Southwestern Law School Los Angeles, CA

14th Annual Media Law Conference Schedule




1:00 - 1:45 p.m.
1:45 - 1:55 p.m. Introduction
1:55 - 3:15 p.m.
Does the Song Remain the Same? Stairway to Heaven and Other Recent Music Copyright Battles

Over the past year or so, the music industry has watched two high-profile copyright infringement cases go to the jury in the Stairway to Heaven and Blurred Lines trials.  Our panel of experienced practitioners – three of whom participated in these trials – will discuss the law and the music theory underlying these cases and the difficulties of presenting them to juries.  Among other topics, they will delve into the murky standards for determining substantial similarity in music infringement actions, the differences between composition and sound recording sampling claims, the application of fair use as a defense, the roles of judges, juries, and musicologists in music cases, the challenges in clearing musical pieces that share similar elements, and anticipated future trends in music copyright battles.

  • Moderator: David Aronoff, Fox Rothschild LLP
  • Peter J. Anderson, The Law Offices of Peter J. Anderson, PC
  • Dr. Lawrence Ferrara, Professor of Music, New York University
  • Neville L. Johnson, Johnson & Johnson, LLP
  • Howard E. King, King Holmes, Paterno & Soriano, LLP

3:15 - 3:30 p.m.


3:30 - 4:30 p.m. China and Hollywood: Distribution and Censorship in a Cross-Pacific Partnership

The Chinese market has become an inescapable element of the distribution plan for film studios and other content producers. But figuring China into a new production requires adaptation (and perhaps censorship) for local expectations, law and culture; interaction with a different distribution network; and other unique challenges not found in other markets. A panel of speakers that have faced and overcome these challenges will discuss how to think about China – and how China is thinking about the United States entertainment industry as well. 

  • Moderator:  Nicholas Francescon, Covington & Burling LLP
  • Mathew Alderson, Harris Bricken
  • Sheri Jeffrey, Hogan Lovells
  • J. Martin Willhite, General Counsel and COO, Legendary Pictures

4:30 - 4:45 p.m.

4:45 - 5:45 p.m. Hollywood and the Web: An Internet Update

This panel will explore online liability issues that shape Hollywood’s relationship with the internet. Among other issues, we will tackle: new challenges facing industry networking websites, including California’s recently enacted actor age law and the implications of the Ninth Circuit’s Model Mayhem Section 230 decision; current issues for right of publicity and trademark claims based on user-generated content; and more.
  • Moderator: John C. Greiner, Graydon Head & Ritchey LLP
  • Patrick J. Carome, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP
  • Jeremy S. Goldman, Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz PC
  • John Hueston, Hueston Hennigan LLP
  • Eleanor M. Lackman, Cowan, DeBaets, Abrahams & Sheppard LLP

5:45 - 6:00 p.m.

6:00 - 7:00 p.m.
The Final Frontier of Fandom: Dealing with Fan-Produced Works

With the advent of digital tools and online marketplaces, fan-created works have evolved to incredible levels of quality, are easily reproduced and distributed worldwide, and compete with licensed products. Fan-produced merchandise is shared and sold through online venues. But how far does fair use extend, and how do you protect your intellectual property without alienating your biggest fans? We’ll explore these and other questions through hypotheticals that will take us into the wilds of fan culture, copyright, and trademark law.

  • Moderator: David Cohen, ABC, Inc.
  • Eva Feder, Lionsgate Entertainment Inc.
  • David Grossman, Loeb & Loeb LLP
  • Professor Betsy Rosenblatt, Whittier Law School and Organization for Transformative Works
  • Joshua S. Wattles, deviantART, Inc.

7:00 - 8:00 p.m. Reception