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Counseling Clients in the Entertainment Industry 2016 – Overview of Entertainment Law Issues; Television, Video & User-Generated Content; Media's Transformation: OTTs, MCNs & Mobile-Driven Video; Videogames; Building an Entertainment Law Practice; Ethics

Speaker(s): Amaryllis Seabrooks, Elgin Thompson, Helen Ogbara Reeves, J. Reid Hunter, Jack P. Sahl, Jim Charne, John West, Jonathan Carson, Kenneth M. Kaufman, Kirk T. Schroder, Peter D. Csathy, Todd Spangler, Vernon G. Chu
Recorded on: Feb. 29, 2016
PLI Program #: 149606

Peter Csathy is CEO of Manatt Digital Media, which offers innovative full-service business consulting and legal services, as well as venture capital. He is a media and digital media entrepreneur, senior executive, negotiator and dealmaker with an unbroken track record of success in start-up and emerging growth companies, as well as major and independent media companies. Mr. Csathy's career spans Internet, music, motion pictures/video, live entertainment, and technology. Mr. Csathy helps clients by leveraging his vast network of relationships and unique breadth of business and operational experience that is equally split between new and traditional media.

Prior to joining Manatt, Mr. Csathy was President and CEO of Sorenson Media, Inc., a highly respected global video company that services virtually all media companies and 70 of the Fortune 100. He continues to sit on the board of Sorenson Media. Mr. Csathy previously served as the CEO of social network and online video technology company Sightspeed, Inc., and negotiated the  company's successful acquisition by Logitech, Inc., in 2008. From 2002 to 2004 Mr. Csathy was President and Chief Operating Officer of MusicMatch, Inc., where he structured and closed industry-first music licensing agreements and         drove the company's successful partner-focused distribution and marketing strategy. MusicMatch was acquired by Yahoo! in 2004.

In addition to those roles, Mr. Csathy was also the Chief Operating Officer of digital media start-up eNow, Inc. (acquired by AOL in 2006), a Senior Vice President of Business and Legal Affairs of Universal Studios, and a senior business and legal affairs executive at New Line Cinema and Savoy Pictures Entertainment. At these companies Mr. Csathy structured and negotiated agreements ranging from multibillion-dollar international joint ventures, to M&A and corporate partnerships valued at hundreds of millions of dollars, to major media content licensing deals, to entertainment talent deals. He began his career as a media, entertainment and IP attorney.

Mr. Csathy is a noted digital media thought leader, who was selected to serve on a media and technology commission that made recommendations to the Obama Administration. He is a prolific blogger for many of the most influential and respected digital media and venture blogs, including TechCrunch, The Huffington Post and Fast Company, as well as on his own highly regarded Digital Media Update blog.


  • Harvard Law School, J.D., 1988. Board of Student Advisors.
  • University of Minnesota, B.A., summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, 1985.

Memberships and Activities

  • Mentor and advisor to multiple organizations, including The Founder Institute, Giving Tree Movement, Utah Film & Media Arts Commission, and Portland Seed Fund.
  • Board Member, Sorenson Media, Inc., and Epilepsy Foundation of San Diego.
  • Founder and principal in FM3, a youth- and social cause-based music festival (currently in development for launch in late 2014).

Kenneth M. Kaufman is Senior Counsel in Moses & Singer's Intellectual Property, Internet & Technology and Entertainment & Sports practice groups. He provides clients with a unique perspective gained from his experience as outside counsel, in-house general counsel, and educator. 

His practice focuses on copyright, entertainment and media law, Internet and technology law, content and music licensing, digital media, and sports law. He has represented a wide range of clients in the entertainment, arts, online, computer and communications fields, including television networks and producers, international media and publishing companies, music publishers, digital media and technology companies, private equity firms, telecommunications companies, photographers, visual artists, performing arts venues, copyright licensing companies, a major regional sports network, Broadway theater producers, foundations, composers, recording artists and authors. 

Ken is a recognized authority in the fields of copyright and entertainment law. He has been named the Washington, D.C. Copyright Law “Lawyer of the Year” by The Best Lawyers in America (where he has been listed in the practice areas of copyright law, entertainment law-music, entertainment law-motion pictures and television, and litigation-intellectual property). He has also been recognized by Who’s Who Legal (International), Washington, D.C. Super Lawyers, Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, Washingtonian Magazine’s Best Lawyers, and Legal Times, and is an AV® Preeminent™ Rated lawyer according to Martindale-Hubbell. 

