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Live Webinar - We're All In This Together: Joint Authorship Under the Copyright Act
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When: Thursday, May 21, 2020
11:00am - 12:00pm PT
Where: Zoom Webinar
United States

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Collaboration is a key ingredient of much of the world's most cherished works of art. While a solo artist might master a painting, compose a song, or write a book without help, many creative works--especially complex ones like motion pictures, modern sound recordings, video games, and theatrical works--could not possibly exist without effective teamwork and the contributions of many. Despite their importance, the principles of "joint works" under the Copyright Act, including the circumstances under which two or more individuals are deemed to be co-owners of the copyright in a work, are murky and frequently misunderstood, leading to uncertainty, disputes, and litigation.  In this lively panel led by two copyright lawyers and a musicologist, each with extensive and unique experience litigating and resolving joint authorship cases, we will clarify the evolution and current state of the law on joint authorship, discuss real-life collaborations that went awry and how they were resolved, and explore emerging authorship issues as creators learn to collaborate "from six feet apart."


Judith Finell is a musicologist and president of Judith Finell MusicServices Inc., a music consulting firm in New York and Los Angeles. She has served as consultant and expert witness involving music copyright infringement. Most recently, she was the testifying expert for the Marvin Gaye family in the “Blurred Lines” case in Federal Court. She has testified in many other notable copyright infringement trials over the past 20 years. She regularly advises HBO, Lionsgate, Grey Advertising, Warner Bros., Disney, and Sony Pictures on musical works for their commercials, films, video games, and television series. In 2018, she was the guest speaker at the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music Commencement. She also frequently advises attorneys, advertising agencies, entertainment and recording companies, publishing firms, and musicians, on copyright issues arising from electronic technology, digital sampling, and Internet musical usage. She has spoken at the law schools of Harvard, Stanford, Columbia, Vanderbilt, and others on music copyright. She is a professor of musicology at UCLA, where she teaches the first forensic musicology course in the country. For fuller information see 



Jeremy S. Goldman is a partner in the Litigation Group at Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz PC and is the Chapter Coordinator for the Copyright Society's national and international chapters. Jeremy represents companies, brands and individuals in the media, film, television, gaming, advertising and technology spaces. He frequently counsels clients, litigates claims and resolves complex disputes involving copyright, breach of contract, the First Amendment, right of publicity, chain of title, trademark and intermediary liability. Jeremy has written and spoken extensively on these and other topics. In 2015, after spending eight years with the firm in New York, Jeremy moved across the country with his wife and two children to help launch Frankfurt Kurnit’s LA office. He is currently litigating a contentious joint authorship dispute over a documentary film that is set to go to trial in September.He is admitted to practice in New York and California.



Eleanor M. Lackman is a partner at Mitchell, Silberberg & Knupp LLP. She is a nationally recognized practitioner in IP, media, and entertainment and sports law. She has been ranked as a leading lawyer in copyright and trademark law by Chambers USA every year for the past seven years; she also has been recognized by Variety, the National Law JournalCrain’sManaging IP and other leading publications for her copyright, trademark, and entertainment law work. Law360 twice named her as a “Rising Star” among five or fewer attorneys in media and entertainment law in the country, and she repeatedly has been voted as among the top 100 attorneys in the New York Metro area by Super Lawyers.

Eleanor’s practice encompasses media and entertainment defense, copyright and trademark litigation and counseling, and trademark branding, prosecution, and licensing. Relevant to today’s program, Eleanor was lead counsel in the landmark co-authorship case 16 Casa Duse v. Merkin at the Second Circuit. As part of her commitment to the media, entertainment, sports, and technology industries, Eleanor splits her time between MSK’s offices in New York and California, and she is admitted to practice in both states.


Eleanor has served as an officer, chair, board member, and trustee for several legal-related organizations, including the Copyright Society of the USA and Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts, in addition to serving multiple terms on three International Trademark Association (INTA) committees. Among her frequent speaking engagements and publications, she has given annual IP licensing presentations at the Practising Law Institute (PLI) for more than a decade, and for several years has authored continuously maintained practice notes on copyright and trademark injunctions with Practical Law Company.



The Copyright Society is a Certified New York State CLE Provider. Program will satisfy 1 NY CLE credit and 1 CA Participatory CLE credit pending approval by the State Bar of CA.  The intermediate program is transitional and appropriate for both newly admitted and experienced attorneys. Instructions for verifying attendance will be emailed to registrants prior to the program.

Newly admitted attorneys please note: Effective March 11 through June 30, 2020, the New York State CLE Board is permitting newly admitted attorneys to participate in Skills CLE courses in live, nontraditional formats (webconference, teleconference and videoconference) where questions are allowed during the program. The Copyright Society's Zoom webinar will allow for questions.


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Non-Members: $50
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