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Counseling Clients in the Entertainment Industry 2017 – Overview of Entertainment Law Issues; Television, Video & User-Generated Content; Media's Transformation – OTTs, MCNs & Mobile-Driven Video; Theater

Speaker(s): Elgin Thompson, Gil Fuchsberg, Jack P. Sahl, Jean Ward, Jennifer Saba, Jim Charne, Kenneth M. Kaufman, Melanie Jones, Patricia Crown, Robert Millet, T. Hale Boggs, Vernon G. Chu
Recorded on: Feb. 27, 2017
PLI Program #: 185811

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. 

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.

Hale Boggs is a leading legal and business advisor to entrepreneurs and investors in emerging companies, with a particular focus on digital media. From Los Angeles to Silicon Valley and beyond, he works with innovative technology companies across the spectrum of their business cycles, from start-up through late-stage. Hale focuses on venture capital transactions, mergers and acquisitions, public and private securities offerings, and joint ventures.

Hale represents numerous venture capital funds in Southern and Northern California, advising funds and their portfolio companies in a wide range of corporate transactions as they raise and deploy capital across the entertainment, media and technology industries.

Hale regularly acts as outside general counsel to his clients, drawing on more than thirty years of experience to provide strategic corporate counseling on issues including equity compensation matters, SEC reporting and disclosure, complex corporate partnering transactions, intellectual property licensing, and corporate governance.

Hale has been recognized as a top lawyer in multiple consecutive years by Best Lawyers in America, the Daily Journal, and Lawdragon 500, and he has been named several times to Variety’s Legal Impact Report—one of the most prestigious accolades in the media and entertainment industry. 

Prior to joining O’Melveny, Hale was chair of the media, technology, and advertising division and venture capital/emerging companies practice of a prominent national legal and professional services firm.

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.

Jean Ward is counsel to our Entertainment Group. She is one of New York’s best-known theatre lawyers, with over 20 years experience representing producers, authors, music publishers and other rights holders, theatre owners, creative personnel, and investors.  She negotiates and structures domestic and international transactions including property and rights acquisitions, licensing, theatrical syndication financing, creative personnel agreements, development deals, and a variety of other production agreements. 

Ms. Ward has been production counsel for Broadway, Off-Broadway and touring productions of such shows as “Stomp” (currently running off-Broadway and on tour), “Born Yesterday,” “Play Dead” (off-broadway), “Stomp Out Loud” (Las Vegas production), “The Toxic Avenger”(Off-Broadway and upcoming Broadway productions), “Play It Cool”, “Lovemusik” (co- production with Manhattan Theatre Club featuring the music of Kurt Weill), “Chita Rivera: The Dancer’s Life”, “Bring in ‘Da Noise, Bring in ‘Da Funk” (U.S. tour revival), “James Joyce’s The Dead”, “Freak”, “Les Miserables”, “The Phantom of the Opera”, “Five Guys Named Moe”, “Miss Saigon”, “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” (Broadway revival), and non-Equity and Equity Tier U.S. and international touring productions of such shows as “Cats”, “42nd Street” (U.S. touring and Moscow productions), “Come Fly Away”, and many others.  She has represented one of Ireland’s premier theatre companies, Druid Ireland, and its artistic director Garry Hynes on commissioning, licensing and producing numerous productions including Martin McDonagh’s “Cripple of Inishmaan” (Druid’s recent co-production with the Atlantic Theatre Company), several new plays currently in production, as well as their current development of a new musical incorporating music written or recorded by the popular Irish punk rock/jazz band The Pogues. 

Her work with Music-Theatre Group, a New York not-for-profit company specializing in the development of new work includes the commission and co-production (with Gotham City Opera) of a new opera, “Dark Sisters”, composed by Nico Muhly with libretto by Stephen Karam. Other recent projects include advising the producers of the London production of the new musical “Ghost,” work on the development of a musical version of “Twelve Angry Men,” and a new musical entitled “Chix 6”, and US and international touring productions of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “The Wizard of Oz”, “Priscilla Queen of the Desert” and “Sister Act”.

Ms. Ward graduated from Harvard Law School and has taught Law and Theatre at Columbia Law School and presented lectures on theatre law at Practicing Law Institute, bar association, and National Law Journal seminars. She has been named a New York-area “Super Lawyer” for entertainment work by Super Lawyers magazine for thirteen consecutive years.

Melanie S. Jones is Senior Director, Business & Legal Affairs at Discovery Inc., the global media company that owns and operates a variety of cable networks including Discovery Channel, TLC, HGTV and the Food Network. 

At Discovery, Melanie currently handles business and legal affairs matters for the company’s largest television network, Discovery Channel, as well as the Science Channel.  As a business and legal affairs executive, Melanie advises, consults and counsels the development, production, talent and programming teams for the networks she serves.  Her practice area includes deal negotiations and transactional work and she advises internal clients on content liability matters related to defamation, publicity, privacy and copyright issues. 

