New York, February 18, 2013—Two attorneys on opposite sides of a controversial copyright infringement lawsuit spoke to Columbia Law School students, faculty, and guests on Feb. 12 as part of the Kernochan Center for Law, Media and the Arts IP Speaker Series.
Michael S. Elkin
Michael S. Elkin, managing partner of Winston & Strawn’s New York office and chair of the firm’s copyright, entertainment, and digital media practice, led off the event, titled “On Demand: Copyright Issues Concerning New Technologies for Delivery of TV and Movies.” Elkin is one of the attorneys defending TV-streaming service Aereo against various TV production companies who claim Aereo’s service, which provides users with live streaming of and the ability to copy broadcast TV programs, violates the Copyright Act.
Jeffrey P. Cunard
Jeffrey P. Cunard, managing partner of Debevoise & Plimpton’s Washington, D.C., office and head of the firm’s corporate intellectual property and information technology practices, spoke after Elkin. Cunard is on the legal team that represents ABC, one of the plaintiffs in the case. Both men stated that they were speaking in their personal capacities and not on behalf of their clients.
The attorneys described the state of the relevant law as it applies to their case, which is pending before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit.
Elkin emphasized that technology continues to evolve to meet the demands of consumers.
“This is no longer the 1950s when people sat in their living rooms to have access to televisions with rabbit ears,” he said, pointing out that his college-aged daughters watch TV on their computers while lying in bed.
June M. Besek, executive director of the Kernochan Center
But Cunard said businesses can’t be based on violations of the law.
“It depends on whether you’re in the copyright law or not,” he said. “How supple is that framework and the cases that apply it?”
June M. Besek, Executive Director of the Kernochan Center and a lecturer-in-law, introduced Elkin and Cunard at the event. The Kernochan Center was established to contribute to a broader understanding of the legal aspects of creative works of authorship, including their dissemination and use. The center’s IP Speaker Series has events scheduled through April.
# # #
Columbia Law School, founded in 1858, stands at the forefront of legal education and of the law in a global society. Columbia Law School combines traditional strengths in corporate law and financial regulation, international and comparative law, property, contracts, constitutional law, and administrative law with pioneering work in intellectual property, digital technology, tax law and policy, national security, human rights, sexuality and gender, and environmental law.