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2011 Harvard Law School Entertainment Symposium

Harvard Committee on Sports and Entertainment Law

Friday, November 11, 2011 from 11:45 AM to 8:30 PM (EST)

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The Harvard Committee on Sports and Entertainment Law and Journal of Sports and Entertainment Law Present:

2011 HLS Entertainment Symposium: The Democratization of Entertainment

Friday, November 11, 2011 at Harvard Law School, Austin North


Copyright Termination: Who Owns our Favorite Songs and Characters?

Under the 1976 Copyright Act, authors, or their heirs, who license or assign their copyrights have the right to terminate such agreements 35 years later.  This right may be exercised without consideration and cannot be waived.  Recently, creators of such famous works as Superman and the Incredible Hulk have sought to terminate and reclaim their copyrights.  The termination provision also permits songwriters to reclaim ownership and artists such as Bob Dylan and Tom Petty have already filed to regain some of their compositions.  However, the right does not apply to work created as a ‘work for hire’.  This panel will discuss litigating the work for hire issue, who controls reclaimed copyrights, if the use of loan out corporations destroys termination rights, and the public’s right, if any, to these creations.  Panelists will include:

·      Ken Basin: Associate, Greenberg Glusker

·      Carole Handler: Of Counsel, Lathrop & Gage

·      Tim Matson: Partner, Lommen Abdo

·      Marc Toberoff: Founding Partner, Toberoff & Associates



Labor Disputes: Reviewing the SAG and WGA Disputes

Between 2007 and 2009, both the Writers and Screen Actors Guilds of America (WGA and SAG, respectively) had to renegotiate their contracts with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP). The WGA dispute resulted in a writers strike, the effects of which were felt throughout the entertainment industry. This panel will bring together members of the various parties to analyze the SAG and WGA disputes in terms of tactics used during negotiations, as well as outcomes that the guilds ultimately reached. It will also look specifically at how new media revenue streams are being divided, whether we have discerned the best way to monetize those revenues, and how changes in that area may affect future negotiations.  Panelists will include:

·      Day Krolik: Senior Vice President, Labor Relations and Talent Negotiations NBC Universal

·      Philippa Loengard: Lecturer in Law, Columbia University

·      Ray Rodriguez: Deputy National Executive Director of Contracts, Screen Actors Guild

·      Chuck Slocum: Assistant Executive Director, Writers Guild of America West



Online Music Licensing: Is Open Source Viable?

The advent of digital music has provided both opportunities to create on an unprecedented scale with a worldwide audience and massive licensing and license enforcement problems. In this, digital music can draw lessons from open source code and software. While programmers can copyright their created code, followers are allowed to make additions and improvements to copyrighted works. This legally enforced gap between the original program and its improvements can be bridged by releasing the program into the public domain, which can be accomplished through the use of a General Public License (“GPL”), which allows use, distribution and the creation and distribution of derivate works provided that the code remains under the GPL. In a parallel manner, open course licensing can provide artists with a legal avenue for crowdsourcing their works without completely losing their ownership of their work. The panel will discuss crowdsourcing (the practice of soliciting contributions from a large group of people and especially from the online community rather than from traditional employees or suppliers), open-source art, and the creative commons. Panelists will include:

·      Todd Brabec: Former Executive Vice President, the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP); Author, Music Money and Success: The Insider's Guide to Making Money in the Music Business

·      Robert deBrauwere: Partner, Pryor Cashman LLP

·      Casey Rae-Hunter: Adjunct Professor, Georgetown University; Deputy Director, Future of Music Coalition, Member of the Board of Directors, the Media & Democracy Coalition and the National Alliance for Media Arts and Culture

·      Wendy Seltzer: Fellow, Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet & Society; Fellow, Princeton University's Center for Information Technology Policy



Social Media Privacy Concerns: Who Controls your Digital Self?

In recent months, traditional media and legislators have focused on digital media and social networking sites' tracking and usage of consumer data with new zeal -- fueled by publicity regarding a "do not track" bill introduced in the Senate and calls from lawmakers for an FTC investigation of Facebook's data collection practices. This panel will focus on the tension between interactive, customized digital media products and consumer privacy concerns.  We will discuss current legal concerns and what legal and policy solutions, if any, should be enacted to address consumer concerns about (1) the aggregation of personal data, location tracking and browsing history, (2) the failure to fully disclose to consumers how their online media usage data is used for targeted advertising, and (3) other related topics.  Panelists will include:

·      Harley Geiger: Policy Counsel, the Center for Democracy & Technology

·      David Jacobs: Consumer Protection Fellow, EPIC

·      Michael Kernan: CEO, NuMedia Studios

·      Latanya Sweeney: Director and Founder, Data Privacy Lab



Keynote: George Cheeks

Executive Vice President, Business Affairs and Co-General Counsel, MTV Networks

George Cheeks began his career as an entertainment associate at Loeb & Loeb. In addition, George served as Vice-President, Business Affairs for Castle Rock Entertainment and worked as an entertainment attorney at the boutique entertainment firm of Hansen, Jacobson, et al.  In 1998, George relocated to New York City where he began working for MTV Networks in the Business and Legal Affairs Department for Nickelodeon. In December of 2002 he was promoted to Senior Vice President and General Counsel of MTV, MTV2, MTVu and MTV Films. In January of 2005, he was promoted to Executive Vice President and General Counsel for MTV, MTV2, MTVu, MTV Films, VH1, CMT and LOGO. George’s current title as of January, 2007 is Executive Vice President, Business Affairs, Co-General Counsel, MTV Networks and General Counsel, Music Group & Entertainment Group.  George graduated from Yale University (Phi Beta Kappa) and received his J.D. from Harvard Law School (Cum Laude).


Reception: Drinks, hors d'oeuvres, and dessert will be served


CSEL would like to thank Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP ( for providing generous funding for this symposium.
For more information, please email

Have questions about 2011 Harvard Law School Entertainment Symposium? Contact Harvard Committee on Sports and Entertainment Law

When & Where

Harvard Law School: Austin Hall
1563 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA 02138

Friday, November 11, 2011 from 11:45 AM to 8:30 PM (EST)

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