October 26, 2005

Jenner & Block’s relationships with the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) has made the Firm’s Entertainment and New Media Practice a “prominent player” in the industry, according to a recent article in Legal Times.

Based largely on its reputation in the courtroom and as “premier Supreme Court advocates,” the Firm “has been tapped to solidify the industry’s role on the Web” by major entertainment companies and organizations such as the RIAA, MPAA, major record companies, and major motion picture studios, the newspaper reported.

The article tracked the Firm’s relationship with the RIAA, which began when the Firm filed an amicus brief on behalf of RIAA in the Supreme Court case Eldred v. Ashcroft.  That landmark 2003 copyright case involved a constitutional challenge to the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act, which extended by 20 years both existing and future copyrights.  Since then, the Firm has become one of the RIAA’s primary outside counsel. 

The relationship became even stronger when Partners Thomas J. Perrelli and Donald B. Verrilli, Jr. persuaded Partner Steven B. Fabrizio, formerly the senior vice president of business and legal affairs at the RIAA, to join Jenner & Block in 2003.  Mr. Fabrizio and Mr. Perrelli currently serve as Co-Chairs of the Entertainment and New Media Practice.

“With Fabrizio’s firsthand experience, the RIAA began to feel comfortable using Jenner & Block for more [non-appellate] routine matters, such as copyright infringement suits,” according to the article.  Indeed, since 2003 the Firm has represented the RIAA and MPAA member companies in suits against online services such as Puretunes,, eDonkey, and BitTorrent that allegedly facilitate the illegal downloading of copyrighted material.

Jenner & Block represented the RIAA’s member companies in the high-profile Supreme Court case MGM Studios v. Grokster, which Mr. Verrilli argued before the Court in March.  The Court ruled in June that file-sharing services such as Grokster and StreamCast, which have built their business on distributing illegal copies of copyrighted songs and movies, can be held liable for copyright infringement.

Most recently, Jenner & Block is representing SoundExchange, a performance rights collecting society for artists and record companies, in a case involving royalty rates and terms of statutory licenses for Internet Webcasting stations that will govern for the next five years, the newspaper noted.

Please click here to view the Legal Times article, “Building an Entertainment Beast in D.C.”