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Non-Fungible Tokens: Understanding the Complex Legal Issues in this Revolution for Copyright Holders


Speaker(s): Lewis Cohen, Mark F. Radcliffe, Olta Andoni
Recorded on: Apr. 12, 2021
PLI Program #: 325445

Co-founder of DLx Law, a law firm created to serve the needs of a new, technology-driven economy.  Lewis works together with co-founder Angela Angelovska-Wilson and the rest of the DLx Law team to provide in-depth legal counsel to startups, growth companies, major enterprises, and governmental entities on a broad range of matters involving the use of blockchain, cryptocurrencies and other disruptive technologies.  Passionate about the ability of innovative technologies to change the way businesses and individuals work together, Lewis has become a major advocate for potential of emerging technologies to benefit and transform industries around the globe.

Lewis brings more than 20 years of experience as a traditional capital markets and finance partner at two Global Top 50 law firms.  Lewis is a frequent public speaker on the topic of blockchain and distributed ledger technology.  Lewis served on the Board and Executive Committee of the Structured Finance Industry Group (SFIG).  Lewis is also recognized by Chambers Global as one of only three lawyers in “Band 1” for Legal: Blockchain & Cryptocurrencies – USA.


 


Mark Radcliffe is a senior partner who practices corporate securities and intellectual property law at DLA Piper. DLA Piper has over 4200 lawyers in more than 40 countries. He earned a B.S. in Chemistry magna cum laude from the University of Michigan and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. Mr. Radcliffe’s practice focuses on representing corporations in their intellectual property and finance matters. He has worked both on transactions implementing blockchain technology and initial coin offerings as well as security token offerings. 

His combination of experience in corporate transactions and intellectual property (particularly open source licensing) make him particularly well suited to assist on blockchain issues. He has worked on over 1,000 venture transactions. Virtually all blockchain software is licensed under open source licenses and he is one of the most experienced open source software lawyers in the world. Chambers USA, the legal publisher, has repeatedly recognized him as "outstanding" and "a leader in open source-related matters." Chambers & Partners has commented that Mark "has a wealth of experience in the technology sector. Clients particularly value the proactive approach he takes to understanding their needs and the strategic advice that follows." "He is also well known for his specialist expertise on open source matters."

He has worked on open source software matters for over 20 years and has advised global Fortune 500 companies on their open source matters including Oracle, Red Hat, Sun, Adobe, Palm, eBay and Accenture. He also represents or has represented many "open source" startup companies. He assisted Sun in “open sourcing” the Solaris operating system and ran one of the four committees rewriting General Public License version 2 to create General Public License version 3.

He also has experience on advising companies and investors on token offerings, both in the US and globally. He has worked with a number of startups who are using token offerings to raise capital in addition to venture financing and discussed the issues in the following article: https://bravenewcoin.com/news/icos-and-hybrid-token-offerings-a-legal-perspective/. He was the co-author of an article on the issues for venture investors https://www.pehub.com/vc-journal/rise-tokens-critical-considerations-vc-firms/.  He was involved in the effort by the Wyoming Blockchain Coalition to enact statutes to define “utility tokens” which was successful and was quoted in the Wall Street Journal on the issue: https://www.wsj.com/articles/daviss-take-crypto-cowboys-ready-to-lay-down-the-law-1520512200.  He has assisted companies in a wide range industries on blockchain matters, from the formation of a consortium by Global Fortune 100 energy companies, to assisting a major media company in selling tokens that it received in a venture capital transaction to advising a cryptocurrency exchange on the risk of listing certain tokens under the current SEC guidance.

In April 2009 (the first year of the award), he was recognized for his experience by Intellectual Asset Management magazine as one of the World’s Leading 250 IP Strategists. He has been recognized by Intellectual Asset Management magazine again in each year to the present. In 1997, the National Law Journal named him one of the 100 Most Influential Lawyers in the United States. He is consistently cited by Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, as being in the first rank in California for IT and IT Outsourcing. In 1998, Harvard Law School designated him a “Distinguished Alumni”. He has been quoted on intellectual property matters in Time Magazine, the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, San Francisco Examiner, San Jose Mercury News and the Daily Variety.


Olta Andoni is a well known IP and Fintech Attorney and now has joined Nifty's as their Chief Legal Officer. Olta is a thought leader in the space where she voices and advocates for regulatory guidance, compliance, new legislation, policy developments in the industry and many legal issues related to the NFTs. She has lectured many years for Chicago-Kent, College of Law and is a writer for Coindesk. Prior to joining Nifty’s, Olta has advised many startups regarding regulatory matters, non-fungible tokens and many IP licensing issues related to them.