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In Memory of Neil Boorstyn (1931-2016)

Friday, March 11, 2016   (0 Comments)
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Owen, Wickersham & Erickson
San Francisco, CA
March 11, 2016

It is with great sadness that we report tNeil Boorstynhe death of our friend and colleague Neil Boorstyn, who passed away on March 1, 2016 at the age of 84. Neil was Of Counsel to Owen, Wickersham & Erickson and a long-time member of the Copyright Society. 

Neil, a legend of the copyright bar, was a funny and wise man, as well as an enthusiastic and prolific scholar. He was the founder and sole author of the Copyright Law Journal – a bimonthly newsletter, author of two leading treatises on copyright law, and for 17 years taught copyright and computer law at several Northern California law schools, including Hastings College of the Law, Boalt Hall, UC Davis and Golden Gate University School of Law.

Neil practiced and litigated copyright and computer cases for over 60 years as a member of both the California and New York bars. He joined OW&E in 2015 after spending the previous 25 years as Of Counsel at Bingham McCutchen. In accordance with Neil’s wishes, OW&E intends to continue publishing the Copyright Law Journal.

Neil’s early career was perhaps most noteworthy for his clients. He was lawyer to The Beatles and other rock and roll legends such as The Mamas and The Papas, The BeeGees, and Cream. Other notable clients have included Hewlett-Packard, Lockheed Martin, Sony Corporation, Warner/Chappell Music, and Frank Gehry. Neil, who was often at the center of developments relating to the intersection of technology, the arts, and copyright law, was Special Master in A&M Records Inc. v. Napster, Inc. (N.D.Cal. 2001).

Over his long career, Neil chaired the Copyright Committee of the California State Bar, served on the Executive Committee of the Patent, Trademark & Copyright Section of the State Bar, chaired the Software Protection Committee of the San Francisco Bar, and chaired the Industrial Products Committee of the International Patent & Trademark Association. He spoke at countless national and state conferences, including to name a few, the American Bar Association, California State Bar Annual Conferences, PLI Computer Software Conference, AIPLA, and the BNA Conference of Computer Software.

We’re sending our love and sympathy to Neil’s wife Debbie, his children and grandchildren, and many relatives and friends too numerous to mention. Neil will be missed by everyone at OW&E and by friends and colleagues around the world.


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