Skip to main content

Understanding Copyright Law in the Data Era 2011

Speaker(s): Deirdre Merrill, J. Michael Keyes, James D. Nguyen, Katherine C. Spelman, Pilar Keagy Johnson, Robert W. Clarida, Sophie Cohen
Recorded on: Jul. 11, 2011
PLI Program #: 28476

Pilar Keagy Johnson is Assistant General Counsel at Turner Entertainment Group's Cartoon Network. Johnson oversees the team responsible for business and legal affairs, development & production deals (for live action and animated programming), production legal work, and clearance of programming for Cartoon Network's Adult Swim. She also works with on clearance of their Conspiracies site. Johnson received her B.A. in Communication from Stanford University in 1989 and her J.D. from Stanford Law School in 1994. Prior to attending law school, she worked in Washington D.C. at ABC News and as a Congressional press secretary. After law school, Johnson was a law clerk to the Honorable William B. Shubb (E.D. California). While at the Powell, Goldstein firm in Atlanta, she represented print, radio and television news media as a litigator and newsroom lawyer. In 1998 Johnson moved in-house to the Cable News Network, where she provided newsgathering advice to domestic and international journalists, handled subpoenas, conducted pre-telecast review of scripts, video and web content for domestic and international use, and licensed third party materials for various shows and units in the CNN family of networks and services.

Jimmy Nguyen is a “360 degree” lawyer who handles complex litigation, transactions, and counseling work involving intellectual property, entertainment, new media, sports, advertising, privacy, and technology. He is a prominent thought leader for issues involving the Internet, social media, mobile devices, and other evolving media technologies.

Jimmy represents clients in diverse industries spanning entertainment and media, sports, Internet gaming, video games, technology, fashion, consumer products, toys, retail, automotive, and financial services. His clients include AllianceBernstein, BBC Worldwide Americas, the Bodog gaming and entertainment organization, CBS Films, Del Monte Foods Company, Hot Topic, Journal Communications, Kia Motors America, and LEGO Group.

As a litigator, Jimmy has first-chaired jury and bench trials; handled arbitrations, TTAB and UDRP proceedings; and argued appeals. His substantive experience spans copyright, trademark, domain name, patent, trade secret, advertising, privacy, and unfair competition law. Jimmy has also handled significant commercial litigation.
As a valued business advisor, Jimmy helps clients develop, protect, distribute and monetize their IP, entertainment, media, technology, and content assets. He routinely counsels clients and handles a broad range of transactions involving such subject matter.

Jimmy also assists clients with advertising, marketing, and promotions. He provides guidance on media buys; advertising copy; sweepstakes and contests; regulatory compliance; endorsement, sponsorship, product placement, and brand integration deals; email, mobile, and social media marketing; privacy issues; and online behavioral advertising.

More uniquely, Jimmy has experience with digital and online gaming. He has advised about IP, Internet, advertising, and regulatory issues affecting this growing global industry—including implications for sweepstakes and contests, promotional activity in traditional media, the Wire Act, and the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA).

A precocious achiever, Jimmy graduated college at age 19 and law school at 22. Competing for Mt. San Antonio College, he was a seven-time national gold medalist in collegiate speech competition and two-time winner of the top overall speaker award at the Phi Rho Pi national tournament.

Today, Jimmy is a prolific speaker, writer, and commentator on IP, new media, and diversity topics. A bar leader and diversity advocate, Jimmy has chaired the State Bar of California’s IP Law Section and co-chaired the California Minority Counsel Program. In 2008, Lawdragon named Jimmy (at only age 36) to its list of “500 Leading Lawyers in America”; it summed him up well as a “dynamo talent [who] is a one-stop shop for companies in entertainment, technology, advertising, sports and other industries seeking IP, litigation and transactional advice.”

J.D., University of Southern California Law School, 1995
B.A., University of California, Los Angeles, 1992, magna cum laude

California, 1995
U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals 2nd Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals Federal Circuit
U.S. District Court Eastern District of California
U.S. District Court Central District of California
U.S. Court of Appeals Southern District of California
U.S. Court of Appeals Northern District of California
U.S. District Court District of Colorado

Areas of Practice

Kate Spelman has more than 30 years of experience providing strategic advice, design and implementation counsel for large, mid-sized and startup companies on copyright, trademark, trade secret and patent matters, both nationally and internationally, and has a special focus on media, licensing and mass digitization issues. Kate advises and counsels clients on the development, production, sale and defense of work related to emerging content distribution strategies and challenges, special issues in news reporting including repurposing content, and firewall and paywall configuration in light of changes in the fair use defense.