Ken has extensive experience as both in-house and outside counsel in the entertainment and communications industries. Prior to joining the firm, he was Senior Counsel at Springut Law PC; a Partner and Senior Counsel in the Washington, D.C. office of Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP; and a Partner in the Washington, D.C. office of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP. Previously, he served as Senior Vice President, General Counsel of Showtime Networks Inc. in New York; as Senior Vice President, Corporate Affairs and General Counsel of PolyGram Records, Inc. in New York; and as General Counsel of The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. In two of those positions, he was the first in-house attorney and organized the in-house legal department. Previously, he served as Assistant Counsel of a U.S. Senate Judiciary Subcommittee and as Law Clerk to Judge Warren J. Ferguson of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. 

In addition to his law practice, Ken has served as a Visiting Lecturer at Yale Law School, where he taught a course on “Music and the Law” for several years; and as a Professorial Lecturer in Law at George Washington University Law School, where he taught a course on copyright law. He has recently been an Advanced Leadership Initiative Fellow at Harvard University, where he has helped to prepare case studies 

of the digital music industry at the Business School, served as a law and media advisor in the College, and spoken on coalition building in education for gender equality at a Harvard conference on education. 

Ken is a frequent speaker and author on copyright, entertainment law, and issues involving the convergence of the entertainment, communications and technology fields. He has chaired programs and spoken at legal and industry conferences for the Practising Law Institute, the American Bar Association, the District of Columbia Bar, the Stanford Center for the Digital Economy, the Howard University Intellectual Property Law Seminar, the New York State Bar Association, the American Intellectual Property Law Association, the National Association of Broadcasters, the Recording Academy, and the South by Southwest Music Conference, among others. For many years, Ken has co-chaired the annual PLI conference on Counseling Clients in the Entertainment Industry and has spoken on copyright and content licensing at the annual PLI conference on Advanced Licensing Agreements. 

He currently serves on the Governing Committee of the ABA’s Forum on the Entertainment and Sports Industries, on the Planning Committee for the annual Stanford Digital Economy Best Practices Conference, and as President of the Board of the Directors of the Lowell House Opera (the oldest opera company currently performing in New England). He is a member of the Board of Directors of Washington Area Lawyers for the Arts and has served as a Trustee and Chair of the Washington, D.C. Chapter of the Copyright Society of the U.S.A. Ken is also a composer who has been a member of the BMI Musical Theatre Workshop and the ASCAP Pop Songwriters Workshop and who wrote a string quartet that was performed at Harvard University in 2019. 

Todd Spangler joined Variety in 2013, where he covers digital media and technology for the entertainment industry’s leading business publication. Previously, he was technology editor for Multichannel News, covering the cable TV industry. Spangler, who has more than 20 years of experience as a journalist, also has served as an editor and writer with information-technology publications, including PC Magazine, Interactive Week, Baseline, Web Week, and Byte and Switch, an online storage-networking publication. He holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from Northwestern University, and lives with his family in New Jersey.

Elgin Thompson is a Managing Director with Digital Capital Advisors leveraging 20 years of investment banking, corporate development and M&A legal experience. He advises companies at the intersection of marketing and technology across all digital channels including mobile, video, email, social and display.

Elgin has advised on transactions in excess of $40 billion involving leading companies in the internet and technology space including Google, Facebook, Groupon, Nielsen, AOL, Neustar, Catalina Marketing, Level3 and EMC.

Prior to joining Digital Capital Advisors, Elgin was a Managing Director at Cronus Partners where he led internet technology coverage after years at Williams Capital, Bear Stearns and Merrill Lynch. Elgin has also served as Vice President of Corporate Development at Grid Networks, a venture-backed video infrastructure provider. He began his career as a mergers and acquisitions lawyer.

Elgin holds a B.A. from Northern Illinois University, J.D. from Temple University and M.B.A. from the Kellogg School at Northwestern University.

J. Reid Hunter is partner with the New York law firm of Serling Rooks Hunter McKoy & Worob, LLP, a firm that focuses its practice in music law.  Reid’s clients include Grammy-winning and nominated recording artists, producers, writers and mixers, independent record labels and publishers, management companies and agencies, and top industry executives.  His artist clients range from internationally successful independent artists to multi-platinum pop and country artists, many of whom he has represented since their first commercial release.

