reviews of periodical publications, pre-production reviews of television shows and motion pictures, and representation in complex disputes at the trial and appellate levels. Thomas Hentoff heads the team, bringing experience in complex civil claims, IP disputes, and First Amendment and media law matters, including acting for several major broadcasters. Gerson Zweifach offers expertise from previous service as general counsel to the News Corporation and 20th Century Fox. All lawyers mentioned work in Washington DC.

Practice head(s):

Thomas Hentoff

Other key lawyers:

Gerson Zweifach

Key clients

Lynn Goldsmith

Walt Disney

Recording Industry Association of America

Work highlights

  • Represented photographer Lynn Goldsmith before the Second Circuit challenging the lower court’s decision that the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts had a fair use defense to Ms. Goldsmith’s claim of copyright infringement.
  • Representing the Recording Industry Association of America member record companies in a copyright lawsuit against the operators of the now-defunct Megaupload website and service.