Kate is a frequent speaker on the progress of emerging copyright and digital publishing issues, and has advised authors, nonprofit and for-profit publishers, and internet service providers on the new language and provisions of the changed, global distribution environment. She has represented large digital publishing companies in international distribution agreements as well as represented developers and designers who are building and launching tools for online transmissions, storytelling, expression and art.

Additionally, Kate has experience assisting clients with Open Source licensing issues, including Open Source integrated licenses, audits, mergers and acquisitions due diligence, and compliance negotiations. Kate also helps clients design independent holding companies in the U.S. and in offshore intellectual property asset management. She has experience with intellectual property asset audits, and has assisted companies in proactive and reactive Sarbanes-Oxley compliance reporting requirements.


• Pepperdine University (Certificate in Dispute Resolution, 1990)

• University of Wisconsin Law School (J.D., 1980)

• University of Michigan (B.A., Classics and Latin, 1976)

Sophie Cohen is a Senior Corporate Counsel on the Marketing and Go-to-Market Legal team at NortonLifeLock Inc, supporting its global consumer brands. Her work has involved a wide range of advertising and intellectual property matters, including reviewing consumer-facing materials for compliance (such as print, online, social media, app store, TV and radio ads), and collaborating with internal teams and outside agencies on global advertising campaigns, social media initiatives, affiliate marketing, pricing issues, “truth in advertising”, FTC compliance, claims substantiation, talent agreements, celebrity rights, trademark and copyright issues, and the use of customer testimonials/reviews.

Prior to joining NortonLifeLock, Ms. Cohen was a partner at the intellectual property law firm Cobalt LLP in Berkeley, where she advised clients on all aspects of trademark clearance, prosecution and enforcement, domain name disputes, advertising law, licensing and co-branding, as well as software and technology agreements. She worked with clients on cutting-edge copyright matters, such as thorny copyright registrations, source code protection, emerging technologies, innovative business models, fair use, user generated content, fan communities, scraping, DMCA, and work-made-for-hire issues. Ms. Cohen also has extensive experience in promotions law, including sweepstakes, contests and raffles, with a special expertise in the fields of commercial co-venturing and cause marketing. 

Ms. Cohen is a member of the California and New York State Bars. She graduated from the Sorbonne (Paris) and the U.C. Davis School of Law. 

She currently serves as Chair of the In-House Interest Group of the California Lawyers’ Association Intellectual Property Law Section (formerly, State Bar of California, planning CLE programs and networking activities.

Ms. Cohen loves travelling to explore great wines, foods and art. She’s also a proud sci-fi geek.

Deirdre Merrill is the Director of Contracts at Chronicle Books LLC in San Francisco, California.  One of the most admired and respected independent publishing companies in the U.S., Chronicle Books was founded in 1967 and over the years has developed a reputation for award-winning, innovative books.  The company continues to challenge conventional publishing wisdom, setting trends in both subject and format, maintaining a list that includes much admired illustrated books and gift products in design, art, architecture, photography, food, lifestyle, pop culture, and acclaimed children’s titles. Chronicle Books’ objective is to create and distribute exceptional publishing that’s instantly recognizable for its spirit, creativity, and value. 

In her work at Chronicle Books over the last 20 years, Ms. Merrill’s primary focus has been drafting, negotiating, and maintaining copyright license agreements between the publishing house and authors, photographers, illustrators, and licensors, along with their respective agents and attorneys.  Her role includes negotiating and securing of digital rights for both backlist and front list titles published by Chronicle Books.  In addition she supervises the contracts and permissions department, helps to maintain the company’s trademark portfolio, advises the subsidiary rights licensing division and custom publishing departments, and supervises copyright registration for all titles published by Chronicle Books. 


  • J.D., University of San Francisco School of Law, 1999
  • B.A, Santa Clara University, 1995


  • Member, California State Bar Association, 2000-present
  • Member, The Intellectual Property Law Section of the State Bar of California

Mike Keyes is a partner with a national litigation and trial practice where he represents a wide array of firm clients in cases involving patents, copyrights, trademarks, unfair competition, and false advertising. Mr. Keyes has litigated numerous cases throughout the country including in the U.S. District Courts of California, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Florida, Tennessee, Illinois, Alaska, Delaware, New York, Massachusetts, and New Jersey.

Recently, Mr. Keyes was trial counsel for Kraft Foods in a highly-publicized false advertising case that was featured on ABC’s Good Morning America and also covered by the likes of The Chicago Tribune and The New York Times. Mr. Keyes was also trial counsel for Abercrombie & Fitch in a high-profile case in California federal court brought by Levi Strauss & Co. involving claims of unfair competition, trademark infringement, and dilution. The jury returned a unanimous verdict in favor of Abercrombie & Fitch on all claims. The case was profiled in the Daily Journal—California’s largest legal publication—as one of the Top 10 “Defense Wins” in California that year.

