News

CDAS Wins Fair Use Ruling Over Facebook Livestream Birth Video

In a ruling from the bench, CDAS client Coed Media Group, LLC (“CMG”) succeeded in securing the dismissal of a copyright infringement lawsuit over a news story reporting on a man who live-streamed the birth of his son on Facebook.  Plaintiff Kali Kanongataa accused CMG of infringing the copyright in his home movie when CMG posted a screen grab of a single frame of the 45-minute video on collegecandy.com (and its Pinterest page) to illustrate a story reporting on the newsworthy fact that Kanongataa streamed the video to world.  Judge Kaplan of the Southern District of New York, after full briefing and oral argument by the parties, ruled in open court that CMG’s use of the screen grab was both a “fair use” as commentary and criticism, as well as a “de minimis” use that was too small to constitute actionable copyright infringement.  The court concurred with CMG that the screen shot constituted approximately .012% of the entire video and was simply too miniscule to be considered “substantially similar” to the video as a whole.  The court also dismissed Kanongataa’s claim under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act which accused CMG of removing “copyright management information” from the video, agreeing with CMG that Kanongataa had failed to state a plausible claim that CMG had intended to conceal an infringement.  CMG was represented by Nancy E. Wolff and Scott J. Sholder, who argued the motion.

CDAS is a Platinum Sponsor of INTA’s 2017 Brands and Fashion Conference

Cowan, DeBaets, Abrahams & Sheppard LLP is proud to be a Platinum Sponsor of INTA’s upcoming “Brands and Fashion” Conference, to be held in NYC March 22-23, 2017.  The conference includes two full days of programming covering IP and brand protection strategies, retail trends, issues in advertising, and much more.  CDAS is sponsoring the conference in recognition of the firm’s diverse array of clients in the fashion, apparel and jewelry industries.  Learn more about CDAS’s fashion and apparel practice here.  We hope to see you there!

 

Eleanor M. Lackman Named to Variety’s 2016 “Hollywood’s New Leaders” List

Eleanor M. Lackman, partner and co-head of Cowan, DeBaets, Abrahams and Sheppard’s Litigation Practice has been named one of “Hollywood‘s New Leaders” in Law and Finance by Variety.

Eleanor’s profile highlights her work as go-to outside IP counsel for digital media clients on copyright, trademark, endorsement, and other related issues in addition to defending high-profile clients in entertainment and sports in IP lawsuits.

Quoted in Variety’s October 18th issue, Eleanor says:  “One of the newer and more fun challenges is the need to be able to pivot constantly. On a given day, I may shift from being a fierce advocate to negotiating a business solution to building consensus among my team.”

“Hollywood’s New Leaders” profiles individuals 40 and under who will be steering the industry in the years to come. The list includes creative talent, entrepreneurs, agents, lawyers, producers, publicists, and executives working at studios, networks, and digital media. To read more and view the complete list, click here.

 

Partner Susan H. Bodine Named to Variety’s “2016 Power of Women L.A. Impact Report”

Susan H. Bodine, partner and co-head of Cowan, DeBaets, Abrahams and Sheppard’s Entertainment Practice is featured in Variety’s2016 Power of Women L.A. Impact Report.”

Susan is recognized for her work representing both individuals — with clients including James Schamus and Jose Padilha — and companies — such as Amazon Studios and A&E Television Networks.

The “Power of Women L.A. Impact Report” profiles women — creative talent, entrepreneurs, agents, lawyers, managers, producers, and executives working at studios, networks, in the music and theater industries, and digital media — who have created new initiatives, sealed game-changing deals, or reached an apex in their professional lives that have moved the needle in their business. To read more and view the complete list, click here.

14 CDAS Attorneys Make Super Lawyers, Rising Stars, Top 50 Women and Top 100 Lists

Fourteen Cowan, DeBaets, Abrahams & Sheppard attorneys were selected for inclusion in the 2016 edition of New York Metro Super Lawyers. Spanning various practice areas, Super Lawyers recognizes the top lawyers in the New York Metro area via a patented multiphase selection process involving peer nomination, independent research and peer evaluation.

Each year, less than 5% of New York City attorneys receive the honor of being named a Super Lawyer and fewer than 2.5% are awarded the Rising Stars distinction. Rising Stars are lawyers who are under 40, or have been in practice for 10 years or less.