Mr. Hunter is a member of the State Bar of Georgia and New York State Bar.  Mr. Hunter speaks frequently on music law topics and was an adjunct professor in the Music Industry program of the School of Music at Georgia State University before moving to New York City.  He was recently named by Billboard and Super Lawyers magazines as one of the “50 Attorneys of Note in the Music Business.”

Mr. Hunter received his Juris Doctor in 1986 from Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and a Bachelor of Science in 1983 from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Jack Sahl is a Joseph G. Miller Professor of Law and the Faculty Director of the Miller-Becker Center for Professional Responsibility at the University of Akron School of Law where he teaches professional responsibility, evidence, and entertainment and sports law among other subjects.  He also teaches a film and legal ethics seminar and a U.S. Legal System course to international lawyers and students each summer at Yale University and he has taught a contracts and commercial law seminar at the CEIDA Institute in Rome, Italy. 

Professor Sahl has authored and co-authored articles and book chapters concerning professional responsibility and entertainment law.  He has also co-authored three textbooks, Evidence Problems and Materials (6th ed. 2020); Sports Law Cases and Materials (4th ed. 2019); and Professional Responsibility in Focus (2017).   Professor Sahl is a frequent international and national speaker concerning professional responsibility and he has served as a national consultant and expert witness in the field.  He clerked for Chief Judge William Holloway Jr. of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit and was senior counsel to the Subcommittee on the Constitution, Federalism and Property Rights of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee.  His also provided legal services in both the entertainment and sports law fields.

On the national level, Professor Sahl was a member of the Editorial Board of the ABA/BNA Lawyers’ Manual on Professional Conduct (2011-15, Chair 2012).  He serves on the Publications Board of the ABA Center for Professional Responsibility (2000-present, Chair since 2006); the Coordinating Council of the ABA Center for Professional Responsibility (2006-present); and the Michael Franck Professional Responsibility Award Selection Committee of the ABA Center for Professional Responsibility (2006-present).  He was also a member of the ABA Standing Committee on Professional Discipline (presidential appointment, 3-year term, 2008-11) and appointed to the ABA Commission on Ethics 20/20 Inbound Foreign Lawyer Working Group (2009-11) and its Uniformity, Choice of Law and Conflicts of Interest Working Group (2010-11).  Professor Sahl also served on the Executive Committee of the Professional Responsibility Section of the American Association of Law Schools (2009-13, Chair 2103).

In Ohio, Professor Sahl served on the Unauthorized Practice of Law Commission (Ohio Supreme Court appointment, 3-year term, 2008-11), the Ohio State Bar Association (OSBA) Legal Ethics and Professional Conduct Committee (1994-2012), and the OSBA Future of the Legal Profession Advisory Committee (2005-2008).  He is currently a member of the OSBA Ethics Committee (2012-present) and a longstanding member of the Cleveland Bar Association Ethics & Professionalism Committee (1991-present, Chair 2012).  In 2019, the OSBA awarded him the Eugene R. Weir Award for Ethics and Professionalism.

Vernon G. Chu is the General Counsel for BBC Worldwide - Americas (BBCWA), with responsibility for all legal matters affecting BBCWA in the United States, Canada and Latin America.  He oversees policy and compliance issues in the territory including fair-trading, editorial standards, advertising guidelines, trademark and copyright policy.  He is involved with oversight of BBCWA’s joint venture SVOD service, BritBox, and its joint venture cable channels, BBC America, BBC Canada, BBC Earth and BBC Kids, and all legal aspects of BBCWA’s television licensing business, theatric film and consumer products business, which includes DVD, digital entertainment, live events, the BBC Direct marketing and catalogue business and merchandising.  He also oversees BBCWA’s content and production business in Los Angeles which produces US network shows such as Dancing With The Stars, Top Gear and Life Below Zero.  BBCWA is the wholly owned subsidiary of BBC Worldwide Limited, the commercial consumer arm of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).  

He was graduated from the Wharton School in Philadelphia in 1982 with a degree in accounting and economics.  In 1985 he received his MBA from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York.  A year later, he graduated Cum Laude from Cornell Law School. 

Helen Reeves is a member of the Venture Technology and Emerging Growth Companies practice. Her practice focuses on representing growth stage companies on a wide range of complex transactional matters including mergers & acquisitions, venture capital transactions, start up founder/corporate structuring issues, employment matters and general corporate advice.

