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Understanding Basic Copyright Law 2001

Author(s): I. Fred Koenigsberg, Katherine C. Spelman, Barry F. Irwin
Practice Area: Corporate & Securities, Intellectual Property, International Law, Professional Skills
Published: Jul 2001
PLI Item #: 3898
CHB Spine #: G660



B.A., Cornell University
M.A., (Communications), Annenberg School of Communications, University of Pennsylvania
J.D., Columbia Law School

Professional Profile

Adjunct Professor of Law, Columbia University Law School (teaching Law and the Music Industry), Graduate Program in Arts Administration (teaching Law and the Arts)

Formerly Adjunct Professor of Law, Pace Law School (1979-1988) (teaching Copyright Law)

Past Chair, American Bar Association Section of Intellectual Property Law

Past President, American Intellectual Property Law Association

Former Member (28 years), Board of Directors, Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts, Outstanding Volunteer, 2008

Former Member (2 terms), Board of Trustees, Copyright Society of the U.S.A.

Former Chairman: New York State Bar Association Committee on Copyright Law; New York County Lawyers Association

Committee on Communications and Entertainment Law; Copyright Committee, American Intellectual Property Law

Association; Copyright Division, American Bar Association Section of Intellectual Property Law (2 terms)

Member, U.S. State Department Ad Hoc Committee on Adherence to the Berne Convention

Member, Library of Congress Advisory Committee on Copyright Registration and Deposit

Private Sector Representative, U.S. Delegation to Diplomatic Conference on World Intellectual Property Organization
Copyright Treaty and Performances and Phonograms Treaty

Counsel to Board of Directors, American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers

Chairman, annual PLI program:  Understanding Basic Copyright Law and speaker on many other CLE programs

Cited by Chambers USA 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009 (Tier 1) as one of America's leading business lawyers specializing in intellectual property.

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)