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Advanced Copyright Law 2020: Current Issues


Speaker(s): Edward H. Rosenthal, Helene M. Freeman, Hillel I. Parness, Joshua L. Simmons, Lateef Mtima, Linda Steinman, Richard Dannay
Recorded on: Mar. 12, 2020
PLI Program #: 278359

Edward H. Rosenthal is Chair of the firm’s Intellectual Property Group and co-Chair of the Litigation Group. 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 represented The Authors Guild and a number of other authors' rights associations and individuals in suits against Google and the HathiTrust arising out of Google's mass book digitization and orphan works programs. He also 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


Helene M. Freeman is a partner in the Litigation Department at Phillips Nizer LLP in New York.  Helene’s practice is focused on all facets of entertainment, publishing, fashion and the arts.  In the course of the past thirty-five years, she has represented multinational record distributors, leading musical performers, film and television producers and distributors, international music publishing companies, theatrical producers, authors and advertising agencies in copyright and contract matters. 

As a litigator, Helene has been trial and appellate counsel in a series of precedent setting cases under both copyright and trademark law in jurisdictions throughout the United States.  She counts among the high profile clients she has represented in copyright infringement litigation Mick Jagger, *NSYNC and most recently, the surviving members of Led Zeppelin in their successful defense against the charge that “Stairway to Heaven” infringed the copyright of the musical composition “Taurus”. 

She provides assistance in developing plans for worldwide exploitation and protection of creative property and regularly advises on the acquisition and sale of rights in entertainment properties. 

Helene is a frequent speaker on copyright and entertainment law, including CLE programs sponsored by the American Bar Association Forum Committee on the Entertainment and Sports Industries, the Practicing Law Institute (PLI), the Defense Research Institute and the Copyright Society of the United States, among others.  She has been recognized by Best Lawyers® in the field of Copyright and Super Lawyers in the field of Entertainment.

Helene is a cum laude graduate of the New York University School of Law, where she was an editor of the Law Review and elected to the Order of the Coif.  She earned her Bachelor’s degree from Smith College, where she was elected to membership in the Phi Beta Kappa Society. 


Hillel I. Parness (hip@hiplaw.com) is the Founder of Parness Law Firm, PLLC (www.hiplaw.com).  He is a highly-experienced commercial litigator and trial attorney, with a particular focus on copyright, trademark and technology-related issues. Over the course of his 20-year career, Hillel has represented a broad spectrum of domestic and international companies and individuals in a variety of industries. His clients have included large entertainment and media companies, rapid-growth and technology-leveraged enterprises, and major financial institutions. In particular, Hillel has substantial experience assisting clients with issues arising from the intersection of emerging technology, media and the Internet, as well as matters arising from the complex business activities of both traditional and Internet-based businesses.  In 2014, Hillel served in the temporary role of Acting Head of Litigation for Warner Music Group.

Hillel also serves on the Adjunct Faculty of Columbia Law School, where he has been teaching Internet and intellectual property topics since 2002. He is frequently called upon for his views on issues relating to complex litigation, intellectual property and the Internet, and he is a regular writer, speaker and commentator on these issues.?

Education:

  • Columbia Law School, J.D. 1995
  • Columbia College, Columbia University, A.B. 1995 (Accelerated Interdisciplinary Legal Education Program)

Court Admissions:

  • New York
  • New Jersey
  • United States Supreme Court
  • United States Courts of Appeal for the Second, Third, Seventh and Federal Circuits
  • United States District Court for the Southern, Eastern and Northern Districts of New York
  • United States District Court for the District of New Jersey


Joshua Simmons is recognized as a “Next Generation Lawyer” (Legal 500) and focuses his practice on appellate and trial court litigation and counseling, as well as regulatory and legislative policy.  This “exceptional” (Chambers), “Top Attorney” (Law360), and “big-picture thought leader” (WTR) litigates copyright, patent, right of publicity, trademark, and trade secret cases—particularly complex cases and those of first impression—along with contract, licensing, and domain name disputes.  He also advises on IP matters that intersect with antitrust, fraud, false advertising, privacy, and social media.

