Navigating Your Company Through a World of Big Copyright Damages: An Insider's Look
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In a world where movies, television, music, books, online content and other media comprise the most valuable assets owned by many companies and individuals, the risks and rewards of copyright infringement have never been higher. Large copyright damage awards are making headlines, with songwriters, photographers, and other rights holders winning multimillion dollar judgments against alleged infringers. In many cases the winners also received their attorneys' fees.
The prospect of dealing with copyright claims in this climate raises critical questions for media and technology companies, brands, agencies, producers, authors, publishers, songwriters, insurers and other people and companies that work with copyrighted content. These questions include:
- What mistakes lead to copyright infringement?
- How can you minimize the risk of copyright infringement suits?
- What are the most effective strategies to address a claim for infringement and avoid litigation?
- When should you settle an infringement claim and how much should you pay?
- How can you limit your exposure to damages, profit, statutory and attorneys' fee awards?
Edward H. Rosenthal, Esq.
Edward H. Rosenthal chairs the firm’s Intellectual Property and Litigation Groups. He focuses on intellectual property litigation, emphasizing trademark, copyright, right of publicity, advertising, privacy and publishing matters. His clients include businesses and individuals in the media, advertising, sports, and entertainment fields.
Mr. Rosenthal also has substantial involvement in issues relating to trademark prosecution and enforcement, representing numerous businesses and individuals in protecting and enforcing their intellectual property. He also represents the estates of deceased celebrities, including Humphrey Bogart, and handles licensing work for the estate and other celebrities and companies.
Mr. Rosenthal is currently representing The Authors Guild and a number of other authors' rights associations and individuals in a suit against the HathiTrust arising out of its mass book digitization and orphan works programs. Recently, he defended Fredrik Colting, author of 60 Years Later: Coming Through the Rye, and his U.S. distributor, in a lawsuit brought by J.D. Salinger alleging copyright infringement. Mr. Rosenthal also successfully defended J.K. Rowling and Scholastic Inc., the author and publisher of the Harry Potter books, against claims of copyright and trademark infringement.
Mr. Rosenthal has written and lectured extensively on a wide variety of intellectual property topics. He is a regular presenter to the Practicing Law Institute on the Right of Publicity, and has participated in numerous panels on trademark and copyright law. He was co-editor of Entertainment Law Matters, a blog focused on disputes and developments in the film, television, publishing, theatre, music, art, gaming, and fashion industries. Mr. Rosenthal has also been active in the Copyright Society of the U.S.A. and the International Trademark Association. He serves as co-chair of the Committee on Publicity, Privacy and Media of the New York State Bar Association’s Entertainment and Sports Law Committee and as a member of the Copyright Committee of the New York City Bar.
Prior to joining Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz, Mr. Rosenthal served as a law clerk to Hon. Abraham D. Sofaer in the Southern District of New York and was associated with the New York law firm of Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel. He was Adjunct Professor at Fordham Law School (Legal Writing, 1985-1986; Intellectual Property Drafting, 1996).
Maura J. Wogan, Esq.
Maura J. Wogan is a partner of Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz with over 30 years of experience in all aspects of sophisticated intellectual property law, including litigation, counseling, and pre-publication review of content in all media.
Ms. Wogan focuses on litigation of copyright, trademark, right of publicity, defamation and entertainment matters. Her clients include media companies (both traditional and online publishers), filmmakers, television producers, advertising agencies, writers, illustrators, literary agents and book packagers. She also drafts and negotiates agreements for publishing clients.
Ms. Wogan has litigated many high-profile intellectual property and entertainment cases nationwide. Representative matters include:
- Current representation of Hasbro, Inc. in copyright, trademark and breach of contract claims related to motion picture rights in the Dungeons & Dragons property;
- Represented filmmaker Terrence Malick in litigation over documentary film rights;
- Represented documentary filmmaker Joe Berlinger in the assertion of his journalist’s privilege in response to Chevron Corporation's efforts to obtain more than 600 hours of unused film footage from the documentary film Crude;
- Defended author and publisher of 60 Years Later: Coming Through the Rye in copyright infringement claim brought by J.D. Salinger;
- Represented the Margaret Mitchell Estate in precedential copyright case against author and publisher of The Wind Done Gone, a claimed parody of Gone With the Wind;
- Represented Tribune Company in a lawsuit against actor Warren Beatty over film rights to the Dick Tracy character;
- Defended Tribune Entertainment Company, defeating an attempt by Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation to block the broadcast of the Tribune syndicated television series Mutant X;
- Represented the heirs of Igor Stravinsky in a copyright infringement claim arising from an unauthorized biography of the composer;
- Represented John Cheever Estate in a copyright infringement and contract case arising from the unauthorized publication of Mr. Cheever’s stories; and
- Defended Penguin Books in a copyright infringement case involving Stephen King’s bestseller Desperation.
Jeremy S. Goldman, Esq.
Jeremy S. Goldman is a partner in the Litigation Group and Technology, Digital Media & Privacy Group, focusing on entertainment, intellectual property, commercial and privacy law.
Mr. Goldman represents many companies and individuals in the media, entertainment, advertising and technology spaces in complex litigations involving copyright in the digital age, film and television contracts, trademarks and rights of publicity. He has litigated some of the most closely watched copyright and entertainment cases, including representing The Authors Guild in the Google Books and HathiTrust cases, and Hasbro in a 2014 trial in Los Angeles over the motion picture rights to Dungeons & Dragons. Mr. Goldman's litigation experience also extends to a wide range of commercial disputes in other areas. His representative matters include an Egyptian banking fraud case in New York federal court, an ICC arbitration in Geneva over the international sale of a roofing assembly line, a New York state court art fraud action, a mortgage-based insurance fraud, and a worldwide antitrust price-fixing investigation.
In addition to his litigation practice, Mr. Goldman leverages his lifelong passion for computers and the Internet, including pre-law experience at a tech startup, to advise clients and attorneys on information privacy, data security, electronic discovery and a host of other technology-related issues. Mr. Goldman draws upon his technical understanding of hardware, software and networking systems to help businesses safeguard their sensitive data and respond to data breaches in compliance with U.S. and foreign laws. He also counsels brands, advertisers, publishers and technology companies on online privacy and data security issues, from thinking through complex privacy issues at the product design phase to representing companies facing regulatory and other legal action. Mr. Goldman has written and presented extensively on these topics.
Mr. Goldman is accredited by the International Association of Privacy Professionals as a Certified Information Privacy Professional with a focus in U.S. private-sector privacy law. He is a member of the Copyright and Literary Committee of the New York City Bar Association. Mr. Goldman is admitted to practice in New York state, federal and appellate courts. His published work appears in The Lexis Practice Advisor and Bloomberg's Federal Practice Law Reports, and he has been quoted in Deadline Hollywood, Hollywood Reporter, Courthouse News, and other media.