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Copyright Counseling & Litigation

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From assessing transformative fair use in digital art to enforcing television broadcasters’ copyright royalty rights for their television programming, the Crowell team has a diverse copyright practice. We represent creators, publishers, distributors and users of content and creative works through monetization and protection as well as enforcement.

Copyright Transactions and Content Clearance. We secure rights for advertisers, publishers, and media companies to use content in a variety of formats, including video, film, print, music, and software. We support advertisers to clear rights for content used in TV commercials, sponsored content programs, social media campaigns, and much more.

Copyright Litigation, Registration, and Licensing. We help our clients monetize their copyright assets through registration and licensing, and focus on enforcement of copyright assets through litigation under U.S. copyright law, including copyright royalty proceedings and rulemaking before the U.S. Copyright Office.

Broadcasters and Publishers. Our work for broadcasters and publishers centers around protecting their content distribution channels and content valuation. Key ways in which we support clients include:

  • Identify the proper value of television programming, advertising, and other content in transactions and litigation.
  • Represent commercial broadcasters in copyright royalty and rate setting litigation at the U.S. Copyright Office and in recovering unpaid rebates and fees from advertising agencies on behalf of brands.
  • Draft and negotiate publishing, author, and licensing agreements and digital platform distribution agreements for academic, medical, and scientific publishers.
  • Incorporate key tools into agreements to ensure that media placements are correctly measured and that our clients’ media agencies are well-equipped to root out digital ad fraud.

Digital Media. We provide counsel and negotiate deals for programmatic advertising, media barter, and digital art. In close partnership with Crowell & Moring’s Cyber & Privacy and Investigative teams, we help companies develop programs to investigate and combat ad fraud, and to pursue recovery when fraud is discovered. 

Entertainment and Sports Licensing. With deep experience in handling trademark and copyright issues and knowledge of the sports and entertainment media market, our group negotiates sponsorship, promotion, naming rights, and media deals for clients in the travel, apparel, financial services, retail, automotive, food and beverage, and consumer products industries. We do the same for sports leagues and teams, including U.S. Soccer and the LA Clippers.

Representative Engagements

  • Represent the U.S. commercial television broadcast industry in litigation and administrative proceedings to recover shares of copyright royalties for cable and satellite retransmission of stations for decades.
  • Represent a variety of leading U.S. political news publishers and industry trade associations with counsel and negotiation of agreements regarding publishing rights, content aggregation and digital database platforms, content licensing, entertainment and piracy. 
  • Represent a variety of leading brands with counsel and negotiation of agreements regarding copyright clearance for use of content in advertising, development of documentary films, television shows and related entertainment properties, and novel fair use issues related to digital content and assets.
  • Represent Ikea in copyright and trademark infringement case involving unauthorized use of copyrighted photographs and trademarks for an advertising campaign in Belgium.
  • Represented Lucasfilm for copyright issues related to Phantom Menace and The Lost World: Jurassic Park movie releases, including sound and Internet infringements.
  • Defended MillerCoors in copyright/right of publicity litigation filed by Jason Mraz.
  • Represented leading software application developer long-running copyright infringement cases involving copyrightability and copyright fair use issues.