Josh routinely is recognized for his high-profile intellectual property, media, entertainment, and technology representations. Chambers and Partners ranked Josh for his copyright, trademark, and trade secret practices, describing his “notable expertise in advising entertainment and technology sector clients” and reporting client comments that “he is completely on top of cases at all times,” “knows exactly what is happening,” and “has a 360 degree view of the entire litigation.” World Trademark Review ranked him for trademark enforcement and litigation, with clients attesting to him being a “tremendous asset” who combines “elite legal acumen with a unique understanding of the process of creating entertainment.” Legal 500 recognized Josh for his copyright, trademark litigation, trade secrets, and media and entertainment practices. Best Lawyers in America selected Josh for his work in copyright law. Law360 and Super Lawyers named Josh a “Rising Star” in media and entertainment and intellectual property litigation, respectively. And Josh was part of the Kirkland team Managing Intellectual Property honored for “Milestone Case of the Year” Oracle v. Google.

In addition to maintaining a full-time litigation practice, Josh is a frequent speaker and has authored numerous articles on emerging trends in intellectual property.  He also is an active member of the intellectual property bar:

  • At the ABA Intellectual Property Law Section, he chairs its Copyright Law Reform Task Force, serves on its governing Council, and is a Council Liaison to its Copyright Division.
  • He is Vice Chair of the Intellectual Property Owners Association’s Software Related Inventions Committee, and its liaison to the American Law Institute’s Restatement of the Law, Copyright project.
  • He chairs the Copyright Society’s Media Library Committee.
  • He is a member of the Board of Advisors to Columbia Law School’s Kernochan Center for Law, Media and the Arts.

He received a J.D. from Columbia Law School, where he was awarded the Carroll G. Harper Prize for achievement in intellectual property, and a B.A. from Brandeis University.


Lateef Mtima is a Professor of Law at the Howard University School of Law. After graduating with honors from Amherst College, Professor Mtima received his J.D. degree from Harvard Law School, where he was the co-founder and later editor-in-chief of the Harvard BlackLetter Journal. He is admitted to the New York and Pennsylvania bars and has practiced intellectual property, bankruptcy, and commercial law, including a decade in private practice with the international law firm of Coudert Brothers. Currently a member of the Advisory Council for the United States Court of Federal Claims and the BNA Patent, Trademark & Copyright Journal Advisory Board, Professor Mtima has held the post of Distinguished Libra Visiting Scholar in Residence at the University of Maine School of Law, is a past President of the Giles S. Rich Inn of Court for the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, and was a member of the founding Editorial Board for the American Bar Association intellectual property periodical Landslide. Professor Mtima is the Founder and Director of the Institute for Intellectual Property and Social Justice, an accredited Non-governmental Organization Member of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).


Linda Steinman has more than 30 years of litigation and counseling experience in media and intellectual property law, and First Amendment law.  She represents a wide range of clients in media and the arts, including book publishers, television production companies, networks and new media, including in various different types of copyright matters.

Sample Copyright Experience In Complex “Transformative Use” Cases   

Authors Guild v. Google, Inc.
Submitted amicus curiae briefs on behalf of The Copyright Alliance in the Second Circuit and in support of Petition for Certiorari, addressing proper transformative use analysis for copyright infringement case based on mass digitization of books. 

Fox v. TV Eyes
Submitted amicus curiae briefs in Second Circuit and district court on behalf of several television networks in copyright infringement case against aggregator of television clips.

Associated Press v. Meltwater U.S. Holdings, Inc., et al.
Represented The Associated Press in a copyright infringement action against Meltwater News, leading subscription-based electronic media monitoring service that provides daily excerpts from news articles to its subscribers. In  precedent setting decision, Southern District of New York granted AP’s motion for summary judgment on its copyright claim and rejected Meltwater’s fair use defense, which was premised on its argument that it acted as a search engine. 

Association of American University Presses
Regular outside counsel to trade association for university and scholarly presses, including submission of amicus briefs in Cambridge University Press v. Patton (case against Georgia State University involving e-reserves) and as class member in Google Books litigation.

Other clients: Counselling advice to Getty Images, the Newspaper Association of America, and The New York Times on complex copyright issues. 

