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MLRC and Southwestern Law School Present

New Technologies Shake Up Media Law - Again

Thursday, January 16, 2014
Los Angeles Times Building


1:00 - 2:15 p.m. Registration

2:15 - 2:30 p.m. Welcome and Introductions

2:30 - 3:50 p.m. Aggregating Entertainment Content: How Much Re-Use is Fair Use

Recent court decisions addressing fair use under copyright law have focused on whether the use of protected material is transformative.  Posing the question consistently, however, has produced answers that are anything but consistent – in cases involving news reports, photographs, artwork and video content.  This panel will address how the question of “transformativeness” informs decisions made by traditional entertainment companies and Internet companies both in the creation of original content and in the aggregation and repurposing of content created by others.  Among other issues, the panelists will discuss:

  • When is it “transformative” to use all or almost all of a copyrighted work, and what does it mean to have a different “purpose” from the original where both works are in the same general category of news, art or entertainment?
  • What uses by online aggregators raise the most concerns for entertainment companies, and what kinds of content are entertainment companies aggregating to their own websites?
  • How and when do entertainment and online companies “live and let live” when it comes to aggregation, what business models and trends are emerging, and what “rules of the road” have developed with respect to licensing, linking back to, and monetizing entertainment content online?

Charles Steinberg
, Assistant General Counsel, The Walt Disney Co.

Jody Zucker, Senior Vice President and General counsel, Warner Bros. Television
Jordan Gimbel, Director of Copyright, Yahoo! Inc.
Regina Thomas, Assistant General Counsel, AOL/Huffington Post

3:50 - 4:05 p.m. Break

4:05 - 5:25 p.m. Right of Publicity Litigation: Sports Videogames Go Down: Will Hollywood Be Saved by the First Amendment?

More than a century ago, the right of publicity/misappropriation was proposed in a Harvard Law Review article as a legal right to be used against new media technologies – photography, tabloid newspapers and advertising – for their use of personal images without consent or payment.  Today, an emerging media technology – the video game and its digital avatar – has tied lawyers and courts in knots as they struggle to balance the First Amendment right of free expression of media companies against the individual’s right to control one’s name and likeness.   This panel will explore whether the well-settled law that has protected traditional expressive works such as novels, biopics, and “inspired by” movies is now in question, and will provide advice for lawyers advising studios, screenwriters, sports stars, celebrities, and other media clients in this shifting landscape.  Panelists will discuss these topics and others:

  • If a movie studio decided to make yet-another action sequel, but used an avatar of a real actor instead of hiring that actor for the sequel, would the use of the actor’s likeness be protected simply because the use would be embedded in a fictional movie that has been traditionally protected as a transformative  “expressive work”?
  • The Hurt Locker (Sarver) case – how will the Ninth Circuit rule?
  • What are other new technologies that invite right of publicity claims?  What about the use of the avatar of deceased rapper Tupac to perform his songs?
  • Is there a way to make video games more “transformative,” such as adding extensive dialogue and more narrative voice-overs with character development, or with sports video games, with   historical background by a sports announcer?  Is dialogue per se transformative?
  • Hypotheticals from the in-house media lawyer, with input from the audience.

Deborah Drooz
, Southwestern Law School

Alonzo Wickers, Partner, Davis Wright Tremaine LLP
Michael Rubin, Partner, Altshuler Berzon LLP
Jessica Kantor, Vice President, Business and Legal Affairs, Legendary Entertainment

5:25 - 5:40 p.m. Break

5:40 - 7:00 p.m. App-Titude: Legal Issues On Apps That Matter

Apps are on everyone's mind, whatever content you produce. App technology is the way to the mobile user. But apps bring a range of new business and legal challenges as well.

  • On demand and real time delivery of content through apps: what are the issues in licensing and regulation that should be considered.
  • Intellectual property concerns in apps, including clearances needed.
  • Transactional issues and pitfalls:  how to balance all of the multiple parties on creative control, compliance responsibilities, risk allocation, payment and profit sharing.

Jonathan H. Anschell
, Executive Vice President and General Counsel, CBS Television

Bryony Gagan, Vice President, Business and Legal Affairs, Netflix
David S. Figatner, Assistant General Counsel, Microsoft Corporation (Microsoft Studios)
Sheila Jambekar, Litigation Counsel, Zynga Inc.

7:00 - 8:00 p.m. Reception

Questions: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or call 212-337-0200


Conference Co-Chairs

David Cohen, ABC, Inc.
David Fink
, Kelley Drye / White O'Connor

Susan Seager, Fox Television Stations
A.J. Thomas, Jenner Block

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