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As new technologies stretch the dimensions of copyright law, Steven Fabrizio has been front and center in defining the shape. A top in-house lawyer for the recording industry during the infamous Napster case, Fabrizio, 44, is now a partner at Jenner & Block. In recent years, he has been involved in cutting-edge copyright enforcement cases, including those against Grokster, MP3.com, Kazaa, iMesh, eDonkey, Usenet, MP3tunes, and more. “He has an extraordinary combination of tenacity and judgment,” says Kenneth Doroshow, senior vice president of litigation and legal affairs at the Recording Industry Association of America. “He’s just terrific.” Jennifer Pariser, head of litigation for Sony BMG Music Entertainment, agrees. “He really understands the client’s business, and therefore, he’s well positioned to give advice that goes beyond the four corners of any particular litigation,” she says. “He’s a great lawyer, and he’s done a marvelous job for the industry.” Fabrizio started his career as a general litigator at New York’s Cravath, Swaine & Moore, which he joined after earning his J.D. from Georgetown Law School in 1988. In 1992, he moved to Washington and took a position at Proskauer Rose. He landed an in-house job at the RIAA in 1996 through “dumb luck,” he says. The trade group needed a litigator with high-tech experience, and a friend recommended him. “The entertainment industry was on the cusp of being a tech industry,” Fabrizio says. “Its fortunes, for better or worse, were linked to technology going forward.” Hired as vice president of anti-piracy litigation, Fabrizio went on to found the group’s in-house litigation department. Early on, he led the RIAA in bringing the first online music cases. The target: Internet sites using FTP, or File Transfer Protocol, to host MP3 music files that users could download. “Almost as much thought and care went into those first cases as Napster,” Fabrizio says. “There was no precedent, nothing to guide you.” In each case, he was able to obtain injunctions halting further infringement, and the sites eventually shut down. The landmark infringement case against music-sharing service Napster Inc. was filed in 1999 in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. “It was round the clock,” recalls Fabrizio, who handled the case along with outside counsel from Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp. “In some ways, it really was make or break for the industry, because if you can’t protect your IP, what do you own? What does ownership mean if millions of people can take your product because technology allows it to happen?” Fabrizio left the RIAA in 2001 and set off as a newlywed to travel around the world for a year. He was in a bar in Vietnam when he learned from a newscast that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit had affirmed the injunction shutting down Napster. When he returned home, he joined Mitchell Silberberg, opening the firm’s two-lawyer office in Washington. He moved to Jenner & Block in 2003. Colleagues there include Donald Verilli Jr. — who won MGM Studios Inc. v. Grokster Ltd., the 2005 Supreme Court case that finished off Grokster — as well as Thomas Perrelli, David Handzo, and Steven Englund. Fabrizio continues to champion the music industry in private practice. He led industry litigation and negotiations on a worldwide basis in the case against Kazaa, at the time the biggest peer-to-peer file trading network. The July 2006 settlement was one of the largest ever for copyright infringement, with $115 million in damages. He’s currently representing the RIAA in an infringement suit against Usenet.com Inc., filed in the Southern District of New York last fall. The complaint alleges that Usenet provides its customers “with convenient — and unauthorized — access to copyrighted music.” Rather than encouraging peer-to-peer file sharing, Usenet servers allegedly load online bulletin boards, or newsgroups, where users post copyrighted recordings. The motion picture industry is another client. Fabrizio is leading multiple teams in a series of copyright suits, filed beginning in 2006, against operators of pirate Web sites using the BitTorrent protocol, a file trading system optimized for downloading large files such as movies or TV shows. Dean Garfield, chief strategy officer of the Motion Picture Association of America, calls Fabrizio “an exceptional lawyer with exceptional personal skills,” praising his combination of legal knowledge, experience, and client service. Stanley Pierre-Louis, associate general counsel at Viacom Inc., another client, is impressed by Fabrizio’s ability to “see where a case is going and the potential pitfalls. He’s able to advise clients how to achieve the goals that they are really trying to achieve.” Pierre-Louis adds, “He’s able to deliver in a way that makes you proud to have him as your lawyer. And he makes you look good as an in-house lawyer.”

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