In addition to being designated a Super Lawyer again this year, partner Nancy E. Wolff also appears on the Top 50: 2016 Women New York — Metro Super Lawyers and the Top 100: 2016 New York — Metro Super Lawyers lists. Only the New York Metro lawyers who receive the highest point totals during the selection process are further recognized in New York Metro Super Lawyers “Top Lists.” Continue reading

CDAS Brings in Lindsay W. Bowen to Expand its Copyright, Entertainment and Litigation Practice

Cowan, DeBaets, Abrahams & Sheppard LLP (CDAS) is expanding its litigation, entertainment, and intellectual property practice with the strategic hire of litigator and entertainment attorney Lindsay W. Bowen, who has joined the firm as a partner.

Lindsay’s practice focuses on the interplay between creativity and technology.  He represents individuals and companies, from household names to the up-and-coming, across a wide range of creative industries, including advertising, app development, fashion, film, hospitality, music, podcasting, television, and theatre. Prior to joining Cowan, DeBaets, Abrahams & Sheppard LLP, Lindsay was an attorney in the Content, Media & Entertainment practice of Jenner & Block.  There, he represented music, film, television, and theatre clients in copyright ownership and enforcement litigation, royalty disputes, and in the negotiation of a variety of traditional and digital media transactions. Continue reading

Chambers USA 2016 Recognizes Cowan, DeBaets, Abrahams & Sheppard LLP Practice Group and Partner

Cowan, DeBaets, Abrahams & Sheppard LLP is pleased to announce that Partner Eleanor M. Lackman is ranked and for the first time, the Entertainment Practice is recognized by Chambers and Partners in the Chambers USA 2016: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business guide.

In her third consecutive year being included in the Chambers USA guide, Ms. Lackman is among just 43 New York lawyers ranked in the field of “Intellectual Property: Trade Mark and Copyright.”

For the first time, CDAS’s Entertainment Practice was awarded a regional designation of “Noted Firm” in Media & Entertainment: Film, Music, Television & Theater – New York.”

The annual guide ranks law firms and lawyers based on in-depth interviews with clients and lawyers, technical legal ability, professional conduct, client service, commercial astuteness, diligence, commitment, and other qualities most valued by the client.

Give Me A ‘C’ (In A Circle): Cheerleader Uniforms At High Court

Law360, New York (May 9, 2016, 11:07 AM ET) —

In August of last year, a Sixth Circuit judge wrote in a dissenting opinion: “It is apparent that either Congress or the Supreme Court (or both) must clarify copyright law with respect to garment design. The law in this area is a mess — and it has been for a long time.” Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court took up the invitation to clarify the law, by granting certiorari in Star Athletica LLC v. Varsity Brands Inc. Star Athletica concerns whether the designs on cheerleading uniforms can be subject to copyright protection, but the impact of the ruling is likely to spread well beyond uniforms — perhaps beyond garment design to other everyday useful articles.

Read in full here: Give Me a ‘C’ (In A Circle): Cheerleader Uniforms At High Court

Partner Susan H. Bodine Named 2016 Hollywood Reporter “Power Lawyer”

The Hollywood Reporter (THR) has recognized Susan H. Bodine, partner and co-head of Cowan, DeBaets, Abrahams and Sheppard’s Entertainment Practice as a “Power Lawyer” in its 10th annual issue revealing the most influential entertainment attorneys in America.

Sue is noted for her work this year on the Roots reboot for A+E Networks, helping structure the miniseries’ financing and inking talent pacts, her representation of Netflix’s Narcos creator and director, Jose Pahdila, as well as her representation of Amazon Studios, locking agreements to begin photography on Todd Haynes’ Wonderstruck in May.

The Power Lawyers issue spotlights the Top 100 attorneys behind the year’s biggest deals, major litigation and other areas of entertainment, as determined by THR editors.  To read more and view the complete list, click here.

CDAS Partner Susan H. Bodine Featured in Variety’s 2016 Legal Impact Report

Partner and co-head of Cowan, DeBaets, Abrahams and Sheppard’s Entertainment Practice Group, Susan H. Bodine was recognized in Variety magazine’s “2016 Legal Impact Report.” The annual list includes the top entertainment attorneys that have made a significant impact on the industry over the past twelve months.

Sue’s work with “Narcos’” Jose Padilha, including on-going negotiations of a deal with Netflix’s Local Originals Group for him to write, executive-produce and direct a six-part Brazilian series was highlighted in her profile. To read more and view the complete list, click here.

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