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Live Webinar - 20 Years After: How Napster Changed the World of Secondary Liability
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When: Thursday, May 28, 2020
1:00 - 2:00 pm EDT
Where: Zoom Webinar
United States

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About the Program

Twenty years ago, the peer-to-peer file sharing company Napster upended the music industry, which then relied on the distribution of physical media, and well-established business models governing such transactions. Soon after, the seminal case A&M Records, Inc. v. Napster, Inc., 239 F.3d 1004 (2001), shook up copyright law by holding that Napster could be liable for copying of songs by its users under the doctrines of contributory infringement and vicarious infringement.  This landmark decision continues to impact copyright law, as well as the development of new technology in the music industry and many other sectors.  Drawing from extensive experience with Napster and its progeny, our panel of advocates for content owners and champions of tech developers will discuss the positive and negative effects of the case, and consider how impacted sectors could have developed if the case had been decided differently.


Russell Frackman is a partner in the Los Angeles office of Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP. He is recognized as one of the nation’s leading entertainment and intellectual property litigators, having successfully represented clients in a number of landmark cases in state and federal trial and appellate courts.  He was lead counsel for the record company plaintiffs in the District Courts and Courts of Appeals in seminal Internet file sharing litigation, A&M Records, Inc. v. Napster, 239 F.3d 1004 (9th Cir. 2001) and 284 F.3d 1091 (9th Cir. 2002), In re Aimster Copyright Litigation, 334 F.3d 643 (7th Cir. 2003), and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, et al. v. Grokster, Ltd, et al., 545 U.S. 913 (2005); counsel in two precedent-setting decisions involving the scope of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), Rossi v. Motion Picture Assn. of America, Inc., 391 F.3d 1000 (9th Cir. 2004), concerning the notice and takedown provisions of the DMCA, and 321 Studios v. MGM, 307 F. Supp. 2d 1085 (N.D. Cal. 2004), concerning the anti-circumvention provisions of the DMCA; and counsel for plaintiffs in Capitol Records, LLC v. Vimeo, LLC,  972 F. Supp. 2d 500 (S.D.N.Y.2013) and  972 F. Supp. 2d 537 (S.D.N.Y.2013) aff’d in part, vacated in part, and remanded for further proceedings, 826 F.3d 78 (2d Cir. 2016), involving the application of the DMCA to a user-generated content website.  He also has authored amicus curiae briefs in numerous record industry cases including American Broadcasting  v. Aereo, Inc., 573 U.S. 431(2014), Viacom, Int’l, Inc. v. YouTube, Inc., 676 F.3d 19  (2d Cir. 2012), Bridgeport Music, Inc. v. Dimension Films, Inc., 410 F.3d 792 (8th Cir. 2005), Fonovisa, Inc., v. Cherry Auction, Inc., 76 F.3d 529    (9th Cir.1996) and Flo & Eddie, Inc. v. Pandora Media,Inc., No. S240649 (Cal. Sup. Ct. 2017).
Russell  Frackman has lectured extensively at law schools and for professional organizations throughout the country. Most recently he was the Director of the Copyright Amicus Brief Clinic, UCLA School  of Law, and Chair and a member of the Executive Committee of the USC School of Law, Intellectual  Property Institute. He has repeatedly been recognized by Chambers USA, Legal 500, The Hollywood Reporter, Billboard, Variety, and Best Lawyers, and has been awarded two Honorary Gold Record Awards by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA)  for his work on behalf of the record industry.  In 2015 Russell Frackman was the recipient of  the GRAMMY Foundation® Entertainment Law Initiative Service (ELI) Award in recognition of his demonstrated commitment to advancing and supporting the music community through service. 

Joseph C. Gratz is partner with Durie Tangri LLP in San Francisco. A Trustee of the Copyright Society of the USA and an Advisor to the forthcoming ALI Restatement of Copyright, Mr. Gratz litigates cutting-edge cases at the intersection of copyright and new technology.  Currently, he represents Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft, and a variety of other companies in intermediary liability matters. He was named one of the Top 40 Under 40 lawyers in California by the Daily Journal in 2019 and one of nine Top Intellectual Property Lawyers Under 40 in the United States by Law360 in 2015. Mr. Gratz received his B.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and his J.D., cum laude, from the University of Minnesota Law School. After law school, he served as a law clerk to the Honorable John T. Noonan, Jr. of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.



Jennifer Pariser is the Vice President, Copyright and Legal Affairs at the Motion Picture Association.  She provides counsel on a wide range of intellectual property and other legal issues for the association, oversees the studios’ relationship with academic institutions and the filing of amicus briefs in significant copyright cases. She has worked extensively on DMCA notice and takedown matters and ran the Copyright Alert System. Prior to joining the MPAA, Jenny previously served as head of litigation at the RIAA and at Sony Music where she oversaw all litigation matters including significant lawsuits against online copyright pirates such as Napster, Grokster, Limewire as well as individual infringers. Prior to that she was an associate with the firms Patterson, Belknap, Webb & Tyler and Debevoise & Plimpton in New York and also served as a judicial clerk to the Honorable Charles Tenney in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. She graduated from New York University Law School where she was a member of the Law Review and the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University.  She lectures extensively on copyright topics including at the Copyright Society of the USA, the American and New York Bar Associations, PLI and various law schools.


In 1999, Fred von Lohmann, as an associate at Morrison & Foerster in San Francisco, advised a client interested in potentially acquiring Napster. The next year, as a visiting researcher at the Berkeley Center for Law and Technology, he focused on the impact of Napster and P2P file-sharing on the future of copyright law. After that, while at the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), he represented Streamcast Networks in MGM v. Grokster, as well as filing amicus briefs in numerous other P2P file-sharing cases. After leaving EFF, he joined Google, departing in 2018 as Legal Director for Copyright. He has received many awards and honors in the field of copyright law, including the California Bar Association IP Section's 2016 "IP Vanguard" award and the American Library Association's 2010 L. Ray Patterson Copyright Award. He currently serves as an adviser to the American Law Institute's (ALI) Restatement of Copyright project. Fred received both his undergraduate and law degrees from Stanford University.



The Copyright Society is a Certified CLE Provider in New York and California. Program will satisfy 1.0 CLE credits for the jurisdictions below. The intermediate program is transitional and appropriate for both newly admitted and experienced attorneys.

California: 1.0 Participatory Credit
New York: 1.0 Skills Credit
Tennessee: 1.0 General Credit

Instructions for verifying attendance will be emailed to registrants prior to the program.


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Non-Members: $50
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