January 13, 2012

Jenner & Block’s Content, Media & Entertainment Practice has been named a Law360 “Media & Entertainment Group of the Year” for 2011.

Noting that “attorneys at Jenner & Block were involved in some of the biggest cases that promised to revolutionize the media and entertainment industry this past year,” the online publication profiled the Practice in a lengthy feature highlighting its noteworthy work in a number of highly significant cases such as the Supreme Court victory in Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Association.  In that case, Firm attorneys representing the Entertainment Merchants Association convinced the United States Supreme Court to strike down a California law restricting the sale or rental of violent video games to minors, which they argued ran afoul of the First Amendment’s freedom of speech and expression provision.  Partner Paul M. Smith, who argued the case before the Court, is quoted in the article, saying he felt as though he were on the “front lines of the digital war,” and noting that the case and others like it would help to write the basic foundation of laws in the future.

The article also highlights the Firm’s work in Viacom International Inc. v. YouTube Inc. et al., Columbia Pictures, et al. v. isoHunt and Disney Enterprises Inc., et al. v. Hotfile Corp., et al.  The cases raise fundamental questions about how provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) are applied.

Regarding isoHunt, Partner Steven B. Fabrizio, Co-chair of the Content, Media & Entertainment Practice, said he hoped the Ninth Circuit’s decision that BitTorrent website isoHunt and its owner Gary Fung intentionally induced copyright infringement “would go further to establish guidelines governing when the DMCA’s safe harbors apply to induced infringement liability.”

The Law360 story also highlights the practice’s teamwork as being key to capturing these big victories, quoting Partner and Practice Co-chair Andrew H. Bart, who credits the group’s skilled attorneys and collaborative structure toward helping clients for the Firm’s victories last year.  Mr. Bart told Law360 that Jenner & Block’s philosophy is to build client relationships with the Firm as a whole and to work collectively.
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