Copyright Litigation

Copyright protection, enforcement, and defense requires a vigilant partner capable of navigating new technologies and an ever-changing legal landscape. Serving clients from multiple industries and across a multitude of applications, our copyright attorneys guide clients through the intricate legal and business environments that affect copyright holders and those accused of violating another’s copyrights. We analyze, assess, and litigate complex copyright and related disputes, and our experience includes representations on both sides of the courtroom. We also counsel clients on copyright matters, and our knowledge of the copyright issues that matter most to judges and juries lends a unique perspective to the advice we give. Working for clients like ASCAP, Best Buy, entertainers, artists, and others, we focus on protecting our clients’ rights and business interests and preventing problems before they arise. We recognize the assets creative expressions represent and seek equally creative solutions to help clients maintain brand advantage and reach business goals.
 
Experience
 
Our copyright lawyers litigate in court and alternative-dispute forums, including arbitrations and international arbitrations. We have also:
 
  • Negotiated, drafted, and reviewed copyright licenses and agreements
  • Counseled clients on termination rights
  • Advised clients on the applicability of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act
  • Counseled and protected new technology, creative-content rights, and rights registration
  • Frequently published on hot topics in copyright law and given talks at bar-association and industry events
  • Testified in front of the U.S. Copyright Office on issues of policy and legislation
  • Participated in national and international copyright conferences sponsored by WIPO, the Copyright Society of the USA, the Association Littéraire et Artistique Internationale, and others

Our copyright attorneys also hold leadership positions within various IP organizations focused on copyright, including, currently:

  • Columbia Law School Intellectual Property Faculty (Lecturer in Law)
  • University of Southern California Intellectual Property Institute (Executive and Planning Committee Member)
  • The Copyright Society of the USA (Advisory Board Member)
  • Intellectual Property Owners Association, Copyright Law and Practice Committee (Vice-Chair)

Clients and Industries

Our experience spans many industries, including:

  • Advertising
  • Fashion
  • Music
  • Retail
  • Software
  • Theatre, Film, and Television
  • Video Game and Gaming
  • Visual Arts
  • Writing and Publishing

Examples of the clients we represent include:

  • American Society of Composers, Authors & Publishers (ASCAP)
  • American Society of Journalists & Authors (ASJA)
  • Best Buy
  • Commercial Production companies
  • Forever 21
  • The Ray Charles Foundation
  • ZyXEL Communications
  • Various Writers, Directors, Artists, Musicians and Actors

Selected Case Results*

  • Sid Bernstein Presents, LLC v. Apple Corps Ltd., et al., 16-cv-7084 (S.D.N.Y.): Represented Apple Corps Limited (The Beatles) in obtaining dismissal of numerous claims under the Copyright Act alleging authorship and ownership of the film of The Beatles’ historic concert at Shea Stadium.  The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York dismissed the action in its entirety on contract law, copyright law, and statute of limitations grounds after attorneys briefed and argued the motion to dismiss.

  • Simmons v. Stanberry: Successfully represented Curtis Jackson, aka 50 Cent, in defense of a copyright case related to his 2007 hit "I Get Money."

  • American Society of Composers, Authors & Publishers (ASCAP): Counsel for ASCAP on license rates for public performance of music over the Internet and wireless devices against Apple, AT&T Wireless, Clear Channel, CBS Radio, Ericsson Wireless, Microsoft, MobiTV, and Verizon Wireless. Obtained ruling that use of previews by wireless carriers to sell ringtones and ringback tones was not a fair use under copyright law. 

  • Software Freedom Conservancy v. Best Buy, ZyXEL Communications et al.: Represented Best Buy and ZyXEL Communications in copyright-infringement action relating to multiple versions of open-source software; cases both settled on favorable terms.

  • Identity Arts v. Best Buy; Gee Jeffery & Partners v. AMC, Best Buy & Sprint:  Prevailed for Best Buy and AMC in action alleging copyright infringement based on movie trailer encouraging movie patrons to turn off their cell phones. The court awarded Best Buy fees and costs in the amount of $108,245.

  • Speciale v. Richardson: Represented playwright in defense of a copyright dispute concerning rights in a play based on historical incidents; successfully settled while motion to dismiss was pending.

  • American Society of Journalists & Authors (ASJA): Counsel for AmericanSociety of Journalists & Authors in multiple actions relating to the copyright and fair-use issues of “Google Books” project, including the filing of amicus briefs in The Author’s Guild v. Google and The Author’s Guild v. Hathitrust.

  • Price v. Atlantic Records, Kane Beatz, et al.: Represented composer and producer of hit record Bottoms Up in connection with copyright and breach-of-contract claims from composer.

  • Represent fashion industry members in the defense and prosecution of copyright infringement actions related to fashion designs.

  • Represent a Japanese clock manufacturer in copyright litigation and licensing negotiations with various music publishers concerning IC chips in clocks; litigation settled and license negotiations are ongoing.

  • Represented a visual artist against a major cable television network in connection with use of artist’s work without permission in reality television show.

  • Defended a television company in a copyright-infringement action brought against it by a major television network.

  • Represented an advertising agency in a copyright-infringement action brought against it by an illustrator.

* Past results are reported to provide the reader with an indication of the type of litigation we practice. They do not and should not be construed to create an expectation of result in any other case, as all cases are dependent upon their own unique fact situation and applicable law.

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