Mr. Keyes’ intellectual property clients also include the likes of Rovio Entertainment, Ltd (of Angry Birds® fame), Hall of Fame Major League Slugger George Brett, Helly Hansen, The North Face, Nestle, Del Monte Fresh Produce, Novatel Wireless, Esprit, Quest Diagnostics, Red Lion Hotels, and Cervecería Modelo (the manufacturer of Corona® Beer).

In addition to his trial and counseling experience, Mr. Keyes is also an active member of the copyright and trademark litigation bar. He is the past chair of the American Bar Association Copyright Litigation Committee, the past chair of the Washington State Bar Association Intellectual Property Section, and the co-editor of, and contributing author to, the forthcoming American Bar Association Copyright Litigation Deskbook. He is frequently invited to present on issues involving copyright and trademark law at national conferences and was once again one of the lawyer panelists featured at the American Bar Association’s Spring Intellectual Property Conference in Washington, D.C.

Mr. Keyes is an Adjunct Professor of Law at Gonzaga University where he has taught and lectured on trademark law, false advertising, and other intellectual property topics. He has published several articles and papers on intellectual property law including: The Expanded Scope of Declaratory Judgment Jurisdiction in Trademark Cases After MedImmune v. Genentech, ABA IP Litigation Newsletter, Winter 2008; Musical Musings: The Case For Rethinking Music Copyright Protection (published in the University of Michigan Technology Law Review), The Law of Copyright Damages (presented at a conference sponsored by the American Intellectual Property Law Association), and The Annual Review of Copyright Law Developments (published by the American Bar Association, 2009) (contributing author).


Prior to joining K&L Gates, Mike served as a law clerk for Hon. Chief Justice Gerry L. Alexander of the Washington State Supreme Court from 1999-2000.


