Device/Service Proliferation: Rights Abomination?
CLE. As technology companies develop new products and services that enable consumers to access and consume music and movies in new ways and places, at the time and choosing of the user, are copyright owners being cheated out of revenue streams or should they have a right to control all manner of distribution? Should a consumer have the ability to record television and radio broadcasts without having to be subjected to commercials or does the skipping of commercials, whether automated or otherwise, violate a copyright owner's exclusive right? Should a copyright owner be able to restrict a license so that only transmissions through a Mac computer are authorized and then demand a separate payment for transmissions through PCs? These may sound like Orwellian scenarios but they are currently playing out in the real world. The limits of copyright owners' rights and whether those rights should be permitted to trump, must succumb to, or can find harmony with technology will be discussed.
Gary Greenstein is a partner with Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati. He specializes in intellectual property, licensing, mergers and acquisitions, and commercial transactions, with specialized expertise in the digital exploitation of intellectual property. He represents a wide range of technology companies in licensing transactions with copyright owners in the music, film, and television industries. He previously served as the first general counsel of SoundExchange and vice president of business and legal affairs at RIAA.