Prior to joining Discovery, Melanie was most recently Senior Business Affairs Counsel at HarperCollins Publishers.  She is a graduate of Spelman College, where she received a degree in Political Science, and a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Law School. 

Patricia Crown is the principal of the Law Offices of Patricia Crown.  Prior to opening her own office in 2013, Ms. Crown was a partner in the New York office of Morrison & Foerster and then of Counsel to Coblence & Associates.

Ms. Crown has a J.D. degree from New York University School of Law where she was elected to Order of the Coif,  an M.A. from the University of Rochester in Paris and a B.A. from the University of Rochester.  Before becoming a lawyer, Ms. Crown lived for 10 years in Paris, France where she worked as a writer, translator, interpreter and production assistant in the motion picture industry.

For the last 35 years, Ms. Crown has practiced exclusively in the field of entertainment law, with a particular focus in theatre, film, publishing and copyright.  She represents theatrical producers  in the U.S., France, England and China, French motion picture production companies, U.S. independent film producers, dance companies, and “creatives”.  Her theatrical representations take projects, both musicals and straight plays, from the initial “idea” or acquisition-of-rights stage, through financing (including all securities law matters) to the mounting and running of productions on and off Broadway, across the United States, and overseas, in both sit-down and touring venues. Ms. Crown is a frequent speaker on entertainment matters, particularly those concerning live-stage productions.

Robert Millet has successfully worked for over 25 years as a senior executive in technology, media and marketing.

Robert is currently Co-Founder & CEO of Nooji, a technology company based in San Francisco. Nooji’s focus is aggregating and curating high-engagement media content for messaging platforms and other popular apps, creating destination inventory that can attract users in large numbers and, in turn, significant advertising and e-commerce revenues.

Robert’s expertise spans from start-up and early-stage advising through strategic planning and corporate development. He has collaborated with large partners such as AT&T, Microsoft, Intel, Salesforce, HP, Comcast and the Governments of Taiwan and China. As an Advisor to senior management and the business development team at Tango, a messaging app based in Mountain View, CA, Robert established key partnerships with movie studios, talent agencies and media companies.

Robert was a Founder and VP of Business Development for Mainframe Entertainment, a Vancouver CGI Animation studio, which he helped grow to over 300 employees in a joint venture with Hasbro. Mainframe developed franchises that included “Transformers” and “Reboot” for global syndication and generated ancillary merchandise revenue as well. He was instrumental in taking Mainframe (MFE) public on the Vancouver exchange, raising over $150 million. Robert was also one of the Principals and Founders of CTVN (Computer Television Network), a 24-hour cable television network focused on the Internet, gaming and technology (acquired by Ziff Davis and subsequently Comcast.)

Robert started his career at MTV/Viacom. As VP Business Development, he worked closely with Mark Burnett, the creator and executive producer of reality TV franchises such as Apprentice, Survivor and The Voice. Robert is a graduate of UCLA.

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. 

Gil Fuchsberg has been a successful business builder, innovator and senior executive in media, technology and education for more than 20 years.  

Gil is currently Head of Corporate Development and Strategic Planning at Roku, Inc., the leading streaming video platform company. Gil is also an active adviser to and investor in several emerging technology companies, as well as a member of the New York Angels (one of the foremost organizations dedicated to early-stage investing).

Previously Gil was Executive Vice President and Head of Corporate Development for Amplify, News Corporation’s digital education business (acquired in late 2015 by Laurene Powell Jobs’s Emerson Collective). Before Amplify, Gil served as an Executive Vice President at News Corp/21st Century Fox, collaborating with the media company’s publishing, television and film businesses across the world on their digital strategies, products and partnerships. Among other responsibilities, he managed relationships with key partners including Apple, Amazon, AT&T, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Roku, Samsung, YouTube and Verizon.

Gil joined News Corp through its acquisition in 2010 of Skiff, an e-reading business that he founded and led at the Hearst Corporation. Previously Gil was a Principal at JPMorgan Partners, a large private equity firm, driving a range of venture capital investments in internet and software companies; Corporate Vice President for New Media and Technology at the Interpublic Group of Companies (IPG), leading digital strategy, building and acquiring businesses, and creating a successful strategic-investment portfolio for one of the world’s biggest organizations of advertising and marketing-services companies; and Editorial and Project Director at NBC and NBC News, partnering closely with Microsoft on the products and transactions that gestated MSNBC.

Gil has served as a director or observer on numerous company boards.

Gil began his career as a Staff Reporter at The Wall Street Journal. He holds an MBA from Columbia Business School and an AB from Harvard College, where he was Executive Editor of The Harvard Crimson.

Jennifer Saba is a columnist for Reuters Breakingviews based in New York.  Her focus is on media, technology, advertising and retail. Prior to joining Breakingviews in 2015, she was a reporter with Reuters news. Jennifer has covered media for almost 18 years. She began her career in advertising.

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.