“The Content Gold Rush: A Legal Perspective on the Future of Television”

(Update, July 12: In related news, CDAS attorney Steven A. Werier was quoted in Variety today — and in IP Law 360 — on yesterday’s ruling in the case of Aereo and its controversial business model, a closely-watched case the panel discussed).

At an engaging panel held at The Modern in New York City recently — “The Content Gold Rush: A Legal Perspective on the Future of Television” — insights shared by partners J. Stephen Sheppard, Mary E. Rasenberger and Kenneth N. Swezey brought into focus the complex, unprecedented business and legal challenges and opportunities related to television content delivered over broadband Internet lines. The panel, presented by Cowan, DeBaets, Abrahams & Sheppard, also included Seth Metsch, the vice president and digital media counsel in the legal and business affairs division of A&E networks.

As content becomes available across more platforms (digital televisions, smartphones, tablets, etc.), stakeholders need careful guidance through a jungle where the law is always running to catch-up with technology, from rights-analysis on emerging platforms, to how new distribution structures are monetized, to cat-and-mouse strategies of new business models, and how clinging to outmoded models rather than embracing forward-thinking policies may be encouraging piracy. As Ms. Rasenberger put it, “The problem is we are working in the framework of 20th century copyright law that does not fit the current technology.”