Jenner & Block

Copyright Policy and Counseling

Jenner & Block is home to some of the most experienced and sophisticated copyright practitioners in the country.   When it comes to understanding the intersection of copyright law and new technologies, our copyright lawyers are second to none.

Because of this, clients regularly call upon us to analyze their most complex copyright issues, particularly as they relate to new business models, products and services, and the implications of new and evolving technologies.  We also help steer clients through their most difficult copyright policy debates.

Our attorneys are equally adept in the legislative arena.  Wehave been intimately involved in industry negotiations leading to enactment of most of the significant copyright legislation over the last 20 years, including the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.  We also regularly represent clients in rulemaking and other administrative proceedings before the U.S. Copyright Office.
Representative matters handled by our Copyright Policy and Counseling team include:

  • Planning for Termination of Copyright Transfers:  Jenner & Block is representing numerous clients in diverse content industries in structuring and negotiating agreements with authors and others to provide for continued commercialization of works as the original agreements covering those works potentially become terminable under statutory provisions for termination of copyright transfers.  We are also working with clients in planning strategies for anticipated litigation over efforts to terminate copyright transfers.
  • Complex Copyright Analyses and Counsel:  Among many other copyright issues, Jenner & Block has been analyzing and counseling clients as to the copyright, content protection and business issues that arise in connection with new business models based on online “lockers” or “cloud” computing, as well as internet retransmissions of broadcast and other television programing.
  • Recorded Music and Music Publishing Industry Royalty Payments Settlement:  Jenner & Block represented the Recording Industry Association of America in negotiating a settlement with the music publishing industry concerning payment of potentially hundreds of millions of dollars in accrued “pending and unmatched” royalties.  As a result, certain royalties have been and will be distributed on a market share basis pursuant to a process managed by a third-party administrator, and the industries have agreed to streamlined clearance processes going forward.
  • “Mechanical” Royalties:  Jenner & Block represented the Recording Industry Association of America in negotiating settlements of statutory “mechanical” royalty rates covering payments by record companies and digital music services to music publishers and songwriters for the use of songs in recorded music products.  The most recent such settlement includes royalty rate structures to facilitate a range of new cutting-edge business models to help consumers access and enjoy music.
  • Recent Legislation:  Jenner & Block represents the Recording Industry Association of America in drafting and negotiating proposed state and federal legislation, including most recently the Performance Rights Act and the PROTECT IP Act.  Firm lawyers also represented the RIAA in industry negotiations leading to the enactment of the Prioritizing Resources and Organization for Intellectual Property Act of 2008 (the PRO IP Act), the Family Entertainment and Copyright Act of 2005, the Intellectual Property Protection and Courts Amendments Act of 2004, and the Copyright Royalty and Distribution Reform Act of 2004, among others.
  • Webcasting Royalties:  Jenner & Block represented SoundExchange in drafting and securing passage of the Webcaster Settlement Acts of 2008 and 2009.  The Firm then represented SoundExchange in structuring and negotiating settlements of webcasting royalty rates pursuant to those Acts with the National Association of Broadcasters, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, College Broadcasters, Inc., SiriusXM Satellite Radio, and certain “pureplay” and commercial webcasters.