Helen regularly serves as the outside general counsel to a number of emerging growth and middle market companies, providing both strategic and transaction advice on major business transactions domestically and internationally.

Helen is a member of the American Bar Association’s Private Equity and Venture Capital Committee.

Jonathan Carson is an award-winning professional and entrepreneur with 20 years experience in digital media.  He has a versatile skillset, with success in both start-up and large company environments; in U.S. and global markets; and in growth and turnaround environments.  He helped to create the field of social media, and is a recognized expert on a variety of digital topics, including mobile, video and big data.

 Most recently, Carson was the Chief Revenue Officer of Vevo, the world’s #1 music property and Youtube’s largest content partner.  In this role, he oversaw Vevo’s global sales and marketing functions.

 Prior to that, Carson spent six years with The Nielsen Company where he helped spearhead the company’s digital transformation. Most recently CEO, Digital, Carson led Nielsen’s digital and mobile strategy and operations across more than 70 countries.

 An accomplished entrepreneur, Carson was previously co-founder and CEO of BuzzMetrics, the world’s leading social media intelligence company, which he sold to Nielsen in 2007. While at BuzzMetrics, Carson helped establish the concept of social media with marketers, including co-founding the Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA), which has since become a thriving trade association.

 Prior to BuzzMetrics, Carson founded Intercities, Inc., an interactive development firm with clients including Intel, Disney, and National Institutes of Health.  In 1995, Carson co-founded, a pioneering and award-winning music industry web site, which was acquired in 1999.

 Carson is a frequent speaker on digital topics at conferences (Mobile World Congress, Cannes, CES), on broadcast (CNN, CBS, NPR) and in print (Wired, Wall Street Journal, New York Times).

Jim Charne is a Wisconsin, California, New York, and New Jersey lawyer, whose practice is at the intersection of intellectual property, entertainment, technology, music, and commerce.  His experience in software, video games, and other technology-based entertainment extends back to the earliest days of the category.  He began his career in the 1970’s, in those pre-computer days of dial telephones, tabulators, and AM top 40 radio, at CBS Records and Arista Records, both in New York.

Jim was the first President of the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences (  He has been recognized as a "Most Valuable Player" by the International Game Developers Association (, is the recipient of three awards from the Game Audio Network Guild ( for work on behalf of games industry composers; organized and led all-day legal and business tutorial programs 15 times at the annual Game Developers Conference (; and served as liaison between the Interactive Academy and IDGA, and Washington counsel, in drafting an amicus brief filed on behalf of games industry talent in Brown v ESA (564 U.S. 786 (2011)).  In Brown, the Court, in a 7-2 decision written by Justice Scalia, recognized video games for the first time to be fully protected First Amendment expression on equal footing with literature, dramatic productions, motion pictures, and other creative works.

Jim is a regular speaker on interactive entertainment topics at Practicing Law Institute's ( March entertainment law program in New York, and is a professional responsibility co-presenter at the Videogame Bar Association's ( annual May summit in Los Angeles at UCLA Law School.

In late 2015, Jim joined Gerard Fox Law, with offices in Los Angeles and New York City as Of Counsel.  He maintains his solo practice in Madison, WI and can always be reached at, or by Skype at jimcharne.

Kirk T. Schroder is a partner in the Schroder Davis law firm. Kirk has practiced entertainment law for over 20 years with a particular focus on film and television and literary publishing matters. In the past, Kirk has served as counsel to major Hollywood studio projects, including various films for Universal Pictures. Kirk’s recent film and television projects include serving as counsel to the PBS television series “Mercy Street”, Animal Planet’s television series “Yankee Jungle”, the movie adaptation of David Baldacci’s “ Wish You Well” and finance counsel to several film investment groups. In the literary field, Kirk has worked with recently published books “Redemption Alley” (Rodale) and “Mister Owita’s Guide to Gardening” (Putnam) as well as projects for award winning author Dean King. He is the Immediate Past Chair of the American Bar Association Entertainment & Sports Law section. He is a frequent speaker on entertainment and art related topics around the country. He is a past program chair of the Harvard Law School/ABA Symposium on Entertainment Law. Past faculty appointments have included the University of Virginia and the University of Richmond Schools of Law and VCU's Graduate School of Arts. In addition to being selected to The Best Lawyers In America®, Kirk is AV-rated by Martindale-Hubbell, its highest rating for lawyers.