  • Presenter, Washington State Bar Association IP Institute, “Design and Use of Consumer Surveys in Lanham Act Case--Recent Developments”, Seattle, WA March 2014
  • Presenter, Practicing Law Institute, “Fundamentals of Copyright Law in the Data Era”, San Francisco, CA, July 2013
  • Presenter, American Intellectual Property Law Association 2013 Spring Meeting, “Use of Non-Patent Literature During Patent Examination—Fair or Infringing?”, Seattle, WA, May 2013
  • Presenter, Practicing Law Institute, “Understanding Copyright in the Data Era”, San Francisco, CA, July 2012.
  • Presenter, Practicing Law Institute, University of Chicago, “Copyright Enforcement in the Data Era”, Chicago, IL, June 2012.
  • Panelist, American Bar Association Intellectual Property Spring Conference, “Trollings, Take Downs, and Transfers: An Audiovisual Odyssey Through The World of Copyright,”, Arlington, VA, March 2012.
  • Presenter, Practicing Law Institute, Understanding Copyright in the Data Era, San Francisco, California July, 2011.
  • Presenter, Practicing Law Institute, Copyright Litigation, San Francisco, California, July 2010.
  • Panelist, American Bar Association Intellectual Property Law Spring Conference, “Of Courts and Copyists: The Year in Review,” Arlington, Virginia, April 2010.
  • Panelist, American Bar Association Intellectual Property Law Spring Conference, “The Year in Copyright,” Arlington, Virginia, April 2009.
  • Presenter, American Intellectual Property Law Association, "Recoveries in IP Litigation: Hotspots and Trends in Copyright, Trademark, and Patent Damages, Online CLE, April 2009.
  • CLE Co-Chair, Intellectual Property Institute, Washington State Bar Association, Spokane, WA, October 2008—Institute featured United States Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit Chief Judge, The Hon. Alex Kozinski
  • Presenter, American Bar Association Intellectual Property Law Spring Conference, “An Audiovisual Tour Through The Year in Copyright,” Arlington, Virginia, April 2008
  • Panelist, American Intellectual Property Law Association 2008 Mid-Winter Institute, “A Survey of Licensing Strategies One Year After MedImmune”, Phoenix, AZ, January 2008
  • Presenter, Washington State Bar Association Corporate Counsel Institute, “Trademark Law For General Counsel,” Seattle, WA, October 2007
  • Panelist, American Bar Association Intellectual Property Law Spring Conference, “Copyright in the Courts: Issues of First Impression,” Arlington, Virginia, April 2007
  • CLE Co-Chair, Intellectual Property Institute, Washington State Bar Association, Seattle, WA, March 2007
  • Presenter, “Copyright Law For The IP Attorney,” Idaho State Bar Association Intellectual Property Section, Boise, ID, November 2006
  • CLE Chair, Intellectual Property Developments: Litigation, Machination & Reformation, Washington State Bar Association, Spokane, WA, September 2006
  • Co-Presenter, “Architecture & Engineering in the Digital Age,” Preston Gates & Ellis, Spokane, WA, April 2006
  • Presenter, “Spyware Resolution Debate,” ABA Intellectual Property Annual Meeting, Boston, MA, 2006
  • Presenter, “Copyright & The World of Music,” Washington State Music Teachers Association Leadership Conference, Snoqualmie, WA, September 2005
  • Presenter, “Top Ten Trademark Tips,” Coeur d’ Alene Chamber of Commerce, Coeur d’ Alene, ID, June 2005
  • Co-Presenter, “Protecting Your Artistic Creations in the Digital Age,” Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture, Spokane, WA 2005
  • Co-Presenter, “Pitfalls for the Unwary: Recognition, Protection & Enforcement of IP Rights,” Emerald Education Group, Seattle, WA 2004
  • Presenter, “Copyright Law & The World of Advertising,” Great Falls Advertising Federation, Great Falls, MT, April 2004
  • Clicking Carefully In Legal Sphere of Social Media, Spokane Journal of Business, Volume 29, Issue 7, March 27, 2014.
  • Minimize Risks When Marketing Through Social Media, Spokane Journal of Business, Volume 28, Issue 7, March 28, 2013.
  • Featured in Spokane Journal of Business Article entitled “It’s true: False Advertising Claims Grow”, September 8, 2011.
  • Contributing Author, American Bar Association’s Annual Review of Intellectual Property Law Developments, 2009.
  • The Expanded Scope of Declaratory Judgment Jurisdiction in Trademark Cases After MedImmune v. Genentech, ABA IP Litigation Newsletter, Winter 2008.
  • Register Your Architectural Works Early and Often, Spokane Journal of Business, 2007.
  • Musical Musings: The Case For Rethinking Music Copyright Protection, 10 Mich. Telecomm. Tech. L. Rev. 407 (2004).
  • Has The Duration of Copyright Turned Wrong?, Washington State Bar News, 2003.
  • Whatever Happens To Works Deferred? Reflections On The Ill–Given Deferments Of The Copyright Term Extension Act, 26 Sea. L. Rev. 97 (2002).
  • State v. Rose: The Re–emergence of Colonial Writs?, 32 Gonz. L. Rev. 177 (1996).
  • Board Member, Holy Names Music Center
  • Co-Chair, 2006-2008, ABA Copyright Litigation Committee
  • Past Chair, 2007, Washington State Bar Association IP Section
  • Chair, 2006, Washington State Bar Association IP Section
  • Chair-elect, 2005, Washington State Bar Association IP Section
  • Sec-Treasurer, 2004, Washington State Bar Association IP Section
  • Co-founder, Spokane County Bar Association IP Section, 2003
  • Coach of National Appellate Advocacy Competition Team, Gonzaga University School of Law, 2002-present
  • Adjunct professor of law, “Internet and the Law,” “Trademark Law,” and “Legal Research & Writing,” Gonzaga University School of Law, 2002-present
  • Member, Copyright Society of the USA
  • Member, Supreme Court Historical Society
  • California
  • Idaho
  • Washington
  • New York
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Washington
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington
  • U.S. District Court for the Central District of California
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Idaho

LL.M., Columbia University School of Law, 1999 (Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar)

J.D., Gonzaga University, 1998 (magna cum laude; “Best Oralist,” National Moot Court Competition, Regional Finals 1997; Associate Editor, Law Review, 1997-1998)

B.M., piano performance, Loyola University of New Orleans, 1993

Graduate piano student, Tbilisi State Conservatoire, Former Soviet Republic of Georgia, 1993-1994

  • Named to Best Lawyers® in America
  • Named a “Rising Star” by Washington Law & Politics since 2005.

Robert Clarida is a partner at Reitler Kailas & Rosenblatt, LLC in New York.  He has extensive experience in all aspects of copyright law and has litigated a number of high-profile copyright matters and significant appeals in several Circuits. Bob speaks and writes frequently on copyright issues, is the author of the treatise COPYRIGHT LAW DESKBOOK (BNA 2009), and co-authors the regular copyright law column in the New York Law Journal. He also teaches a seminar on emerging intellectual property issues at Columbia Law School and is the past chair of the Copyright and Literary Property Law Committee of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York. He earned his J.D. in 1993 from Columbia University, where he was a Harlan Fiske Stone scholar, after earning a Ph.D. in music composition from SUNY Stony Brook in 1987, and receiving a Fulbright fellowship to the Musicology Institute of Gothenburg University, Sweden.  He is admitted to the New York bar, and to the federal bars of the Southern, Eastern, Northern and Western Districts of New York, the Eastern District of Michigan, and to the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the First, Second, Seventh and Ninth Circuits.