Named one of the “Best Lawyers in America” in Copyright Law by Best Lawyers, 2017; named as one of “America’s Leading Lawyers for Business” in First Amendment Litigation by Chambers USA, 2015-18.


Richard Dannay is counsel with Cowan, Liebowitz & Latman, P.C., in New York City. He practices in the areas of copyright, publishing and trademark law, and libel, privacy, and publicity rights.

Past president of The Copyright Society of the U.S.A. and one of its Honorary Trustees. Former chair of the New York City Bar Committee on Copyright and Literary Property.

Presented the 37th Annual Donald C. Brace Memorial Lecture (Nov. 2007): “Copyright Injunctions and Fair Use: Enter eBay -- Four-Factor Fatigue or Four-Factor Freedom?” (Copyright Society of U.S.A.); published at 55 Copyright Society Journal 449 (2008).

Author, “Factorless Fair Use? Was Melville Nimmer Right?” published at 60 Copyright Society Journal 127 (2013) in special issue honoring 50th anniversary of Nimmer on Copyright treatise.

Lead counsel for the prevailing parties in the following reported cases:

  • Bill Graham Archives v. Dorling Kindersley Limited, 448 F.3d 605 (2d Cir. 2006) (affirming summary judgment for defendant publisher that “thumbnail” reproductions of seven concert posters in Grateful Dead biography are transformative fair use).
  • Penguin Group (USA) Inc. v. Steinbeck, 537 F.3d 193 (2d Cir. 2008), cert. denied, 129 S. Ct. 2383 (2009) (John Steinbeck’s son’s Sec. 304(d) termination notice invalidated; Penguin’s agreement for Steinbeck works, including The Grapes of Wrath and Of Mice and Men, held valid, not “agreement to the contrary”).
  • Silverstein v. Penguin Putnam Inc., 368 F.3d 77 (2d Cir. 2004) and 522 F. Supp. 2d 579 (S.D.N.Y. 2007) (compilation copyright for all of Dorothy Parker’s previously uncollected poems unenforceable because no creativity in “selection” of “all”; significant Second Circuit pre-eBay ruling on permanent injunctions).
  • Williams v. Crichton, 84 F.3d 581 (2d Cir. 1996) (successful defense of copyright infringement suit against Jurassic Park novel and movie).
  • Girl Scouts of the U.S.A. and Boy Scouts of America v. Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, Inc., 996 F.2d 1477 (2d Cir. 1993), aff'g 808 F. Supp. 1112 (S.D.N.Y. 1992) (successful defense of trademark infringement suit against “Pee Wee Scouts” children’s series, involving First Amendment issues).
  • Arica Institute, Inc. v. Palmer and Harper & Row Publishers, 970 F.2d 1067 (2d Cir. 1992) (successful "fact estoppel" and fair use defenses).
  • Adsani v. Miller, 139 F.3d 67 (2d Cir. 1998) (appellate security bond for “costs” includes potential attorney’s fees under Copyright Act; case of first impression).
  • Penguin Group (USA) Inc. v. American Buddha, 609 F.3d 30 (2d Cir. 2010), 16 N.Y. 3d 295 (2011) (on certified question), 640 F. 3d 497 (2d Cir. 2011) (NY long-arm jurisdiction ruling supporting fight of publishers and authors against online digital piracy).
  • Postlewaite v. McGraw-Hill, Inc., 411 F.3d 63 (2d Cir. 2005) (dismissal of law professor’s breach of contract suit against treatise publisher).
  • Hoch and Marble v. MasterCard International and McCann-Erickson, 284 F. Supp. 2d 1217 (D. Minn. 2003) (successful defense of copyright infringement suit against series of baseball-related “priceless” television commercials).
  • Adsani v. Miller, 1996 WL 194326 and 1996 WL 531858 (S.D.N.Y. 1996) (successful defense of copyright infringement suit against author and publishers of “Princess Sultana” books, including recovery of full attorneys’ fees).

Chair of PLI’s annual Advanced Copyright Law program 1991 – 2019.

Harvard Law School (LL.B., 1964). Harvard College (A.B., magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, 1961).