X

Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
LOS ANGELES-Two key lawyers defending video-sharing Web sites in high-profile suits recently brought by Universal Music Group are well-versed in copyright infringement claims, having taken plaintiffs’ positions in previous cases with similar legal arguments. The turnabout highlights a trend in which Internet lawyers are beginning to represent clients on both sides of the copyright battles facing new technology companies, particularly after firms such as News Corp. and Google Inc. have gobbled up successful Web sites. “There was a time when lawyers were on one side or the other of the technology content divide,” said Laurence Pulgram, a partner in the San Francisco office of Fenwick & West who represented Napster in its high-profile litigation. Now, “the issues are increasingly less black and white and more shades of gray,” Pulgram noted. “You have competing issues for which good lawyers provide insights on either side of.” In October, Universal Music brought suits against two video-sharing sites, Bolt Inc. and Grouper Networks Inc., claiming that they violated the copyrights of several of its artists by posting their music for free. UMG Recordings Inc. v. Bolt Inc., No. 06-06577, and UMG Recordings Inc. v. Grouper Networks, No. 06-06561 (C.D. Calif.). The following month, Universal Music sued MySpace.com over similar claims. UMG Recordings Inc. v. MySpace Inc., No. 06-07361 (C.D. Calif.). All three sites have retained separate lawyers. Two of the attorneys-Dale Cendali, a partner in the New York office of O’Melveny & Myers who represents MySpace.com, and Ian Ballon, a shareholder in the Los Angeles office of Greenberg Traurig who represents Grouper-have backgrounds representing copyright holders in claims not unlike those brought by Universal Music. In November 2006, Grouper filed an answer disputing allegations by Universal Music that the Web site illegally uses copyrighted works in much the way that Napster and other file-sharing services did. Ballon is the copyright specialist in Grouper’s three-lawyer team at Greenberg Traurig. Ballon previously filed amicus briefs on behalf of dozens of copyright owners in the high-profile appellate litigation against file-sharing service Grokster. The case led to a groundbreaking ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court that found that Grokster had induced infringement through its marketing practices. MGM v. Grokster, 545 U.S. 913 (2005). But Ballon noted that Grokster involved an industrywide claim against a “pirate” site, rather than a single company suing a “legitimate” company. “I do not represent pirate sites,” he said. “In all instances, I’m representing companies that respect copyrights.” Last month, MySpace filed a motion to dismiss one of the state claims from the case. Cendali leads a three-lawyer defense team for MySpace at O’Melveny & Myers. Cendali, who is chairwoman of the firm’s IP and technology practice, declined comment. Cendali has represented the Recording Industry Association of America and has filed suits for record companies against Audiogalaxy Inc. and several Internet service providers that supported Listen4ever.com.

This content has been archived. It is available exclusively through our partner LexisNexis®.

To view this content, please continue to Lexis Advance®.

Not a Lexis Advance® Subscriber? Subscribe Now

Why am I seeing this?

LexisNexis® is now the exclusive third party online distributor of the broad collection of current and archived versions of ALM's legal news publications. LexisNexis® customers will be able to access and use ALM's content by subscribing to the LexisNexis® services via Lexis Advance®. This includes content from the National Law Journal®, The American Lawyer®, Law Technology News®, The New York Law Journal® and Corporate Counsel®, as well as ALM's other newspapers, directories, legal treatises, published and unpublished court opinions, and other sources of legal information.

ALM's content plays a significant role in your work and research, and now through this alliance LexisNexis® will bring you access to an even more comprehensive collection of legal content.

For questions call 1-877-256-2472 or contact us at [email protected]

 
 

ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2020 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.